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How Joe Alt Fits Into the Chargers Offense


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Joe Alt was simply too good to pass up.

The Chargers certainly had choices when they came on the clock at No. 5 on Thursday night in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Perhaps the Bolts could have taken a wide receiver or even facilitated a trade back to acquire more picks.

But the chance to get a top-tier offensive lineman to protect Justin Herbert and help the run game?

That was a no-brainer and the best of both worlds on offense.

Alt, the unquestioned No. 1 tackle in the draft, appears ready-made for the NFL.

His bloodlines surely don't hurt, as his father, John, is a former first-round pick who is a member of the Chiefs Ring of Honor.

The Chargers said before the draft that they viewed the fifth pick as the No. 1 pick due to the collection of quarterbacks going high.

They then backed that up by taking one of the best non-quarterbacks available in Alt, who is a unanimous top-10 prospect.

Alt is ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid's No. 5 overall player while Dane Brugler of The Athletic also has him in that spot.

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah and ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., ranked Alt at No. 8 overall.

Brugler offered the following breakdown of Alt:

Alt stays light on his feet with the big-man agility, body control and instinctive recovery skills to become a high-level run blocker and above-average pass protector very early in this NFL career. He projects as a first-year, scheme-versatile starter with the pedigree to be a cornerstone player for an NFL franchise.

Reid added:

There isn't another prospect I was more impressed with while out on the road live scouting this past year. Alt came to the Irish as a tight end, but his transition to offensive tackle over the past three seasons has been seamless. He's the most versatile blocker in this loaded OT class.

The 21-year-old Alt is listed at 6-foot-9 and 321 pounds. He now gives the Chargers a potential long-term tackle to pair with Rashawn Slater.

Take a look through some photos of the Chargers selection at No.5 in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Offensive Tackle, Joe Alt from the University of Notre Dame.

Yes, Alt will have to switch to the right side, but he has the athleticism and adaptability to do that.

Protecting Herbert is now one of his top priorities as he likely competes with Trey Pipkins III for a starting role.

A unanimous All-American in 2023, Alt started all 12 games he played with the Fighting Irish at left tackle.

Alt, who allowed just one sack and five total pressures in 2023, was Pro Football Focus' top-graded offensive tackle at 90.7 among players with at least 700 snaps.

And the mammoth tackle will also bring some tenacity to the run game, an area you know Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is hyper focused on.

"The offensive line to me is important," Harbaugh said last month. "If I asked you the question like, 'What position group depends on no other position group to be good, but every other position group depends on them to be good. What position group is that?'. Offensive line.

"They're not relying on any other position group to be good. They go out, yet every other position group relies on the offensive line to be good," Harbaugh added.

The thought of Alt and Slater anchoring the Bolts offensive line for years to come should have Chargers fans fired up.

Those are the types of pairings that ignite franchises and help teams reach their ultimate goals.

The Bolts held the No. 5 pick in Round 1 on Thursday night, and that's a spot they don't want to be in again anytime soon.

But they made sure to hit on their top-five pick in a big way by getting a franchise-changing player in Alt.

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