Los Angeles Chargers: 2020 NFL Draft Grades and Analysis

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Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images /
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Justin Herbert 2020 NFL Draft
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Grading each pick made by Tom Telesco and the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2020 NFL Draft.

After an electrifying 12-4 season and a playoff win in 2018, the Los Angeles Chargers crashed back down to Earth in 2019, earning a record of 5-11 and missing the playoffs. The team would watch from home as their division rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, would win the Super Bowl in February.

Shortly after the season ended it became clear the Chargers would not be resigning veteran quarterback Philip Rivers leaving a major hole at the most important position on a football team.

The Los Angeles Chargers would also need to address needs in the middle of their offensive and defensive lines. Adding another playmaker who can add a boost of speed to the offense was also high on the priority list for General Manager Tom Telesco.

Often times, however, Telesco has shown he will draft based on value over need. This has been a boom or bust technique for the general manager that has netted him players like Hunter Henry and Desmond King, but more than a few busts as well.

The 2020 NFL Draft has now come and gone and it has become more apparent on how Telesco and Head Coach Anthony Lynn want this team to operate in the post-Rivers era based on the picks they made over the last few days.

The Chargers will be a ground and pound style offense with run-pass options littered throughout the playbook and a bend-but-don’t-break defense designed to keep the scores of games low. Controlling the time of possession will be vital to the team’s success on game day.

2020 NFL Draft selections: 

Round 1, pick 6: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Round 1, pick 23: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Round 4, pick 112: Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA

Round 5, pick 151: Joe Reed, WR, West Virginia

Round 6, pick 186: Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame

Round 7, pick 220: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State

On the next few pages, I will be grading each of Telesco’s picks and offering explanations as to why I think Telesco drafted the players that he did. Overall, I give this class a B, however, I will say I would not be surprised if this draft is seen as one of Telesco’s better drafts depending on how Justin Herbert develops.