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Why NFL Pundits Gave Bolts 'A Grade' for Selecting Joe Alt

Buzz 4.26 draft

The Bolts offense got even more physical Thursday night.

With the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Chargers General Manager Joe Hortiz, Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and company ultimately opted to add the consensus top offensive lineman in Joe Alt.

The unanimous 2023 First-Team All-American immediately becomes a building block on the offensive line along with Rashawn Slater, and helps the Bolts create a long-term and talented tackle tandem.

And it's the reason why Charles McDonald of Yahoo Sports believes the Chargers adding a player of Alt's caliber is an 'A+ grade', even if it's not the flashiest pick.

McDonald wrote:

It's not the sexy pick, but it's a pick that's going to make the Chargers better immediately and in the long term. Even though they needed wide receiver help, they also needed help at tackle and got a 10-year, Pro Bowl level starter in Joe Alt.

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.

Harbaugh and his coaching staff have made it clear all offseason — everything starts in the trenches.

It's why he's been successful at every stop, and Alt is the perfect player to help get there according to Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski, who also gave the Bolts an ‘A grade’ for the pick.

Sobleski wrote:

New Los Angeles Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh knows how he likes to build a team. He's been a trenches-first coach with the Stanford Cardinal, San Francisco 49ers and Michigan Wolverines prior to his arrival in L.A.

Harbaugh's teams are going to win at the line of scrimmage. To do so, the big boys had better be talented. Alt absolutely is.

Fox Sports' draft analyst Rob Rang echoed the ‘A grade’ sentiment, adding:

The most polished offensive lineman of this class whose NFL bloodlines are obvious — both in terms of his rare size and technique — Alt is a pillar to build around... I see it as the perfect foundation for what Harbaugh is building in L.A.

Alt was Pro Football Focus' top-graded offensive tackle at 90.7 among players with at least 700 snaps last season and has the potential to grow into an even better player at just 21 years old.

Nick Baumgardner and Scott Dochterman of the The Athletic gave the Chargers an ‘A- grade’ for the pick, as he fits exactly the mold you look for in a long-term offensive tackle.

They wrote:

He has the requisite arm length (34 1/4 inches), quickness (1.73-second 10-yard split), strength and natural ability to play left tackle for a decade-plus in the NFL. His father, John Alt, was a stalwart left tackle with the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Not to mention the importance of two bookend tackles to begin building a strong, physical running game that could compliment quarterback Justin Herbert in a big way going forward., who graded the pick as ‘very good’ wrote:

The Chargers had clear needs at both wide receiver and offensive tackle. They opted to beef up their offensive line, which should help keep franchise cornerstone Justin Herbert upright and spark a run game that has been non-existent in recent years. Alt allowed just 13 pressures across the last two seasons on over 700 pass-blocking snaps.

Harbaugh and Hortiz want everything to start up front on offense — and adding Alt gets them much closer to that.

Alt is a towering, athletic tackle with light feet and elite length—and now the question becomes whether the team sees him as a left or right tackle going forward. That does make this a bit of a projection, but in any case it's tough to see a bookend duo of Alt and Rashawn Slater as a bad thing. The former Notre Dame star is going to help L.A. run the offense Harbaugh wants.

All news, analysis and information can be found at the Chargers Draft Hub.

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