Los Angeles Chargers General Manager Shockingly Opens Up About NFL Draft Plans

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New Los Angeles Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz met with the media on Thursday. It represented his final press conference ahead of the start of the 2024 NFL Draft next week.

Hortiz and fellow first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh have a massive decision to make with the fifth selection in the annual draft.

The duo spent earlier this offseason remaking the Chargers’ roster in their mold. That included trading franchise legend Keenan Allen and releasing fellow wide receiver Mike Williams.

Most figure that Los Angeles will go wide receiver with the fifth pick. This is magnified with the first-four selections in the annual event potentially set to be quarterbacks. Apparently, that’s false logic.

Related: Full 7-Round Los Angeles Chargers Mock Draft

Los Angeles Chargers To Go Best Player Available In NFL Draft

Marvin Harrison Jr. NFL Draft
Credit: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

“I think it’s best player available. Like I said, we want to add depth. Certainly, there are some positions that we don’t need,” Hortiz told reporters on Thursday. “If you look at it based on need, you’re never one player away.”

Best player available is typically a winning strategy. It beats the heck out of reaching for a player at a need position. Historically, that hasn’t been a recipe for success.

Los Angeles is also in great situation in that the best player available could also be at a position of utmost need.

The Chicago Bears will select USC quarterback Caleb Williams No. 1 overall. Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters tipped his hand in talking with reporters on Thursday, pretty much confirming that they’ll go quarterback.

If the New England Patriots stand pat at three, conventional wisdom suggests that they’ll also go quarterback after trading Mac Jones. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals — selecting fourth — are taking trade-down calls from quarterback-needy teams.

Related: Could The Los Angeles Chargers Trade Back In 2024 NFL Draft?

What does this all mean? There is a real chance that the Chargers will have their pick between wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State) and Malik Nabers (LSU).

Of course, we have absolutely no idea what the Chargers’ big board looks like internally. They could even have Georgia tight end Brock Bowers as the best player available.

It sets up a nice amount of intrigue in Southern California leading up to Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft a week from Thursday.