The 2024 NFL Draft is still months away, but that won’t stop analysts around the league from making mock draft for the Chargers. Despite having a top-five quarterback in Justin Herbert, Los Angeles only won five games last year. This disappointing season led to the organization cleaning house, firing Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco while bringing in Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh is a big name with a track record of success, but the old saying goes that players win games and coaches lose them. If the Chargers are truly going to turn it around, they’ll need better players, and Cynthia Frelund gets them one of the best in her latest mock draft.
According to the mock draft prepared by the NFL Network analyst, the Chargers are going to select Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold with the fifth-overall pick. This makes him the first defensive player off the board, following Joe Alt, Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Marvin Harrison Jr.
Chargers Select NFL Draft’s Top Defender In Latest Mock Draft
Terrion Arnold the Player
Before discussing if this mock draft selection makes sense for the Chargers, we first need to talk about Terrion Arnold as a player. Unofficially listed at 6′-0″ and 196 pounds, the Alabama product has the ideal size and strength to line up wide and lock down opposing cornerbacks. Of course, he’s more than just a workout warrior, as he possesses phenomenal technique in man coverage.
Cornerbacks cannot survive in man coverage without elite fundamentals and athleticism, and Arnold possesses both in spades. He never wastes a step when trailing a man and possesses elite hips to change direction and follow his receiver. As a bonus, he can tackle well and doesn’t shy away from stepping up in the run game.
Arnold is better in man than zone, but he can still hold his own when asked to drop back and process what’s happening in front of him. Ultimately, he’s a great player and worthy of being a top-five pick, but is he a smart fit for the Chargers in this mock draft?
Does This Chargers Mock Draft Make Sense?
The Chargers had one of the worst defenses in football last year, so it makes sense that this mock draft would try and fix that side of the ball. However, Terrion Arnold might not be the best fit for this defensive scheme. New defensive coordinator Jesse Minter didn’t call man coverage too often during his days at Michigan. Granted, it’s harder to play man coverage in college when cornerbacks aren’t as talented, but if that trend continues into the pros, then Arnold will be a little miscast.
Additionally, there is a real chance that the Chargers go after an offensive player in future mock drafts. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams could easily be cap casualties, and if those two leave, Los Angeles will desperately need a wide receiver. Quentin Johnston didn’t show any promise last year and somebody like Malik Nabers would be an ideal fit for this offense.
Ultimately, if this Chargers mock draft comes to fruition, Terrion Arnold should be a Day 1 impact player. If Minter adjusts his scheme to play more man coverage, then the Alabama product has legitimate Pro Bowl potential as a rookie.
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