As a lead-up to the 2024 NFL draft, we’ve broken down the current depth chart of every NFL team and identified the biggest draft and team needs for the Los Angeles Chargers.

You can find additional team-by-team draft needs articles and other draft content on our 2024 NFL Draft Hub.

Chargers Draft Needs: Top Positions of Need in 2024

  1. Wide Receiver
  2. Defensive Line
  3. Cornerback

What Picks Do the Los Angeles Chargers Have in 2024?

The Los Angeles Chargers have 9 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, including:

  • Round 1 (5)
  • Round 2 (37)
  • Round 3 (69)
  • Round 4 (105)
  • Round 4 (110)
  • Round 5 (140)
  • Round 6 (181)
  • Round 7 (225)
  • Round 7 (253)

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The preview is unlike anything you have ever seen, featuring stunning visualizations built with the reader in mind.

This preview shares insights into players, coaches, teams, and philosophies with one goal in mind: to prepare you for the 2024 NFL season by delivering the smartest information in the fastest, most direct way possible.

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Los Angeles Chargers Draft Capital Stats

Our Sharp Draft Value Rank is a valuation of draft capital based on a combination of average performance delivered and average dollars earned on second contracts.

This is based on two public models: performance delivered based on draft slot (the AV model created by Chase Stuart) and contractual earnings in non-rookie deals based upon draft slot (the OTC model created by Brad Spielberger and Jason Fitzgerald).

  • Chargers Sharp Draft Value Rank: 4 of 32 teams
  • Chargers AV Model Draft Value Rank: 5 of 32 teams
  • Chargers OTC Model Draft Value Rank: 4 of 32 teams

Los Angeles Chargers Draft Value vs. Other Teams:

The Chargers’ draft value is 26% higher than the league average of all 32 teams. Just three other teams have more draft value entering the 2024 NFL Draft.

Chargers Draft Value Infographic

Los Angeles Chargers Draft Prediction:

Brendan Donahue has the Chargers trading down to select JC Latham (OT, Alabama) with the 11th overall pick in his most recent 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

Mock draft expert Ryan McCrystal believes the Chargers could target an offensive lineman like Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame) with their top pick at No. 5 overall in the first round.

Los Angeles Chargers Strength of Schedule, 2024

The Los Angeles Chargers have the second-easiest NFL strength of schedule for the 2024 NFL season.

2024 NFL Strength of Schedule Infographic

Los Angeles Chargers Offense: Depth Chart, Analysis & Draft Needs

Rich Hribar breaks down the offensive depth chart by position for the Los Angeles Chargers, identifying areas where the team could improve in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Chargers Offense Infographic

Quarterback Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Justin Herbert
  2. Easton Stick
  3. Max Duggan

Justin Herbert is coming off a 2023 season that ended on a sour note with the quarterback missing the final four games of the season due to a finger injury.

Before that injury, Herbert had a 5-8 record as a starter, his first losing record as a quarterback since his rookie season.

Herbert ended the season ranking 11th in the league in EPA per dropback (0.07) and 15th in success rate (43.6%).

That success rate was the lowest of his four years in the league. His 65.1% completion rate was also his lowest as a starter.

Herbert started the season hot, completing 74.4% of his passes for 7.8 yards per attempt and a 5.0% touchdown rate through the opening three weeks.

Then Mike Williams was lost for the season, impacting this offense yet again.

Over the remainder of the season, Herbert completed 61.8% of his passes (27th in the league) for 6.6 Y/A (25th) and a 4.2% touchdown rate (18th).

Williams was released this offseason while the team also traded away longtime star wide receiver Keenan Allen.

Herbert and this passing offense have gone by the availability of those wideouts over the past two seasons.

Justin Herbert Based on WR Availability 2022-2023

Justin HerbertDBEPA/DBComp%Y/AaDOTTD%
With Both2780.2176.0%8.07.33.9%
W/o Allen4270.0364.8%6.36.44.0%
W/o Williams7110.0264.5%6.46.94.0%
W/o Both1420.0865.9%5.65.94.5%

To compound matters, the Chargers also lost Austin Ekeler and Gerald Everett this offseason, officially gutting the primary core of this passing game in recent seasons.

