Los Angeles Chargers Receiving Calls For 5th Pick In NFL Draft: ‘Open To All Options’

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

New Los Angeles Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz had to navigate through the early portion of the offseason with one hand tied behind his back.

The Chargers’ previous regime put them in salary cap hell with back-loaded contracts and restructures. It forced Los Angeles to trade franchise legend Keenan Allen while releasing fellow wide receiver Mike Williams. The team also restructured the contracts of EDGE rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack to become compliant with the NFL salary cap.

To an extent, the focus for Hortiz and new head coach Jim Harbaugh has turned to the 2024 NFL Draft. Boasting the fifth pick in the annual event next month, it could very well be a franchise-altering decision for this new power duo in Southern California.

The Chargers are obviously being linked to wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers with that selection. They need to get franchise quarterback Justin Herbert more weapons at wide receiver after moving on from Allen and Williams.

There is also a certain thought process that includes Los Angeles turning that fifth selection into a whole host of draft picks as Hortiz and Harbaugh look to make their imprint on the roster. It’s in this that a trade down from five is a real possibility.

Related: 2024 Los Angeles Chargers Mock Draft

Joe Hortiz Says Los Angeles Chargers Taking NFL Draft Trade Calls

Los Angeles Chargers GM Joe Hortiz
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“We’ll see how it goes. It’s still early and the phone is not ringing yet because we’re still a month or so out,” Hortiz said, Hortiz said earlier this week, via the Los Angeles Chargers website. “But I’ve had teams ask me and are gauging my interest. Certainly, as I said before, I’m open to all options when it comes to the draft. I’m not locked into any one spot — forwards, backwards, staying right there.”

At this point, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that quarterbacks will go with the first three picks in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New England Patriots, respectively.

This would guarantee the Chargers one of Harrison Jr. and Nabers.

The larger question is how the rest of the board is going to play out beyond those three picks. Arizona is said to be listening to offers for the fourth selection. Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy could join fellow quarterbacks Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels in going off the board with the first four picks.

While the Chargers don’t have any need for a quarterback, it does change the dynamics some.

“It’s a great quarterback year, it really is,” Hortiz said. “You look at the guys and everyone is saying there could be six quarterbacks in the first round and that’s fair. That really is. It’s a unique year. It could create some opportunity for us but we’ll see how the draft unfolds.”

Outside of the quarterbacks and wide receivers mentioned above, teams could look to trade up into the top five for prospects at other positions. That includes Alabama EDGE rusher Dallas Turner, Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt, and Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy.

Related: Offensive Tackle To The Los Angeles Chargers At Five?

It certainly is a unique position for the Chargers to be in as Hortiz and Harbaugh navigate their first draft leading their front office.

At the very least, Hortiz is playing the media game like a veteran. It could bode well moving forward in the process.