Pigskin’s 2023 NFL Draft Team Grades CHARGERS

May 19, 2023

As long as these guys have a healthy JUSTIN HERBERT as their Franchise QB they will always be worthy of a mention when discussing Play-Off contenders in the AFC West. But to my eyes this team is unlikely to be a legit threat to the MAHOMES-led CHIEFS until they figure out how to either draft tougher players, who don’t live in the Trainer’s Room, or get some medical experts to figure out why this team is always at or near the top of the injured players, missing games, curse. Something is just not right when it comes to the CHARGERS vs. the Injury Bug.

They entered the Draft with their own original Draft Picks, nothing more, nothing less. So what tough guys did they Draft to change the karma in that locker room

Round 1, Pick 21      QUENTIN JOHNSTON     WR   TCU     6’3/210     PP Rank  24      I thought they might take one of their smaller, quick receivers here, or in Round 2, but they went with the Michael Williams look alike. His stats don’t support this Pick ranking, but athletically he fits the downfield weapon mode they want. At his length h can look, and probably is, faster than his 4.40/40-time would imply. He has got to improve his hand work and let fewer balls slip through his hands. Let’s call him a bit “raw” for now and see what they can do with his raw talent.

Round 2, Pick 54      TULI TUIPULOTU    ER/OB    Southern Cal      6’3/265     PP Rank 83   You could have blown me out of my chair when they took this guy at Pick 54, at least a Round too soon. I am also using his Combine weight above, because I am hearing he’s going to play OLB/Edge for them And they want his explosive penetration to be his hallmark as a pro. He had bulked up to about 290 to add some beef along that Trojans defensive front. But what they want is lass beef, and more quickness to shoot gaps. TULI had 22 TFL and 13.5 sacks last season. They need him to replace NWOSU who they last to Seattle in VFA in 2022.  He exploded as an edge rusher there and led his new team in Sacks. Watch his film. and learn Tuli.

Round 3, Pick 85      DAIYAN HENLEY  LB   Washington State     6’1/225    PP Rank 37    So in my world if we flip HENLEY into Round 2 and put TULI here it makes perfect sense. Sio let me just say I had a man-crush on the guy after watching him a couple of times last season. Went to State as a grad transfer from NEVADA, and posted 106 tackles for the Cougars. He ran 4.54/40 at the Combine and plays even faster in pads, or so it seems. Kinda shorter than you might like at 6’1, but does have 33″ arms & 9 1/2″ hands. He will replace DRUE TRANQUILL, who moved on to a bigger  buck contract with the CHIEFS. HENLEY should be able to do everything, maybe more, than DRUE did and on a Rookie contract. If they dare risk him HENLEY could also be a serious member of some Special Teams units to boot.

Round 4, Pick 125     DERIUS DAVIS    RS/WR   TCU     5’8/165      PP Rank    221        Big gap of almost 100 Picks between where they took and where I had him projected. Besides being very small, with little meat on his bones, he also dropped too many balls in games I saw. Could that be due in part to baby-length arms of 29 1/4″? He was an explosive Return Man in college, including 6 TD. He can also be blended in on gadget plays, although opponents will e looking out for him. Can he replace DeAndre Carter who went to Vegas as a VFA? We’ll see, but this is a big reach, IMO.

Round 5, Pick 156    JORDAN McFADDEN    OG    Clemson   6’2/305      PP Rank 162  A 3-year starter at Clemson, but is too short for an OT slot there he starred in college. So he must learn an OG position as a Rookie. He does have 34″ arms, which should be great for IOL. I look for him to be OL9 this coming season, and fight for a starting O spot in 2024. Good value at this Pick.

Round 6, Pick  200       SCOTT MATLOCK   DT    Boise State     6’4/305     PP Rank 143    Really came on in 2022, playing as if his red hair were on fire. Is strong and shows some quickness off the Snap. I think he could be the kind of aggressive, tough guy their team needs more of on the roster. I count this as great value at the Pick.

Round 7, Pick 239      MAX DUGGAN      QB      TCU    6’2/205         PP Rank    NR       I really expected DUGGAN to be out there as a Rookie Free Agent, so does this tell us they see enough in him to picture him as a legit back-up hopeful? Are they though with EASTON STICK? Will they pick up a vet back-up for HERBERT when Camp cuts take place? Not sure, but I doubt they intend to move him into a RB slot. Wasted Pick… more than likely.


Bot much to get excited about, but there is some useful talent here if the coaches can get them up to snuff as professionals. This team always digs deep in their scouting charts and will likely unearth a few useful RFA like maybe… A.J. FINLEY/S/ST;  JERROD CLARK/DT; MIKE EZEIKE/TE; MIKEL JONES/LB; NICOLAS MELSOP/OT.

Grade:    C+      Workmanlike effort to improve depth  and bottom of the roster in most cases.