Los Angeles Chargers Draft: Jim Harbaugh Zags, Picks Top D-Lineman In 1st Round

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Mock Draftnicks only have the Los Angeles Chargers taking a handful of players, Notre Dame offensive lineman, Joe Alt is the favorite du jour. Brock Bowers, Georgia tight end, is still a name in the mix. Malik Nabers, LSU wide receiver, was a top name, then he went away and then came back and is now replaced with the Washington wide receiver, Rome Odunze.

But if there’s one thing we know about Jim Harbaugh it’s that he loves to build out the trenches. The Chargers defensive line was atrocious last year and a quick glance at the depth chart doesn’t give much hope of improvement in 2024. Not only are there question marks about the interior linemen, but there aren’t many of them under contract. Just three, Morgan Fox, Otito Ogbonnia, and Scott Matlock.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Football Championship-Oklahoma State at Texas
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Should The Los Angeles Chargers Draft A Defensive Lineman In The First Round?

Texas defensive tackle, Byron Murphy II went into the NFL Combine as the top-rated defensive lineman in the 2024 draft class and will emerge as a solidified top 10 talent. Despite being 6’1″ and 297 lbs, Murphy ran the 40-yard dash in 4.87 seconds, and his 10-yard split was even more impressive, at 1.69 seconds. Further noting his explosiveness, he had a 33-inch vertical jump and a 9′ 3″ broad jump, second and 6th best in the DT class.

When looking at those numbers, he compares closely to Aaron Donald, but he is 15 lbs heavier than the LA Rams lineman. Where that comp falls apart is in production, Donald finished his college career with 29 sacks and 66 tackles for loss in 56 games. In 34 games Murphy had just eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss.

The Los Angeles Chargers need to get better along the defensive front and at the moment they are way behind the eight ball in doing so. While taking Murphy at 5 will be seen as a stretch, it is the most cost-effective way to build the Chargers the Jim Harbaugh way. In a perfect world, they could trade back and still pick up Murphy.

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman
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