Los Angeles Chargers Mock Draft 2024: Addressing Team Needs After NFL Free Agency

Credit: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Who will the Los Angeles Chargers draft in 2024? The final edition of our Chargers mock draft 2024 for all 7 rounds is available in the attached link.

Below, we’ll dive into our latest Chargers mock draft with a focus on reshaping this roster. While there seems to be a bit more clarity on how Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz want to build this team, Los Angeles remains one of the true wild cards near the top of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers among teams with most interest in top draft prospect

Los Angeles Chargers draft picks 2024

Here are the current Chargers draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

  • 1st Round, 5th Overall:
  • 2nd Round, 37th Overall:
  • 3rd Round, 69th Overall:
  • 4th Round, 105th Overall
  • 4th Round, 110th Overall
  • 5th Round, 140th Overall:
  • 6th Round, 181st Overall:
  • 7th Round, 225th Overall:
  • 7th Round, 253rd Overall:

Related: Examining 4 Los Angeles Chargers trade-down scenarios in 2024 NFL Draft

With all of that in mind, let’s dive into our Chargers mock draft.

Los Angeles Chargers Mock Draft 2024: Trade Down From 5

1st Round, 11th overall*: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia Bulldogs

Los Angeles Chargers mock draft 2024,
Georgia tight end Brock Bowers (19) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of a NCAA college football game against Ole Miss in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. Georgia won 52-17. Credit: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers trade 5th overall pick to Minnesota Vikings for 11th, 23rd overall picks

One of the focal points in the passing game for the Baltimore Ravens under offensive coordinator Greg Roman was tight end Mark Andrews. From 2019-’22, Andrews led the team with 3,761 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns on 452 targets in 61 games. There’s no doubt that wide receiver is one of the glaring Chargers draft needs in 2024, but an offensive weapon who can also block might be just as valuable.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers free agency tracker 2024

That’s one thing that will potentially separate Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers from Andrews. Standing at 6-foot-3, Bowers warrants some of the NFL comparisons to All-Pro tight end George Kittle because he’s a willing blocker with the ability to get even better at it. Give him an NFL coaching staff that emphasizes the fundamentals of blocking and Bowers will become very good at it in short order.

Of course, we’re also prioritizing him in this Chargers mock draft because of what he does as an offensive weapon. He’s outstanding at creating separation and using his combination of athleticism, size and body positioning to create an open throwing window for his quarterback. He led the nation last season in yards per route run (2.65) per Pro Football Focus, a metric that captures how effective players are at how effective a pass-catcher is on each route. Plus, he turned 19 carries at Georgia into 193 yards and 5 scores.

1st Round, 27th overall: Graham Barton, OL, Duke Blue Devils

Los Angeles Chargers mock draft 2024, Graham Barton
Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils offensive lineman Graham Barton (62) before the game at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
  • TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers trade 23rd overall pick to Arizona Cardinals for 27th, 104th overall

We took two risks here for Los Angeles. The first was passing on top offensive tackles with the 11th overall pick in the hope some of the other options toward the end of Round 1 would still be available. Then, recognizing the importance of providing Hortiz with additional mid-round picks, we traded down a few spots one last time. Fortunately, it worked out.

Related: Top draft prospect reveals why he’s perfect fit for Los Angeles Chargers

There are needs at multiple spots across the offensive line. The signing of center Bradley Bozeman suggests Los Angeles could be a little more patient at that position, but there must be competition at both spots on the right side of the offensive line. Graham Barton is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the 2024 NFL Draft class and the Chargers could work him at both spots.

He does offer the size, athleticism and power you’d look for at offensive tackle, but shorter arms could mean he will have to shift inside. What he does bring immediately is a nastiness and physicality that you need as a run blocker and he’s pretty adept in pass protection, too. He could be the Chargers’ right guard in 2024 and if Bozeman isn’t brought back, many believe Barton’s highest ceiling might come at center.

2nd Round, 37th overall: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia Bulldogs

Los Angeles Chargers mock draft 2024, Ladd McConkey
Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) pulls in a pass from Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) during the second half of a NCAA college football game against Missouri in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. Georgia won 30-21. Credit: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ladd McConkey is one of my favorite wide receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft and there’s a strong case to be made that he’s a first-round talent. Fortunately, the depth at the position and multiple quarterbacks being picked in Round 1 pushes him down the board to Los Angeles in Round 2.

