The Los Angeles Chargers just concluded their 2023 NFL Draft, but did they do enough to support franchise quarterback Justin Herbert? The quarterback looked like one of the best in the league for portions of the past season, but can the new influx of talent help Herbert establish himself as an elite passer?
Did the Chargers Give Justin Herbert Enough Help in the NFL Draft?
The Direct Help
The Los Angeles Chargers added three players in the 2023 NFL Draft that will directly help Justin Herbert: wide receivers Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis, and offensive lineman Jordan McFadden. Of these three names, it’s safe to assume that Quentin Johnston will have the biggest impact.
Selected as the second wide receiver off the board, the 6’-4”, 215-pound TCU product lacks the speed to blow past defenders but makes up for it with insane size and strength after the catch.
"Shoutout to my mom. She's putting in her two weeks notice today. She retired."
The moment Quentin Johnston was drafted No. 21 by the Chargers is everything ❤️
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 3, 2023
If that description sounds familiar to you, that’s because he’s very similar to Mike Williams. While having both players certainly creates some redundancy at the position, there is a chance that Williams and Johnston become the spiritual successors to Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd. While someone like Jordan Addison might have been a better fit, Johnston should still be a much-needed reliable third option in this passing attack.
The Chargers waited until Day 3 to add more reinforcements to the offensive side of the ball. While they did select another wide receiver, Derius Davis is absolutely nothing like Quentin Johnston. Davis possesses blazing speed that will make him a dangerous threat in the return game while possibly providing a deep threat if Jalen Guyton can’t return to form following his ACL.
The final addition to Justin Herbert’s supporting cast came when the Chargers selected Jordan McFadden in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Like most late-round prospects, McFadden is a limited player better suited for a backup role. That said, he is an above-average run blocker and is realistically the best player you could find at this point in the draft.
So, the Chargers provided Justin Herbert with three offensive weapons, one of which should make an impact from Day 1. However, the offense is only half the battle. Los Angeles could score 35 points every game, and it won’t matter if the other team scores 38.
The Chargers Defensive NFL Draft Picks
The Chargers started Day 2 of the NFL Draft by selecting the edge defender Tuli Tuipulotu. A wildly productive college player, Tuipulotu lacks the athleticism to be a double-digit sack guy at the NFL level, but he should be a solid rotational rusher and should develop into a solid starter once age officially catches up with Khalil Mack.
Talent and need perfectly aligned when the Chargers selected Daiyan Henley in the third round of the NFL Draft. A rangy linebacker, this type of sideline-to-sideline agility is vital for a team that shares a division with Patrick Mahomes.
Los Angeles wrapped up their draft by selecting defensive tackle Scott Matlock late in the sixth round. Normally, a player selected this late wouldn’t stand a chance at starting, but the Chargers interior defensive line is so bad that he might end up seeing the field for a good chunk of the season.
Ultimately, the Chargers did what they had to do in the NFL Draft to give Justin Herbert the best chance of toppling the Kansas City Chiefs. Quentin Johnston provides yet another reliable target in the passing game, while the two Day 2 defensive players are at their best stopping the pass. While it is a little surprising the team didn’t invest in any of the tight ends, the Chargers should still be one of the better teams in football.
Main Photo: Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports