One bold prediction for Chargers No. 5 overall pick Joe Alt in 2024

Meet the new anchor of the Chargers offensive line!
Los Angeles Chargers OTA Offseason Workout
Los Angeles Chargers OTA Offseason Workout / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Chargers had an opportunity to add another elite playmaker to the offense with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.  Instead, they went with a player considered the top tackle in the draft by the name of Joe Alt.

With the pick, new head coach Jim Harbaugh went with a player who would protect his franchise quarterback and a player who would help the team improve the run game.  Although Malik Nabers was sitting there at No. 5, beefing up the offensive line was a priority, and the Chargers took care of that with a player in Alt who was a starter from day 1 with Notre Dame and a player who allowed just 4 sacks throughout his college career.

Chargers decision to select Joe Alt over Malik Nabers will pay off

Will that translate to the NFL?  Well, Justin Herbert certainly hopes so.  Standing at 6-foot-9, 321 pounds, Alt entered the draft as the highest rated offensive lineman due to his discipline and skillset as a tackle.  Not only does he have the physical traits, including strength, balance and footwork, he is a very confident lineman which should translate well to the NFL level.

As far as selecting Alt with the top 5 pick, both Harbaugh and Chargers General Manager Joe Hortiz called it a no-brainer.

“You watch him come off the ball in the run game – obviously, we’re going to run the ball here – and he drives off the line of scrimmage,” Hortiz said following the draft.  “You watch him move players over three gaps.

“Very athletic, excellent range, high-level competitor,” Hortiz added.  “Certainly, an athlete as a pass protector.  For a guy his size to bend and then recover…it was exceptional.”

NFL Mocks Bold prediction: Joe Alt already amongst the elite

While Chargers fans will drool over what the team could’ve had in Nabers, the decision to select Alt will be huge for how the team will improve on offense, most notably in the run game as Harbaugh will bring balance to the offense.  Herbert will still be Herbert, but that balance in the offense should make the young quarterback even more effective, especially with Alt protecting his blind side.

As far a bold prediction, NFL Mocks sees Alt as a one of the top ranked tackles in the NFL in 2024.  His eye IQ as well as his athleticism as a pass protector and run blocker will earn him a 90.0 plus PFF (Pro Football Focus) grade in his rookie season. 

As one of the highest graded tackles in the NFL as a rookie, Alt will earn a Pro Bowl nod and earn the Chargers a high grade for their decision to select him in the 2024 NFL Draft over the electric wide receiver prospect.