Related: Top free agent options for Los Angeles Chargers at positions of need

We’ll start with the athleticism. McConkey’s 8.6 Relative Athletic Score, strengthened by a 4.39 40 time and 1.52 10-yard dash, showcases his burst. When you combine that athleticism with smooth route running and the ability to beat defensive backs with both his speed, smooth movement and understanding of how to create separation you get a player who will consistently get open quickly.

Ultimately, what we wanted to prioritize at wide receiver is a pass-catcher who does the little thing that makes him a quarterback’s best friend. Route-running translates immediately to the next level and when you’re also a very good athlete with great hands, you get a chain mover who can single-handedly keep drives alive. Pair that with a more splashy, big-play threat and you have a complete receiving corps.

3rd Round, 69th overall: Junior Colson, LB, Michigan Wolverines

Los Angeles Chargers mock draft 2024, Junior Colson
Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates with linebacker Junior Colson (25) after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We had to reunite Jim Harbaugh with one of his former Michigan Wolverines. Not only does Junior Colson address one of the Chargers draft needs, but he also provides Los Angeles with a player who is experienced playing in Jesse Minter’s system.

Related: NFL defense rankings 2024

We’re emphasizing that because off-ball linebackers face a sharper learning curve in the NFL than most other positions. While picking up on the speeds of the game is a big part of that, there’s the added element of having to learn a new system. Colson will already know his role in playing for Minter and key members of the Chargers coaching staff will know exactly how he needs to be coached.

Standing at 6-foot-2, Colson immediately offers the demeanor, football IQ and playing style Los Angeles should want. He’s also very disciplined, finishing last season tied for the second-lowest missed tackle rate (4.7 percent) in the FBS among off-ball linebackers, per PFF. He also offers the athleticism and instincts to really stand out in coverage. While he does need work in making his reads when defending the run, the signing of Denzel Perryman could give the Chargers the security they need in those situations. Plus, learning from Perryman could help Colson turn into a well-rounded linebacker for his career.

4th Round, 104th overall: Trey Benson, RB, Florida State Seminoles

Los Angeles Chargers mock draft 2024, Trey Benson
Florida State Seminoles running back Trey Benson (3) rushes with the ball during the first half against the Florida Gators at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, November 25, 2023. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun] Credit: Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

All the dots are going to be connected between Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum and the Chargers because of Jim Harbaugh, that much is obvious. It’s true that Corum offers a pro-ready skill set and Harbaugh’s strong preference for his guys may win out. However, we’re prioritizing the better running back here for Los Angeles.

Trey Benson checks a lot more boxes than Corum does. The Florida State Seminoles running back offers NFL size (6-foot, 216 pounds), has a much better track record of staying healthy and he’s a superior athlete. Whereas Corum comes in with an 8.24 Relative Athletic Score at 5-foot-7, Benson stands out with a 9.78 RAS after the NFL Combine.

Benson was also a more effective runner last season. Despite running behind a worse offensive line, he posted a 3.53 Yards after Contact average compared to Corum’s 2.42. He also posted a 106.4 Elusive Rating with a Breakaway Run rate of 53.9 percent compared to Corum’s 31.8 percent. It’s an easy choice.

Los Angeles Chargers 7-round Mock Draft 2024

Here is our full seven-round Chargers mock draft.

  • 1st Round, 11th overall*: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia Bulldogs
  • 1st Round, 27th overall*: Graham Barton, OL, Duke Blue Devils
  • 2nd Round, 37th overall: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia Bulldogs
  • 3rd Round, 69th overall: Junior Colson, LB, Michigan Wolverines
  • 4th Round, 104th overall: Trey Benson, RB, Florida State Seminoles
  • 4th Round, 105th overall*: Matt Goncalves, OT, Pittsburgh Panthers
  • 4th Round, 110th overall: Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 5th Round, 140th overall: Mekhi Wingo, DT, LSU Tigers
  • 6th Round, 181st overall: Kamal Haden, CB, Tennessee Volunteers
  • 7th Round, 225th overall: Erick All, TE, Iowa Hawkeyes
  • 7th Round, 253rd overall: Jalen Green, EDGE, James Madison Dukes

Feedback can be sent on Twitter to @Matt_Sportsnaut.