The Los Angeles Chargers had a 2023 season they would like to forget as soon as possible. Fortunately for Chargers fans, they have gotten straight to work, hiring Jim Harbaugh as their head coach. With a new general manager scheduled to be announced soon, it's time for the Bolts to look ahead.
The Chargers will need to make significant roster upgrades but they don't have the cap space to do so. Therefore, the draft will be an important part of their offseason strategy, and they will need to nail their picks. Not only do they have the fifth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but they also have their own picks in each of the rounds.
They need to use these resources to address the holes in the following departments:
The Chargers' secondary was inconsistent all season after having a solid 2022. They allowed 249.8 passing yards per game, the fourth-most in the NFL. Veteran corner Michael Davis had a down year and is likely to leave in free agency. The J.C. Jackson experiment didn't work, and the only reliable corner on the team is now Asante Samuel Jr.
The Bolts need reinforcements here, and fortunately for them, this 2024 draft class is deep with talent in that position.
2. Wide Receiver
The Chargers used their first-round pick on a wide receiver last season and Quentin Johnston had an okay rookie campaign. They will likely not select a wideout again that early in the draft but Justin Herbert needs more weapons. Keenan Allen is the only dynamic difference-maker in the receiver corps and he has to show some signs of decline at some point.
Finding their next WR1 will be important for the Bolts since neither Joshua Palmer nor Johnston has shown that kind of upside so far.
3. Running Back
The team's two top running backs, Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley, are both likely gone in free agency this offseason. It will hurt to lose Ekeler but it's time for a change for both sides as the relationship soured over the last year. They also ranked 24th in the league in rushing yards per game in 2023.
The Chargers likely need two running backs this offseason. Blake Corum from Michigan is a good candidate to follow Jim Harbaugh to Los Angeles.
4. Edge Rusher
The Bolts look good on paper in terms of edge rushers but that hasn't translated to the field. Joey Bosa struggled to stay healthy and Khalil Mack is getting up there in age. They are likely gone, if not this offseason, then next when their contracts are up. It behooves the Chargers to find their replacement through the draft.
Tuli Tuipulotu had an excellent start to his career, and putting another young and talented pass rusher on the opposite side of him could push the defense to the next level.
5. Tight End
It's time to give Herbert a reliable TE1 option on third-downs and red-zone situations. Gerald Everett has been fine as a Charger but he will be a free agent and is not a must-retain. Behind him, there is no one the Bolts can trust. A good blocker who can also make some plays would make Herbert's job so much easier.