The Los Angeles Chargers are 4-7 and find themselves effectively out of the postseason picture, which means it’s time for mock draft season to begin. The 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25th, and there is a very good chance that the Chargers will have a new head coach and general manager by the time they’re on the clock. That being said, for those die-hard fans who follow the game year-round, it’s never too early to start looking at the players that could be the future of the franchise.
In his latest mock draft, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso had to make a few assumptions about when the Chargers would actually be on the clock. Obviously, the season is not over, and draft selections are based on teams’ records. So, with that in mind, Trapasso made an educated guess and gave Los Angeles the 12th pick in the draft. With that selection, the team took edge defender Chop Robinson out of Penn State.
Chargers Select Chop Robinson In 2024 Mock Draft
Chop Robinson The Prospect
The first thing that jumps off the tape with Chop Robinson is his athleticism. When timed properly, Robinson’s first step looks like he was fired out of a cannon. He can blast past opposing tackles with ease and take down the quarterback before the play has a chance to develop. He’s more than just a speed player though, as Robinson also has the size and strength to manhandle offensive linemen on his way to the quarterback. This strength also shows up in the run game, where the edge defender routinely wraps up ball carriers and prevents big gains.
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As you’d expect with a top-12 prospect, there aren’t too many glaring flaws in Robinson’s game. While the NFL Combine is still a ways away, most draft analysts believe that Robinson has a below-average wingspan. This means that he could struggle to engage offensive linemen at the next level, although this is more of a nitpick than anything. Additionally, Robinson’s technique could use some refinement, but that’s the case for just about every rookie in the draft. At the end of the day, Chop Robinson is a first-round prospect and well worth an early selection. However, does this mock draft make sense for the Chargers organization?
Could This Chargers Mock Draft Selection Happen?
Once again, we need to begin this section with a disclaimer: a lot can happen between now and the 2024 NFL Draft. The Chargers will likely part ways with their coach, general manager, and several key veterans before this mock draft could ever come to fruition. However, with that in mind, it’s hard to imagine how any coach could possibly fix this defense overnight. Despite investing a boatload of money in all three levels of the defense, the Chargers continue to have one of the worst units in the league. Just about every position needs some major overhaul, and that includes the defensive line.
Tuli Tuipulotu is having a strong rookie season and should be a building block for this defense. However, Los Angeles desperately needs another young pass rusher, especially considering their salary cap situation. As things currently stand, the Chargers are $45.6 million OVER the 2024 salary cap, which means they’ll need to cut some veterans before the start of the next league year. Los Angeles can save $12 million and $14 million by parting ways with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, respectively. Given their financial constraints, there is a very real chance that one or both of these players depart the franchise in the next couple of months.
The only other position of need the Chargers should consider in this mock draft is wide receiver. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are both under contract next year, but the team can save a staggering $43 million in cap space by parting ways with both players. However, the complete lack of depth at the position makes this a dangerous gamble. Quentin Johnston looks like a bust, and Josh Palmer is nothing more than a role player. Justin Herbert can’t do it alone, so if a good receiver is on the board, the team should pull the trigger.
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