No Austin Ekeler? No Problem In This Chargers Mock Draft
Round 4, Pick 109: Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon
Austin Ekeler is a really good football player — he’s even better in fantasy football. But as a pure runner, the former undrafted free agent leaves much to be desired. Where Ekeler excels is as a pass catcher, using his agility to dice up defenders in space.
But the Chargers have needed a more reliable ground attack for years. Joshua Kelley, Justin Jackson, and Isaiah Spiller are a few of the names that LA brought in to balance out Ekeler’s pass-catching prowess. As we all know, none of these guys move the needle.
It’s also worth mentioning that Ekeler was nearly traded in the offseason, and his time with the Bolts appears to be over following the 2023 campaign. Bucky Irving, an elusive running back from Oregon, makes sense for the team in the middle portion of the draft.
Irving is a natural at making tacklers miss, grading as the most slippery running back in the country. It feels like the gifted ball carrier breaks multiple tackles every time he touches the ball. And that’s because, well, he does. Irving can catch passes just as effectively as Ekeler and projects to be a bigger threat between the tackles.