Confession time -- when the idea of running a series on 2019 NFL Draft mulligans was born, it was the Los Angeles Chargers' fault. You see, I love this draft class. Just about everything about it. I believe that the system fits of their early picks make them home run selections. I appreciated the fact that the Chargers landed two of my top-100 overall prospects on Day 3 of this year's Draft.
But woooooo buddy. Did they miss the mark with one of these picks... that isn't to say that this player won't eventually develop into an effective NFL player. There's always a chance. But I think the Chargers took an unnecessary shot in the dark with one of these picks. I'm happy to provide my alternatives here.
But first, which was the pick in question? Here is the Los Angeles Chargers' 2019 NFL Draft class.
1.28 - DL Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
2.60 - S Nasir Adderley, Delaware
3.91 - OL Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls
4.130 - LB Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame
5.166 - QB Easton Stick, North Dakota State
6.200 - LB Emeke Egbule, Houston
7.242 - DL Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati
Tillery? Love. Adderley? Love. Tranquil? Love. Egbule? Love. Broughton? Love. Heck, I think Easton Stick can be a career back-up in the pros, why not? But that 91st overall selection...let's talk about it.
Chargers' 2019 Draft Mulligan: Swap Trey Pipkins for another offensive lineman at 91
I gave Pipkins a UDFA grade when I watched him on film. Clearly the Chargers disagree. And that's perfectly fine -- but I'm going to present alternatives for the Chargers for picks that they could have made at 91 instead of taking the project from Sioux Falls.
Here are the offensive linemen who came off the board after the Chargers pulled the trigger on Pipkins.
92. OT Chuma Edoga, USC
97. OT Bobby Evans, Oklahoma*
101. OT Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia*
114. OG Dru Samia, Oklahoma*
118. C Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas
123. OG Ben Powers, Oklahoma*
124. OG Phil Haynes, Wake Forest
126. IOL Michael Jordan, Ohio State
*denotes top-100 overall player on my personal board
I had each of these prospects scored higher than Pipkins. There are athletic projects like Michael Jordan, there's straight up maulers like Yodny Cajuste and there's quick footed pass blockers like Edoga and Evans. So...take your pick. There's no shortage of options and I quite frankly think the Chargers have a lot of flexibility to add someone they feel good about. Heck, do you want a plug and play starter? Both of the Oklahoma kids were there for the taking as well.
An exercise that I've greatly enjoyed this year in the aftermath of the Draft is assigning picks and players values based on the old Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart. It's not quite as simple as applying a one to one ratio for the value of the picks -- but in short it establishes an expected return of value and then weighs each of the picks made at the pick number vs. their assigned place on my 2019 Draft board.
The only offensive line selection that netted a worse expected return vs. my personal draft assessments was the Texans' selection of Tytus Howard at 23 overall. Going almost any other direction along the offensive line would have really helped the Chargers' footing among my favorite draft classes of 2019.