Los Angeles Chargers 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

    With the 2023 NFL Draft underway, the Los Angeles Chargers will look to plug some holes on their roster. What are their top team needs?

    The 2023 NFL Draft is underway. The Los Angeles Chargers have had a relatively quiet offseason, but they are far from a perfect roster. After tackling wide receiver in the first round, what remaining positions do the Chargers need to address during the draft?

    Los Angeles Chargers Team Needs Following Round 1 of the NFL Draft

    • RB
    • OT
    • EDGE
    • CB

    No NFL roster is perfect. Whether via free agency, trade, or the draft, each team has needs to address.

    With the No. 14 ranked offensive line, the Chargers are okay, but they still could use another offensive lineman. Their most pressing needs are pass rush and at cornerback on the defensive side, and running back and wide receiver on the offensive side.

    MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

    Last season, the Chargers averaged 2.4 sacks per game, tied for 14th. Their pass defense was actually quite good, though, allowing the seventh-fewest passing yards per game. But they can still use another cornerback.

    Offensively, the Chargers return pretty much their entire set of skill-position players from last season, but they’re getting up there in age. Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams are both 28 years old. Keenan Allen is 31. They’re probably okay for this year, but Los Angeles could use more immediate depth, as well as options for the future.

    With just one pick so far, there’s only so much the Chargers could do. They went offense and looked toward securing their WR1 of the future in Quentin Johnston. What will the Chargers do with their remaining picks?

    Results for Chargers 2023 NFL Draft Picks

    1.21 | Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

    As the old adage goes, right church, wrong pew. Pre-draft, I had the Chargers grabbing USC’s Jordan Addison here in an effort to draft the heir apparent to Keenan Allen. Instead, they went with the heir apparent to Mike Williams and drafted TCU’s Quentin Johnston.

    The throwback outside clasher has alpha WR1 upside given his size and athleticism. However, he also has a Kevin White-low floor. It’s entirely possible that receivers who look like Johnston are becoming a relic of the past in the NFL. Time will tell if this pick works out. But either way, the Chargers addressed a position of need in the first round.

    Predictions for Remaining Chargers 2023 Draft Picks

    While it’s impossible to predict exactly how any draft will play out, we can use the PFN Mock Draft Simulator to get a pretty good idea of what players will be available at each of a team’s draft picks.

    2.23 | Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State

    The Chargers address their need at cornerback by taking the tall, agile Kansas State product. Julius Brents would have a shot to start as a rookie and be an immediate contributor to an already solid pass defense.

    3.22 | Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia

    Warren McClendon doesn’t have the highest ceiling at tackle but would provide the Chargers with a strong backup at a position with a high injury rate. There’s no such thing as having too many offensive linemen.

    4.23 | Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa

    L.A. hasn’t had a truly elite tight end since Antonio Gates. Gerald Everett has been a nice stopgap, but that shouldn’t prevent them from taking a shot on a long-term answer.

    MORE: List of Los Angeles Chargers 2023 NFL Draft Picks

    Iowa has a pretty good track record of producing high-quality tight ends, and Sam LaPorta is worth the shot here.

    5.21 | Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas

    Ekeler has already requested a trade. Either he’s gone this summer, or he’s gone next year. Regardless, the Chargers have spent the past three years searching for a quality complement to Ekeler. At 219 pounds, Roschon Johnson could be the answer. For a fifth-round pick, there’s no harm in finding out.

    6.23 | YaYa Diaby, EDGE, Louisville

    The undersized YaYa Diaby is a quality athlete with enough raw tools to potentially be created into a useful player. There’s no risk of attempting to fill a need this late in the draft.

    7.22 | Elijah Higgins, WR, Stanford

    On Day 3, there are no complete receivers left. If even a couple of these guys make it in the NFL, that would be considered a success. Elijah Higgins possesses incredible speed for his size and profiles as a solid backup to Mike Williams.

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