The Chargers have moved on from the Philip Rivers era.
Rivers was QB1 for 16 consecutive seasons. He had over 220 consecutive starts while owning 30 franchise records and going to eight pro bowls. Those are undoubtedly big shoes to fill.
General manager Tom Telesco was tasked to find his replacement and fill some other critical holes throughout the team. The Chargers entered the 2020 NFL Draft with seven picks which resulted in six new players.
Los Angeles' 2020 draft picks:
- No. 6: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
- No. 23: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
- No. 112: Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA
- No. 151: Joe Reed, WR, Virginia
- No. 186: Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame
- No. 220: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Best Pick: Justin Herbert
The Chargers wanted to get a more mobile and athletic quarterback. The goal was to get their offense up to date with today’s RPO game and ultimately put more pressure on opposing defenses. They have the ultimate bridge passer in Tyrod Taylor, who has been in a similar position before.
Los Angeles was fortunate to draft the new face of its franchise in Herbert. He's got size, athleticism and the cool, laid back West Coast personality to fit in well with the Chargers.
Biggest Surprise: No EDGE Defender
Los Angeles is currently enjoying the luxury of having Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. However, both will be free agents in 2021. The Chargers will most likely not be able to retain the duo. There were a couple of EDGE defenders available on Day 2 and 3, including Curtis Weaver and Bradlee Anae; either would have provided good value in the middle rounds while significantly bolstering Los Angeles’ pass rush.
Day 3 sleeper: K.J. Hill
This was an excellent pick for the Chargers. Hill played in a lot of big games at Ohio State and left as the all-time leader in receptions. He’s neither dynamic or sudden, but he is an excellent route runner who will do most of his best work in the slot. It sounds like someone else on the team, right? Hill will learn from one of the NFL’s best route runners in Keenan Allen.
X-Factor: Justin Herbert
Here’s Herbert again and for good measure.
It will be critical to for the Chargers to build an offense that utilizes Herbert’s big arm and mobility. He has weapons at his disposal and will get the opportunity to sit and learn behind Taylor. It will be interesting to see how much of Oregon’s offensive concepts Los Angeles decides to implore in order to maximize Herbert’s strengths. His mobility will make the offensive line better, but developing Herbert will be key in the Chargers returning to prominence.
Los Angeles’ draft was up and down. The Chargers got the face of their franchise in Round 1. They also traded back to select Murray, who is an immediate plug-and-play starter. They didn’t have any Day 2 picks and could have certainly used a young EDGE rusher to develop. Los Angeles could have also added a quality tight end in the middle rounds. While Hill could be a steal in the seventh round, the Chargers still have holes to fill.