The Chargers made seven total picks in the 2023 NFL Draft to infuse their roster with youth and talent.
All of the Bolts moves can be found at the Chargers 2023 Draft Tracker.
Here are five takeaways from Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco and Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley after Day 3 of the draft:
1. Focus on special teams
The Chargers entered the day needing a returner, and they wasted little time finding their guy.
Derius Davis tallied six total returns for touchdowns at TCU, five of which came on punts.
Staley noted that the Chargers are going forward with Davis as their returner.
"Definitely comfortable with him," Staley said. "We drafted him in the fourth round because we really feel like he was one of the top returners in the country and then looking at the landscape of pro and college football, we really felt like this guy is special with the ball in his hands."
Telesco said the Bolts liked his skillset and want him to keep learning under Chargers Special Teams Coordinator Ryan Ficken.
"It's a dual returner position — punts and kicks — and we think he has some dynamic ability to do that," Telesco said,
He later added: "He's got good vision, good instincts, burst, acceleration and then home-run speed."
Davis was clocked at 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash in pre-draft workouts, which was among the fastest of all players who were drafted.
2. Flexibility up front
A year ago, the Chargers took Jamaree Salyer on Day 3 of the draft.
He was a tackle in college but was projected as a guard, even if he did play left tackle for most of his rookie year. Salyer now enters the 2023 season as a starter at right guard.
The Chargers see similar characteristics in Clemson's Jordan McFadden, who played tackle in college but will likely shift inside in the NFL.
"Really solid, consistent player in college. Played left and right tackle, which is nice, but we also think he can play guard so there's some versatility there," Telesco said. "Strong, powerful, long arms. Had a really nice college career.
"What's big with him, and similar to Jamaree, is being able to play different positions as a depth offensive lineman," Telesco added.
Staley noted that McFadden could also potentially play center, too.
"ACC Offensive Lineman of the Year. A three-year starter at Clemson. He played on both sides of the line, left and right tackle," Staley said. "He also played guard, has center flexibility. [Clemson Head Coach] Dabo Swinney could not speak more highly of this player, both just the production of the player and the intangibles of the player."
3. Praise for Matlock
The Chargers added extra depth up front in the sixth round with Boise State defensive tackle Scott Matlock.
Staley said Matlock, a team captain and leader in college, fits the mold of what the Bolts are looking for.
"He's a war daddy. That term applies to him, how he plays and the type of leadership that he had at Boise State, that type of mantle that he earned as a captain there," Staley said. "I think you'll see that in our draft, we joined up with a lot of players with production, but also the leadership intangibles that we really value. We were able to spend a lot of time with him."
The 22-year-old Matlock is listed at 6-foot-4 and 296 pounds. He recorded 19.5 career tackles for loss and 11.5 career sacks at Boise State while adding two passes defensed and a forced fumble.
Matlock was also a two-time Second-Team All-Mountain West honoree at Boise State.
"Big frame, really nice size and athletic. He's got a projectable NFL body essentially," Telesco said. "Pretty productive at Boise State. Good depth defensive lineman and a chance to come in and compete on a role."
4. Down with Duggan
The Chargers drafted a quarterback with their final pick and added TCU's Max Duggan into the mix.
Duggan helped lead TCU to the National Championship Game in 2022 — along with Chargers 2023 draft picks Quentin Johnston and Davis — and was a Second-Team All-American.
"Max is a winner. He had a fantastic season for TCU leading that football team to the best season in school history," Staley said. "Ton of production, just love his intangibles. We think he's got the right makeup, a lot of characteristics to work with and create some depth in the quarterback room.
"It's a position that I think you need to continue to invest in, especially when you have a franchise quarterback like ours, just continue to try and increase depth in the position room," Staley added.
Telesco rattled off plenty that he liked about Duggan, who could be a long-term backup to Justin Herbert.
"Down there at that point in the draft, the seventh round, we thought he had some traits to work with," Telesco said. "Dual-threat quarterback, tough, strong, physical, fast."
He later added: "He has some skills to work with, so give him a chance to come in and compete. To see him play through the course of his career, he has that toughness that is hard to find."
Duggan threw for 3,689 yards with 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2022, while also rushing for 432 yards and nine scores.
5. Pipeline with TCU
There are likely more Chargers fans in Texas after the draft.
The Bolts selected three total players from TCU in Johnston, Davis and Duggan, marking the first time the Chargers took three teammates in a single draft since the team drafted three players from Arkansas in 1983.
Staley and Telesco said TCU's historic season played a role in that.
"They have a really outstanding team. It's the same as the University of Georgia or the University of Alabama, one of the top college programs," Staley said. "You saw how many players were drafted from their football team and it's no surprise why. [TCU Head Coach] Sonny [Dykes] did a great job with that team.
"Obviously, [former TCU Head Coach] Gary Patterson recruited a lot of those players," Staley added. "A lot of pro players on that team, that's why they made it so far. Really excited about all three of these guys."
Telesco added: "It was a really good football team this year and you saw how far they went. They had a lot of NFL players this year."
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