A new offense under Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman can help create passing efficiency, but this new regime needs to re-stock the cupboard on offense outside of implementing a friendly scheme for maxing out efficiency on low-volume passing.

That will not be easily done given the resources available.

The Chargers still have one more reasonable season with Herbert carrying a modest cap hit ($19.4 million). Things then ramp up as the extension that he signed last season kicks in for 2025 moving forward.

After this season, Herbert’s cap hit will climb to $37 million, $46 million, $58 million, and then $71 million yearly through 2028.

Behind Herbert, the team retained Easton Stick for one more year while they still have Max Duggan under contract for this upcoming season.

Stick went 0-4 as a starter working with a skeleton crew on offense to close the season paired with a coaching staff that cleaned out after his first career starting Week 14.

Running Back Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Gus Edwards
  2. J.K. Dobbins
  3. Isaiah Spiller
  4. Jaret Patterson
  5. Elijah Dotson

The Chargers have been one of the league’s worst rushing teams over the past two seasons.

Over that span, the Chargers running backs rank:

  • 29th in the league in yards per carry (3.7 YPC)
  • 29th in EPA per rush (-0.14)
  • 27th in success rate (34.9%)
  • 31st in rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (7.0%)
  • 30th in yards created before contact per run (1.01)
  • 28th in yards after contact per rush (2.73)

That brand of football is not going to fly under Harbaugh and Roman.

When Harbaugh and Roman were together in San Francisco from 2011-2014, the 49ers were 30th in the NFL in dropback rate (54.0%) and 31st in passing plays per game (30.7).

The top two rushers from 2023 (Ekeler and Joshua Kelley) are already gone.

In one of the first moves of the offseason, the team went out and grabbed Gus Edwards in free agency, reuniting him with Roman from their time in Baltimore.

Since Edwards entered the NFL in 2018, there have been 44 running backs with 500 or more rushes. On his 699 runs, Edwards ranks among that group:

  • Sixth in yards per carry (4.9 YPC)
  • Fourth in EPA per rush (0.00)
  • First in success rate (45.1%)
  • 12th in rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (11.6%)
  • First in the lowest rate of runs that fail to gain yardage (11.4%)
  • First in the rate of runs to result in a first down or touchdown (29.6%)
  • Eighth in yards after contact per rush (3.17 yards)

Edwards has also converted 74.0% of his short-yardage runs (needing 1-3 yards) over his career, first in the league.

Edwards is coming off a career season with the Ravens.

Boosted by another injury to J.K. Dobbins early in the season, Edwards set career highs in touches (210), total yards (990), and touchdowns (13).

Now, Edwards will be 29 years old this April and has been used as a compartmentalized back for the majority of his career, including conceding passing downs to Justice Hill a year ago.

Edwards has cleared 153 touches just once over his five seasons with a max of 210 coming last season.

He has never played 70% of the offensive snaps in any career game and has hit 60% of the snaps in just five of his 76 career games played.

We should see the Chargers add a pass-catching back here at minimum as well as competition for a potential committee.

I would expect the Chargers to leave this draft with a running back and still would not rule out the addition of another veteran over the remainder of the offseason.

The latter may be checked off as the Chargers have also added J.K. Dobbins to the fold on a one-year contract, completing the reunion of himself, Edwards, and Roman.

Dobbins will still only be 26 years old this December, but he has been completely snakebit over the start of his career and is a roll of the dice at this stage.

Dobbins has appeared in just nine games since his rookie season in 2020.

He tore his Achilles in the season opener last season after missing nine games in 2022 with a knee injury and all of the 2021 season with a torn ACL, LCL, and meniscus.

