Los Angeles Chargers Trade 5th Pick for Star Wide Receiver in Latest NFL Mock Draft

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The consensus around the Los Angeles Chargers‘ pick in the first round of the quickly approaching NFL Draft has been to take Marvin Harrison Jr. if he falls to five, if not Malik Nabers will do nicely. But by in large, wide receiver is seen as the only acceptable pick to make.

Los Angeles Chargers Land Brandon Aiyuk in Blockbuster Trade

But perhaps there is an even better answer. An even more Harbaugh answer. ESPN’s latest ‘all-trades’ mock draft by Bill Barnwell, The Chargers trade #5 for San Francisco 49er, Brandon Aiyuk and pick 31 and pick 94.

For Barnwell, this serves the Chargers well in a win-win approach. Here is how he rationalizes the trade,

“Getting Justin Herbert a plug-and-play No. 1 wide receiver in Aiyuk is a move the Chargers would need to consider, even if it meant passing up one of the top wideouts in this class. Aiyuk has had multiple impressive seasons with the 49ers, has grown into the sort of complete player coach Jim Harbaugh would love and just turned 26 in March. He can be great with Herbert right now, and this would be a perfect landing spot for him in terms of a potential quarterback situation. Harbaugh could still go grab an offensive tackle at the bottom of Round 1.”

Aiyuk as a Charger

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
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Aiyuk is certainly one of the most productive receivers over the last three seasons. His last season was his best with 1342 yards and 3 yards per route run. He also has only missed one game in the past three seasons. To boot, he is one of the best blockers among high-producing pass catchers. Harbaugh and Greg Roman plan to run the ball (a lot) so that quality will be paramount when finding a weapon for Herbert.

Added Benefits of the Trade

The trade also allows Harbaugh to, as Barnwell puts it, go grab an offensive tackle at the bottom of Round 1. It will be essential to the success of the Chargers to stockpile as many picks as possible. While the true cherry on this trade is Aiyuk, it can’t be discounted what value two additional top-100 picks could turn into. The Chargers have a number of high-level team needs beyond wide receiver; defensive line, linebacker, cornerback, the aforementioned offensive line, cornerback, rotational edge talent, and running back.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers
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