Top Los Angeles Chargers Team Needs In The 2024 NFL Draft

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The Los Angeles Chargers head into the 2024 NFL Draft with several needs on both sides of the ball. General manager Joe Hortiz and head coach Jim Harbaugh pretty much spent the early part of their first offseason fixing the cap issues created by the previous regime.

The release of Mike Williams coupled with Los Angeles’ shocking decision to trade fellow wide receiver Keenan Allen will force this team to utilize multiple draft picks on that position.

Harbaugh may love what he’s going to get in free agent addition Gus Edwards at running back. But his injury history and lack of consistent previous success makes that position a major need.

Defensively, there are needs at all three levels. However, the second and third tiers stand out more than the rest. That’s going to be the focus in previewing the Chargers’ draft with a look at their top-five needs.

Related: Full 7-round Los Angeles Chargers mock draft

Los Angeles Chargers Needs In The 2024 NFL Draft


 Kamari Lassiter, NFL Draft, Los Angeles Chargers
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Signing veteran free agent Kristian Fulton to pair with Asante Samuel Jr. is more than likely a short-term fix. Sure, Fulton has upside. But the 2020 second-round pick never lived up to expectations with the Tennessee Titans since going pro from LSU. Last season saw Fulton yield a 114.1 QB rating when targeted.

If Los Angeles is ultimately going to compete with the mighty Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West moving forward, it simply must improve the cornerback position. Hortiz and Co. have to know that at this point.

  • Potential Los Angeles Chargers NFL Draft targets: Kamari Lassiter (Georgia), T.J. Tampa (Iowa State), Max Melton (Rutgers)

Related: Updated 2024 NFL mock draft

4. Center

Drake Nugent 2024 NFL Draft
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It was an open question whether Corey Linsley would return to the Chargers this coming season. The Pro Bowler indicated earlier in the offseason that it was a 99% chance he’d retire. Instead, the veteran opted to restructure his contract.

In no way does this mean that there is not a need in front of Justin Herbert on the offensive line. Bradley Bozeman was signed in case Linsley changed his mind. This is short-term insurance. That doesn’t change things over the long haul.

  • Potential Los Angeles Chargers NFL Draft targets: Zach Frazier (West Virginia), Drake Nugent (Michigan), Dylan McMahon (North Carolina State)

3. Running Back

Florida State running back Trey Benson
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Let’s not sit here and mistake Austin Ekeler for an elite-level running back. The free-agent departure put up less than 50 rushing yards in nine of his 14 appearances last season with the Chargers. This doesn’t mean he won’t be a huge loss for Herbert and Co. on offense. We’re talking about replacing someone who recorded an average of 75 receptions over the past five seasons.

Los Angeles’ need at running back is magnified with the presence of Greg Roman as its new offensive coordinator. His scheme calls for a heavy rushing attack. With an average of just 10 rush attempts throughout his five-year career with the Baltimore Ravens, Gus Edwards is not capable of shouldering the load. There is a major need here.

  • Potential Los Angeles Chargers NFL Draft targets: Trey Benson (Florida State), Blake Corum (Michigan), MarShawn Lloyd (USC)

2. Linebacker

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Alabama at Michigan
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Former first-round pick Kenneth Murray departed for the aforementioned Titans in NFL free agency. He certainly did not pan out in Southern California (71.0% completion, 100.9 QB rating allowed in 2023). Former All-Pro Eric Kendricks was released in a salary cap move after just one season with the Chargers.

These two losses created a major void at linebacker for Harbaugh and Co. Denzel Perryman returning could be a decent short-term fix. Fellow free-agent signing Troy Dye is nothing more than a depth option. Los Angeles must look in the mid rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft to find a future starter at this position.

  • Potential Los Angeles Chargers NFL Draft targets: Junior Colson (Michigan), Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (Clemson), Trevin Wallace (Kentucky)

Related: Top Linebackers Prospects In The 2024 NFL Draft

1. Wide Receiver

Marvin Harrison Jr.
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Back to the elephant in the room. Right now, the Chargers have a total of four wide receivers on their roster. That’s led by 2023 first-round pick Quentin Johnston, who caught less than 57% of his 67 targets a season ago. It’s certainly not an idea scenario to put Herbert in.

The good news? Los Angeles could have a pick between Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers with the fifth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft should quarterbacks go with the first-four selections. Will the Chargers bite the bullet and go in that direction?

  • Potential Los Angeles Chargers NFL Draft targets: Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State), Malik Nabers (LSU), Xavier Worthy (Texas), Keon Coleman (Florida State)