2020 NFL Draft: Chargers Take QB Jordan Love in Todd McShay's New Mock
Jason B. Hirschhorn
After all the work the Los Angeles Chargers conducted during the first wave of free agency, the attention turns back to the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Because the team did not sign coveted free agent Tom Brady, landing a quarterback of the future in the draft becomes a top priority for the front office.
To that end, ESPN's Todd McShay sees the Chargers investing their top pick at the position. In his latest mock draft, he gave them one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in the rookie class.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Yes, this is a bit of a reach, but the Chargers struck out in the Tom Brady sweepstakes, and they are looking for long-term answers under center. (They can live in the short term with Tyrod Taylor.) Could free agents Cam Newton or Jameis Winston be in play? Maybe. I'm told Los Angeles likes all four of the top quarterbacks in the draft class -- and this pick could end up being Oregon's Justin Herbert, too -- but Love has the arm to make NFL-caliber throws and should be available here at No. 6.
The arguments for and against Jordan Love focus on the disparity between his ceiling and floor as a prospect. At his best, Love can make difficult throws from a variety of arm angles and throwing platforms, traits that have drawn comparisons with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, and other top signal-callers. Conversely, Love has struggled with ball security and avoiding unforced errors, issues that plagued him during his final season at Utah State.
For Love and some of the draft's other talented-but-raw quarterbacks, landing on a team that doesn't need a Day 1 starter could prove the difference between a successful career and the bust label. With the Chargers, Love would presumably sit behind incumbent Tyrod Taylor for at least the start of the season and work his way onto the field after earning the trust of the coaching staff.
McShay extended his mock to include the second round where he gave the Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley a versatile linebacker.
37. Los Angeles Chargers
Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III are both set for free agency in 2021 (though Bosa isn't likely to reach it), so edge could be a problem in the not-so-distant future. The Chargers' 30 sacks ranked in the bottom five in 2019, and Baun had 12.5 at Wisconsin.
Some NFL war rooms will see Zach Baun as an off-ball linebacker. Others will consider him an edge rusher. Teams with smart offensive coordinators will think of Baun as both. In Los Angeles, Baun could slide in wherever the Chargers don't decide to play Denzel Perryman and Drue Tranquill, the top two returning linebackers. Baun's versatility can also help the defense handle no-huddle offenses that prevent the defense from substituting.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH