The Bolts are approaching the 2023 NFL Draft with their lowest pick since Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley took over, as the back half of the draft should have some talented, intriguing prospects on the board when the team is on the clock.
Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco said at the 2023 Annual League Meeting in Phoenix last week that trading down is "always a thought" though, especially in late-first round. Sitting at pick No. 21, the Chargers might sit in a prime position to move down if the board doesn't shake out the way they want it to.
ESPN's Bill Barnwell examined the different avenues the Bolts can take and what they should be thinking on draft day given the team as it stands.
Should they trade up? Or should they trade down?
Barnwell states they should do neither, as staying put would allow them to add talent through the draft with quarterback Justin Herbert's possible contract extension coming in the future.
With quarterback Justin Herbert about to get dramatically more expensive, the Chargers need to find more talent on team-friendly deals over the next few seasons. They need speed at receiver and depth in their front seven, but those are issues they can address later in the draft.
Take a look back at the best photos of Justin Herbert's 2022 campaign
The core of the Chargers remains and the team has brought back some key pieces from last season's roster, as there have been just one outside free agent brought in. A potential trade down could give the Bolts more picks in the draft and more potential young, impactful additions to the roster.
But as Barnwell points out, Telesco has not traded down once in the first three rounds throughout his tenure. He has, however, moved up four times, most recently in 2020.
For that reason, Barnwell believes that if a trade down does not happen, staying put would be the best option.
General manager Tom Telesco hasn't traded down once in the first three rounds of the draft since taking over in 2013. He has traded up four times over that time frame… I'd like to see the Chargers trade down for extra selections, but if the alternative is trading up and giving away draft capital they will need in the years to come, staying put is fine.
To read Barnwell's full prediction for each team, click here.
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