Wide Receiver Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Quentin Johnston
  2. Josh Palmer
  3. Derius Davis
  4. Simi Fehoko

We have already hinted that this wide receiver room was gutted this offseason with the release of Mike Williams and the trade of Keenan Allen.

As of right now, the Chargers only have four wide receivers on the roster.

Of those four, only the two that they drafted last season (Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis) are under contract past this season.

Even if we are not expecting this passing game to feature their wideouts, there is a lot of room to be done here.

Especially since their first-round pick a year ago fizzled to open his career.

Quentin Johnston 2023 Rookie Output

Category2023Rank
Routes4875
Targets/Route13.8%18
ReYd43112
Yards/Route0.8918
ReTD2T-13

Johnston ran the fifth-most pass routes among rookie wideouts last season, but among the 27 rookie wide receivers to run 100 or more pass routes in 2023, he was below the fold in every department.

The damning part is that Johnston had a runway for the opportunity once Williams was lost for the season.

When we ended the season, players like Alex Erickson were earning more targets than Johnston in the offense.

The one Charger wide receiver who has consistently taken advantage of the consistent absences of Allen and Williams is Josh Palmer.

Josh Palmer Based on WR Availability 2022-2023

Josh PalmerRoutesYRRTgt/Rt%
With Both1750.6611.4%
W/o Allen4371.5719.0%
W/o Williams5631.7420.2%
W/o Both2231.9522.0%

Palmer’s usage and production steadily have climbed based on who the Chargers have put on the field.

Palmer even had serviceable games of 4-113-1, 5-47-0, and 6-44-0 when Easton Stick was forced to play at the end of the season.

Palmer is in the final season of his rookie contract and was not drafted by this regime, so his future remains in the air.

The silver lining here is that the Chargers are in a solid position to get talent added here.

They should at least be presented with the option to select a premier wideout at No. 5 overall.

Even if they do pass on a wide receiver for an offensive lineman given Harbaugh’s affection or the hog mollies, or they trade back, the Chargers have solid remaining capital to attack a deeper position in this upcoming draft.

Tight End Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Will Dissly
  2. Donald Parham
  3. Hayden Hurst
  4. Stone Smartt
  5. Ben Mason

The Chargers are not hiding their intentions of running the rock under this new regime.

One of their early signings this offseason was getting Will Dissly to come over from Seattle on a three-year contract.

Dissly ranked third among all tight ends in run blocking grade at Pro Football Focus in 2023.

Over the past four years in Seattle, Dissly has been in on 951 run-blocking snaps but has only run 809 total pass routes over that stretch.

He has yet to have more than 349 receiving yards in a season.

The team also added veteran Hayden Hurst as a pass-catching element to the position after losing Everett this offseason.

Hurst also has familiarity with this scheme and Greg Roman after being drafted by Baltimore in the first round in 2018.

Hurst has never lived up to that investment, averaging just 24.1 receiving yards per game for his career.

His 9.8 yards per reception for his career rank 37th out of 46 tight ends to catch 100 or more passes since he entered the NFL.

In nine games with Carolina last season, Hurst caught 18 passes for 184 yards.

The team also still has Donald Parham under contract for 2024. Parham was second on the team with four receiving touchdowns last year, catching a career-high 27 passes for 285 yards.

Offensive Line Depth Chart, Chargers:

LT: Rashawn Slater
LG: Zion Johnson, Brent Laing
C: Corey Linsley, Bradley Bozeman, Brenden Jaimes
RG: Jamaree Salyer, Jordan McFadden
RT: Trey Pipkins, Foster Sarell

This offensive line fell short again last season.

The Chargers ended the season ranking 24th in ESPN’s run block win rate metrics and 18th in pass block win rate.

At Pro Football Focus, they ended the season with the lowest collective run blocking grade as a team while ranking 14th in passing blocking grade as a team.

The bright spot here remains Rashawn Slater at left tackle.

After his 2022 season was cut short in the third game of the season, Slater played 100% of the offensive snaps last season.

Slater enters this season in the final year of his rookie contract, but the team can exercise his fifth-year option, something expected to happen.

