In about 24 hours, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will step up to the podium and announce that the 2021 NFL Draft is underway. The life of numerous collegiate athletes is going to change this weekend.
Whose life are the Chargers going to change? Not known.
There is a lot of different ways the Chargers can go with the 13th overall pick. General manager Tom Telesco has always believed that they select “the best player available.”
What does that mean?
Telesco and the Chargers go into the draft knowing their areas of need (which might be different than everyone else). When it is their time to select, and the best player is a receiver or linebacker or another position, and they are “the best player available,” the Bolts will be selecting them, regardless of position or need. If it matches up, then that is great.
Now, looking at mock drafts from the experts, it seems like Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, Patrick Surtain, and Kyle Pitts are gone by the time the Bolts are on the clock. Each player fits a need and is at the top of their position.
But are they at the top of the draft board? Don’t know.
So here are my three bold predictions for the Chargers this weekend.
1. If they stay at 13, they will not draft an offensive lineman.
There is a lot of noise surrounding the first 15 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft. There could be a lot of movement all over the place. It could be madness….MADNESS, I TELL YOU!
If the Chargers do not trade up in the draft and stay at the 13th pick, there will not be an offensive line taken. Like previously said, the Chargers are all about “best player available,” when they select at 13, the best player could be of a different position.
Obviously, no one knows how the Chargers big board is constructed and who is at the top of the list, but it could be a pick that surprises everyone. Expect the unexpected if the Chargers stay at lucky number 13.
2. Chargers will not select a player from USC or Notre Dame player.
The Chargers have a history of selecting players from Notre Dame and USC. In fact, according to their media guide, the Bolts have drafted a combined 46 players from both schools.
Since 2010, the Chargers have drafted six players from Notre Dame and three from USC. Some of them good players, others not so good.
The best player in recent memory from Notre Dame is linebacker Drue Tranquill, and from USC, it is edge Uchenna Nwosu.
3. The Bolts will not trade down.
Could the Bolts trade up or trade down? He is more likely to trade up. The Chargers haven’t traded down in any of the drafts under Telesco.
There has been a lot of talk about the Chargers being interested in Penei Sewell, and that is probably based on him being the former left tackle of current quarterback Justin Herbert. Both have shared their thoughts about possibly playing together.
To jump up in the draft, it would probably take a first-round draft pick for the 2022 season. It would be the first time that Telesco gives up a first-rounder in a trade.
“We haven’t done it here,” Telesco said on a pre-draft press conference. “I have been on teams that have given up a future first-round pick to move up in around. Those are heavy, heavy discussions to do that. We have a pretty intelligent scouting staff, both college, and pro, but predicting next year what that draft is going to look like in the first round. I know that people say that they can do it, but it’s hard to do.”
“It would have to be a unique circumstance for us to do that, but you have to be flexible,” finished Telesco.
It would be interesting to see if there is a player that Telesco sees as worth it to move up for and give up a first-rounder.
Can the Bolts jump up at any point? Yes, they can. Telesco has made two moves to trade up after the first round. In his first draft, he traded up for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. The following year, he traded up to draft Georgia Tech outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu.
Also, under Telesco, the Chargers have not traded down at all, so if history is any indication for the future, the team will stay with its picks.