3 Running Backs the Chargers Can Draft to Replace Austin Ekeler

These running backs would be perfect replacements in the Los Angeles Chargers' backfield if Austin Ekeler departs.

Jan 1, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Bucky Irving (0) against the Liberty
Jan 1, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Bucky Irving (0) against the Liberty / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Bucky Irving, Oregon

To get Brooks, Harbaugh and co. will likely need to spend a second-round pick. Considering the other glaring holes on the roster, using one of their top draft assets on a running back might be the wisest move.

That makes a late Day 2/Day 3 talent like Bucky Irving an ideal target.

What Irving brings to the table is incredibly similar to Ekeler. As a standout at Oregon over the past two seasons, Irving posted at least 1,000 yards rushing and 299 receiving yards each year. His 2023 campaign was particularly impressive, as the back recorded 1,180 yards on the ground, 413 yards through the air, and 13 total TDs.

Diving into Irving's use as a pass-catcher, it's clear Oregon depended on his hands to help move the ball on offense. He racked up 56 receptions this past season, as the Ducks were happy to dump it off to him and let him go to work. That just stresses how reliable of a receiving weapon he is.

Irving is a legit mini-Ekeler and would bring in familiar talent that quarterback Justin Herbert knows how to succeed with. Considering how Irving can help in a variety of ways, he's the perfect kind of plug-and-play prospect for a team that may need to find a new top running back in a hurry.