Slater allowed three sacks on 762 pass-blocking snaps last season.

The rest of his line did not find the same success.

Starting right tackle Trey Pipkins allowed nine sacks (tied for the fourth most amongst tackles) and allowed a team-high 7.1% pressure rate.

That ranked 59th among tackles last season. His overall grade at Pro Football Focus was 64th among tackles.

Pipkins still has two more seasons under his current contract, but the Chargers are going to be staring down the potential to upgrade from a talent perspective with their first-round pick this spring.

2022 first-round pick Zion Johnson has started 32 games over the past two seasons but has had his share of issues.

Playing right guard in 2022, Johnson allowed a 5.1% pressure rate, which ranked 54th among guards as a rookie.

This past season moving over to left guard, Johnson ranked 48th among guards in pressure rate allowed (5.3%).

After ranking 19th among guards in run block grade as a rookie, Johnson was 49th in that department per Pro Football Focus last season.

His job is plenty safe with two seasons left on this rookie deal, but the team is looking for more in year three.

It was expected that All-Pro center Corey Linsley would retire due to a heart issue that only allowed him to play in three games last season.

But Linsley restructured his contract this offseason, keeping the door open that he could try to play this season.

He also could have been doing the team a solid in allowing some cap relief.

If the Chargers do place Linsley on the reserve or retired list post-June 1st, they can spread out his cap hit over the next two seasons.

In preparation for such a turn of events, the Chargers added Bradley Bozeman, who…guess what…was with the Ravens 2018-2021.

Bozeman spent the past two seasons in Carolina, starting all 17 games at center last year.

Jamaree Sayler moved over to right guard last season and started all 17 games but ranked 57th in overall grade among guards at Pro Football Focus.

Given Harbaugh’s affinity for building a strong offensive front, the Chargers should be in the market to add competition on the right side of this line.

Fantasy Package

Los Angeles Chargers Defense: Depth Chart, Analysis & Draft Needs

Raymond Summerlin breaks down the defensive depth chart by position for the Los Angeles Chargers, identifying areas where the team could improve in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Chargers Defense Infographic

Defensive Line Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Morgan Fox
  2. Poona Ford
  3. Otito Ogbonnia
  4. Scott Matlock
  5. Jerrod Clark
  6. Christopher Hinton
  7. CJ Okoye

The Chargers finished 13th in yards per carry allowed on running back runs (4.0) and 15th in yards before contact allowed on those runs (1.23) in 2023.

They ranked 25th in ESPN’s run stop win rate.

The two top snap earners along the defensive line last season are gone along with the No. 4 snap taker.

No. 3 on that list, Morgan Fox returns after notching 5.5 sacks in 2023. He also grabbed 6.5 sacks the season before.

Fox offers very little against the run, but he can get after the passer from the inside.

New signing Poona Ford did not have a great one-year stint with the Bills, ending up inactive for nine games, and he struggled his final season with the Seahawks, as well.

Ford has been good against the run in his past, however, and was a low-cost signing.

Otito Ogbonnia and Scott Matlock played limited snaps last season to limited success.

Ogbonnia did not log a sack, but he had a decent pressure rate on limited opportunities.

Overall, this is a unit that needs a lot of work and is likely to be a focus of the new regime.

EDGE Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Khalil Mack
  2. Joey Bosa
  3. Tuli Tuipulotu
  4. Chris Rumph II
  5. Ty Shelby
  6. Andrew Farmer II
  7. Brevin Allen

The Chargers finished 19th in pressure rate last season (34.4%) and logged 48 sacks (seventh).

It was another shortened season for Joey Bosa, who has now played 14 games total in the last two seasons and played limited snaps in several of those games last season.

He did manage 6.5 sacks, but his pressure rate slipped significantly. Of course, that was a small sample, and it is notable the Chargers decided to keep him this offseason.

Even without Bosa, Khalil Mack continued to destroy everything in his path last year.

