Chargers: Making the case for a draft-day trade for another first-round pick

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers is seen during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the StubHub Center on September 24, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers is seen during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the StubHub Center on September 24, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers really have been tied to just one position with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. However, a smart draft day trade could land them another first-round pick.

The Los Angeles Chargers have been the inactive NFL Los Angeles team. While the Los Angeles Rams are making big move after big move, the Chargers have been content with smaller moves such as signing Mike Pouncey, Geno Smith and extending Casey Hayward.

Although the Rams are going all out, the Chargers’ content approach is not a bad one. The team is already immensely talented, evident from the hot streak they went on to end the season. All the Chargers really need is to add a few key pieces to an already solid roster.

Signing Mike Pouncey was a very smart move. The Chargers offensive line was already solid. Add in Pouncey and a returning Forrest Lamp and Philip Rivers should have plenty of time in the pocket. Extending Hayward was very smart, as he is a top-five corner in the NFL.

Realistically, the Chargers should now turn the focus solely to the 2018 NFL Draft. While there are some intriguing guys available via free agency, the draft is going to be what makes or break the Chargers’ season. What sets them apart from either a brink playoff team or a legitimate threat in the AFC.

If the Chargers have been taking notes from their LA counterparts, they should realize that they must strike the iron while it is hot. The window to succeed with Philip Rivers is shrinking. It is time the Bolts should take a risk on draft day by trading up to land another first-round pick.

And quite frankly, the Chargers may not need to jeopardize their future to do so. While it will take some other picks in this year’s draft and next year’s, the front office could make a savvy trade. Here is what I would do if I am Los Angeles:

One of the few needs for the Minnesota Vikings is at cornerback. Thus, the Bolts could dangle Jason Verrett in front of the Vikings’ faces, as well as some other draft picks, to try and entice a move for the first-round pick.

Verrett has a ton of upside and if the Vikings are sure that he is fully healthy then it is hard not to get excited at what he brings to the table. As for LA, the team proved last season that the secondary is just fine without Verrett. Instead of hanging on to him, the Chargers could include him in this trade so they can draft a different piece of the secondary.

This opens up the possibilities with the 17th overall pick. For many, it is a foregone conclusion that the Chargers are going to draft a defensive tackle with this pick. With another first-rounder, the Chargers should draft another position.


Safety is one of the most interesting positions for the Chargers this offseason. Tre Boston was stellar for the Chargers last season but is a free agent and still has not signed with the team. Losing Boston would significantly hurt the Chargers’ solid offseason.

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There are also fantasy options available such as Earl Thomas. However, Thomas’ biggest tie has been with the Dallas Cowboys. And quite frankly, it may not be the best move for the team to make.

However, by trading up for another first-round pick, the Chargers can now use the 17th overall pick for a safety; something many thought they were going to do in the first-round last year. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James are the two hot commodities at safety this year.

Both are NFL starter caliber and both should be selected within the top-25 picks. If the draft goes as expected, at least one should be available for the 17th overall pick.

That leaves the 30th overall pick to be used for a defensive tackle. There is a slew of defensive tackles this season that are all on the same level; each bringing their own different skill set. Instead of using the 17th pick on a defensive tackle, the Bolts can probably land the exact same guy 11 picks later.

Whether that is Maurice Hurst, Taven Bryan or Da’Ron Payne will be decided by the outlook of the draft. Either way, LA will have some options available with the 30th pick.

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If I am the Los Angeles Chargers’ front office, I would strongly consider making a deal of this nature. While it does not have to be the exact trade I proposed, LA should look to make some sort of move to add another first-round pick to the arsenal.