2024 NFL Draft Review: L.A. Chargers

Review of all 32 teams draft, with grades and UDFA signings. This time it’s the L.A. Chargers.
NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Previously we reviewed the Las Vegas Raiders draft selections, now it’s time to take a look at how the L.A. Chargers drafted and grade the picks. Which player was the best value and earned the team choice award, and who did the team sign during the undrafted free-agent period? Let’s break it all down.

1 (5): T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Alt was by far the best offensive lineman in this year’s draft and was a top-5 prospect. The Chargers needed receivers and one of the best in this year’s class was available at the time of this pick, but some will argue offensive line was also a need. He’s an elite run blocker, one of the best in the class, but he’s also fantastic as a pass blocker. Only one sack and two quarterback hits on 368 passing sets last year. 

Joe Alt
Notre Dame v Stanford / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Grade: A-

2 (34): WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia

The Chargers draft their starting tackle and they take a starting wide receiver with their next pick. They felt strongly enough to trade up to take McConkey and it’s understandable why. McConkey is quick-footed, agile, and most importantly versatile. He can line up from an array of positions and runs the full route tree. Add the after-the-catch ability and this is a solid one-two punch by the Chargers and far superior to the other hypothetical options.

Ladd McConkey
Capital One Orange Bowl - Georgia v Florida State / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Grade: A

(Team Choice Award)

3 (69): LB Junior Colson, Michigan

Colson may lack good run-stopping skills and an ability to scrape efficiently, but his coverage ability will help him develop effectively in his rookie season. Were there other needs the team could have addressed at this point? For sure, but that didn’t make this a bad pick. It’s right on the money in terms of value, and between Colson, Denzel Perryman, and Daiyan Henley that’s a nice rotation at the position which will pay off as they get deeper into the season.

Grade: B+

4 (105): DL Justin Eboigbe, Alabama

Here’s a high-motor interior defensive lineman that has huge versatility. Eboigbe played 657 snaps last year and played a quarter of those snaps covering the A and B gaps while the rest he played as a five-tech. He had 30 pressures and seven sacks as a pass rusher last year, which is pretty good from the interior. But as a run-stopper last year, he was just effective racking up 64 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and only missed four tackles. The reasons to be nervous about this pick- in 2022 he only played in four games after a pretty serious neck injury.

Justin Eboigbe
Alabama v Mississippi State / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Grade: B-

5 (137): CB Tarheeb Still, Maryland

Cornerback was a big need for the Chargers but the front office may have held off when it was slightly too late. Worst of all, the need was filled with a huge overreach here. He has the ability to line up from the slot or as a boundary defensive back and is good at coming down to help defend the run. He’s physical, tenacious and only 21 years of age giving him plenty of room to grow. In the last three years as a starter in Maryland, Still has 28 missed tackles, allowed a completion rate of 67%, 1,467 receiving yards and a passer rating of 94.0. For this reason, he was projected as a UDFA talent in this year’s consensus rankings. 

Tarheeb Still
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Grade: C-

5 (140): CB Cam Hart, Notre Dame

This pick was actually much better than the previous one and Hart has more chance of playing this year than Still. Last year, Hart played in all 13 games on 308 pass coverage snaps for the Fighting Irish. With that, he allowed a 53% completion rate, zero touchdowns, and a passer rating allowed of 67.1. This is a good pick in the middle of Day 3.

Cam Hart
Notre Dame v Stanford / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Grade: B+

6 (181): RB Kimani Vidal, Troy

This year’s running back draft class wasn’t the greatest and finding talent in the sixth-round is a pretty tough task. But the Chargers managed to do it here with Vidal. Last year, Vidal went wild in the Sun-Belt and rushed for 1,661 yards, averaged 5.6 yards-per-carry and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. Vidal also had a good showing at the combine going 1.53s in the 10-yard split (77th percentile), 4.46s in the 40 (82nd percentile) and hopped a 37½" in the vertical (83rd percentile). 

Kimani Vidal
South Alabama v Troy / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

Grade: A-

7 (225): WR Brenden Rice, USC

Rice had a consensus projection of going in the fourth round, so grabbing him this late on Day 3 is insane value. The son of Hall-of-Fame receiver, Jerry Rice fell for an unknown reason as it wasn’t like he was unproductive in USC. In the last two years, Rice had 84 receptions for 1,402 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. This is a high-value steal here and his biggest issue is route-running, something an NFL coaching staff should be able to develop over the next couple of years. 

Brenden Rice
UCLA v USC / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Grade: A-

7 (253): WR Cornelius Johnson, Michigan

It’s all about wide receivers at the end of the draft here for Los Angeles. Johnson needs some work on his catching skills with 15 dropped passes in the last three years. But his speed and explosiveness is something the Chargers don’t really have. Two of the six touchdowns he caught in 2022 were on deep receptions, and his only score from last year came off a deep pass. 

Cornelius Johnson
Northwestern v Michigan / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Grade: B

UDFA Signings- 

QB Casey Bauman, Augustana

WR Jaelen Gill, Fresno State

WR Leon Johnson, Oklahoma State

WR Jaylen Johnson, East Carolina

TE Zach Heins, South Dakota State TE Luke Benson, Georgia Tech

G Karsen Barnhart, Michigan

OL Willis Patrick, TCU

OT Tyler McLellan, Campbell

OT Tyler Smith, Western Carolina

OL Bucky Williams, Appalachian State

DL Micheal Mason, Coastal Carolina

DE Tre'Mon Morris-Brash, UCF

EDGE Savion Jackson, NC State

LB Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, Ole Miss

LB Luquay Washington, Central Connecticut

CB Robert Kennedy, NC State

CB Zamari Walton, Ole Miss

S Jayln Phillips, Clemson

S Akeem Dent, Florida State

S Thomas Harper, Notre Dame

Overall Grade: A-