Mack finished fourth in the league with 17 sacks and 12th among qualifying players in pressure rate.

He was also excellent against the run, logging 19 run stuffs, tied for sixth in the league.

Even heading into his age 33 season, Mack remains a top defender.

The Bosa injury did have a small positive since it allowed 2023 second-rounder Tuli Tuipulotu to play nearly 75% of the defensive snaps.

He did not light up the boxscore with 4.5 sacks and an 11.9% pressure rate, but he showed good enough signs as a pass rusher while being solid against the run.

Tuipulotu finished ninth among edge rushers in ESPN’s run stop win rate.

Bosa’s health and the long-term future of both Bosa and Mack create some future concerns, but just looking at things from a 2024 perspective, this is a strong unit.

Linebacker Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Denzel Perryman
  2. Daiyan Henley
  3. Nick Niemann
  4. Troy Dye

Kenneth Murray and Eric Kendricks combined to play 1,816 snaps for the Chargers a season ago.

Both will be playing for new teams in 2024.

The Chargers brought home Denzel Perryman in response, signing him away from the Texans on a one-year deal.

Perryman was solid against the run last season, recording a tackle on 20.2% of the rush snaps he played, but he was a massive liability in coverage.

A third-round pick last year, Daiyan Henley struggled to find the field after suffering a hamstring injury in the preseason.

He is also a pick by the former front office, so it is unclear how much the new group likes him.

Nick Niemann did get some playing time last season and showed well, but those were his first real snaps on defense in three seasons.

Troy Dye has also primarily been a special teams contributor.

Perryman gives them an established, experienced starter, but this group has a lot of questions.

Cornerback Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Asante Samuel Jr.
  2. Kristian Fulton
  3. Ja’Sir Taylor
  4. Deane Leonard
  5. Chris Wilcox
  6. Matt Hankins

The Chargers gave up 7.7 yards per attempt (28th) and finished 26th in EPA per dropback in 2023.

They finished 25th in the league with just 9 interceptions.

Michael Davis left via free agency, but Asante Samuel is back after being the one solid piece of the corner corps last year.

The former second-round pick is heading into the final year of his deal, however, creating some urgency to add talent.

The Chargers did add Kristian Fulton on a one-year deal in free agency, but he finished 193rd among 200 qualifying defensive backs in yards per target allowed in coverage last season.

Fulton does come with a second-round pedigree, but nothing he showed on his rookie contract with the Titans suggests he is a high-end starter.

Ja’Sir Taylor worked as the slot corner for a large chunk of last season, but he fell out of the rotation in the second half of the year.

Deane Leonard got his shot in the middle of the season also to limited success, although an injury played a role in forcing him out of the rotation.

This unit could arguably use two starters and is one of the biggest needs on the roster.

Safety Depth Chart, Chargers:

  1. Derwin James Jr.
  2. Alohi Gilman
  3. JT Woods
  4. AJ Finley

Alohi Gilman is one of the few free agents the new regime brought back, re-signing on a two-year, $11 million contract.

Last season was Gilman’s first in a full-time role, and he shined next to Derwin James.

Gilman gave up a career-low 7.6 yards per target in coverage and was solid against the run.

As for James, he did not have his best season, struggling specifically in coverage, but he has a long track record of outstanding production.

There is not a ton of depth here.

JT Woods was limited to three games last season and has played 91 total snaps on defense since being selected in the third round of the 2022 draft.

AJ Finley was almost exclusively a special teamer last season.

The Chargers could look to add some depth, but the top of this position looks good.

Pre Order the Best Analytical 2024 Football Preview

Don’t miss out on Warren Sharp’s 500+ page preview of the 2024 NFL season.

The preview is unlike anything you have ever seen, featuring stunning visualizations built with the reader in mind.

This preview shares insights into players, coaches, teams, and philosophies with one goal in mind: to prepare you for the 2024 NFL season by delivering the smartest information in the fastest, most direct way possible.

Pre order the 2024 Football Preview now!