With the fifth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers seemingly have every possibility for them under the sun. While they figure out their solutions at head coach and general manager, there are still people willing to project what they might do in the draft.
So, I decided to take a survey of all of the mock drafts and produce this donut chart, in homage to fellow SB Nation blogger Christopher Gates, who regularly does this for the Vikings at the Daily Norseman.
Are these accurate? Generally, mock drafts near the top of the draft are pretty good at identifying players in the top five. They can miss out on matching players to teams inside of the top five but even there they tend to be pretty good.
That said, I’m not confident my research into the area of mock drafts and big boards applies to content produced in January. So this is mostly for fun. Let’s take a look at the chart!
I wanted to only look at complete mock drafts, which is distinct from the NFL Mock Draft Database’s survey of team-specific mock drafts. Team-specific mocks may not be realistic about who will be available when their team picks and this particular example doesn’t have options for limiting out particular dates from their survey – so we’re getting results from November and December in there as well.
This tells us the Chargers have selected a tight end 41.2 percent of the time, a receiver 33.8 percent of the time, a tackle 14.7 percent of the time and an edge defender 2.9 percent of the time.
If you’re curious about which players constitute “other,” they are Marvin Harrison Jr., Terrion Arnold, Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu. Harrison was selected twice and the other three were selected once each. For more detail, check out the full list here.
Not every mock draft is the same, however. What happens when we just look at traditional media, like CBS Sports and NFL.com? When excluding to just those types of media – about half of the survey share – not much changes. Brock Bowers falls from 41.2 percent to 38.9 percent and Malik Nabers falls from 19.1 percent to 16.7 percent.
We still have the same totals in the “other” category – two selections for Harrison and one each for Arnold, Turner and Latu. Essentially the entire reason for the minor drop in selection share for the other players is because these selections remained while everyone else lost proportionally similar selections.
That means independent media saw a higher Bowers share – 52.4 percent. Instead of a massive increase in Nabers selections – 19.0 percent – we saw more selections for Rome Odunze at 14.3 percent. They also selected Olu Fashanu, Kool-Aid McKinstry and Joe Alt once apiece.
Fantasy media, like Roto Ballers and Fantasy Pros, was much less interested in drafting Bowers high. They selected Bowers and Nabers at equal rates --- 27.3 percent – selected Odunze once (9.1 percent) and used the rest of the selections on offensive linemen, like Joe Alt and Fashanu.
While I didn’t track this methodically, one observation that I personally came away with while logging these results was that the Chargers selected Harrison almost every time he was available – he just was rarely available. He was overwhelmingly picked by the Cardinals in the few instances he wasn’t picked by the Patriots or the Bears – especially if the Bears traded down one or two picks.
Speaking of trades, the mocks I surveyed didn’t trade the Chargers pick very often – only once. In that instance, they still selected Bowers (it was a trade down to No. 11 with the Minnesota Vikings). That’s an ideal scenario for many Chargers fans.
Not many mocks had a second round – only 15 of them. Two players were selected twice: Kalen King, CB from Penn State and Byron Murphy II, DL from Texas. Otherwise there were picks for Brandon Dorlus, DL from Oregon; Ennis Rakestraw Jr.; CB from Missouri; Kamari Lassiter, CB from Georgia; Kamren Kinchens, S from Miami (FL); Kris Jenkins, DL from Michigan; Quinyon Mitchell, CB from Toledo; T.J. Tampa, CB from Iowa State; Tez Walker; WR from North Carolina; Tyler Guyton, OT from Oklahoma; Tyler Nubin, S from Minnesota and Xavier Worthy, WR from Texas.
Astoundingly, there was more consistency in three-round mocks. Of the 11 mock drafts with at least three rounds, four selected running back Blake Corum from Michigan. Two selected Zach Frazier an interior offensive lineman from West Virginia.
Otherwise, there were five picks at five different positions: TreVeyon Henderson at running back from Ohio State, Kiran Amegadjie at tackle from Yale, Josh Newton at cornerback from TCU, Ja’Tavion Sanders at TE from Texas and Chris Braswell, an edge defender from Alabama.
So, in the consensus view the Chargers get Bowers, Murphy II and Corum. How do you feel about that?