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Why the Chargers selected OL Jordan McFadden

The Chargers backfilled IOL depth with versatility in their selection of Jordan McFadden.

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

With their fifth round pick, the Chargers selected Clemson’s left tackle, Jordan McFadden, following their trend of selecting college tackles they believe should convert to the inside of the line.

Jordan McFadden started three seasons for Clemson, first at right tackle in 2020 before sliding to left in 2021 and 2022. His production was impressive, as he collectively allowed only eight sacks, one quarterback hit and 29 hurries against 1,410 pass blocking snaps.

The biggest reason for his day three draft position is likely a combination of his undersized tackle build, and his 24 bench reps don’t assure scouts of the strong anchor and punch they’d like to see from a guard. However, as a center McFadden can lean on his quick feet, and draw upon his lengthy experience and ability to pick up work on the line. In studying his tape, you see a player that excels at working as a unit, here making a smart chip block to help his guard en route to sealing off a second-level defender. That’s exactly the type of skill set I’d like to see a player that will develop under Corey Linsley’s tutelage.

In many of his reps, he shows an acute awareness for picking up stunts, and working well with his guard. It doesn’t appear to be skill-set that is keeping him from playing outside at the next level, but his size.

He’s likely a player Staley can flex at any position in his rookie year. I actually believe Foster Sarell might surprise us as an improved swing tackle in 2023 after training this offseason with Duke Manyweather, but in the event Foster remains stagnant, McFadden’s experience at tackle would allow him to plug-and-play if the Chargers find themselves in a pinch like they did when Jamaree Salyer stepped up as left tackle in 2022.

Speaking of Duke Manyweather, he called out McFadden as a great pick for the Chargers, and a very versatile player. McFadden has apparently trained with Manyweather, and if he continues to do so there is significant reason to believe we’ll see his skill set and playing strength significantly improve.

Welcome to the Los Angeles Chargers Jordan McFadden!