Los Angeles Chargers Trade Back and Still Land Star WR in Latest NFL Mock Draft

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It may seem that the Los Angeles Chargers have one glaring need to solve in the 2024 NFL Draft, but that isn’t the case. While many are clamoring for Marvin Harrison or Malik Nabers, the Chargers also need to find a defensive lineman (or 2), offensive lineman, cornerback, and edge rusher who can play meaningful first-team reps in the 2024 season.

The only way to ensure that is to flip pick 5 into several picks. In The Athletic’s latest mock draft by Dane Brugler, the Chargers achieve just that. Brugler orchestrated a trade in which the Arizona Cardinals moved back with the Minnesota Vikings then traded back up to five with the Los Angeles Chargers. In exchange, the Chargers add picks 11 and 35.

With their first and second-round picks, Brugler mocked the Chargers taking Alabama offensive tackle JC Latham, then Michigan defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, and finally added a wide receiver; Keon Coleman from Florida State.

Los Angeles Chargers Pick 11

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Los Angeles Chargers Draft Prospect: Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK

In the 1st round mock, the top pass catchers are all off the board with Rome Odunze and Brock Bowers being taken 9th and 10th respectively. Top defensive tackles, Byron Murphy and Jer’Zhan Newton, are still available.

Here is Brugler’s reasoning for taking Latham,

Trading back for an offensive lineman would be an unsurprising move for the Chargers. The bigger mystery might be which offensive lineman they prefer. Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga is a devastating run blocker and Washington’s Troy Fautanu has legitimate position versatility, but I’ll go with Latham, who is arguably the strongest player in the draft and was recruited out of high school not too long ago by Jim Harbaugh.

Los Angeles Chargers Finally Add WR at 37

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Los Angeles Chargers Draft Prospect: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Keon Coleman is a big-bodied physical receiver. His 40-yard time at the Combine did not impress, but his explosive traits are well above average. Most importantly to Jim Harbaugh, he is also one of the more willing blockers in the class. Here is how Brugler put it in his Top 100 draft prospect breakdown,

After putting himself on the NFL radar as a two-sport athlete at Michigan State, Coleman transferred to Tallahassee in 2023 and led the Seminoles in receiving — and led the nation in “he did what?!” catches.

Thanks to his basketball background, he “big brothers” cornerbacks up and down the field with size, strength and athleticism. But what really separates him is his dominance when the ball is in the air. Not only can he overpower defenders at the catch point, he also makes leaping, acrobatic stabs appear routine with rare body control and an extraordinary catch radius.

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Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports