In last year’s draft, the Los Angeles Chargers found their quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert. Now it’s time to build a team around him so he can see the playoff success that Phillip Rivers never could. The Chargers have plenty of needs, and an early run of quarterbacks should allow them to select a blue-chip prospect with the 13th overall pick. Here are some players that the Chargers should target in the first round of the draft.

Jaylen Waddle

I’ve been mocking a WR to the Chargers this entire cycle, to surprising amounts of resistance. Mike Williams and Jaylen Waddle lining up on the outside, stretching defenses vertically allows Keenan Allen to cook whoever the slot corner is. Jared Cook is a solid tight end, Austin Ekeler is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. That has the potential to be one of the best passing offenses in the league.

Also, for as good as those weapons sound, one Allen injury leaves you with Williams and Cook as your best weapons. The Chargers did an admirable job bolstering the offensive line this offseason, and this is a deep class; so you can still get a solid tackle in day two.

Waddle is a smooth route runner with game-breaking speed and is tenacious at the catch point. It’s fair to question whether he can be a reliable, consistent WR1 with his small size and injury history, but in Los Angeles, he wouldn’t have to be. Waddle doesn’t need 10+ targets to be effective. Tyreek Hill comparisons get thrown around a lot when a guy runs fast. 95% of them are excessive, but you can really see it in Waddle.

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Christian Darrisaw

The Chargers offensive line allowed pressure on 28.5% of passing snaps in 2020, the third-most in the league. Left tackle Trey Pipkins was the weakest link, grading out as the 72nd best-left tackle out of 79 per PFF’s data. The Chargers did an excellent job bolstering the offensive line’s interior by signing all-pro center Corey Linsley, along with guards Oday Aboushi and Matt Feiler. They have completely revamped the interior of the line. 

But the left tackle spot is still a glaring hole. They could fill that hole with Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw. Darrisaw is a great left tackle prospect with good size and athleticism. Darrisaw allowed pressure on only 2.23% of pass-blocking snaps, which puts him in the 93rd percentile. Herbert had a historic rookie season under constant duress. Imagine what he could do with an upper-tier offensive line.

Azeez Ojulari

Joey Bosa is one of the best edge rushers in the league, but the Chargers need someone opposite of him to be a scary defensive line and Melvin Ingram is still a free agent. They did sign Kyler Fackrell, but he’s someone you’d like more as a rotational guy.

Azeez Ojulari was a defensive cornerstone at Georgia. He was named captain as a freshman at one of the best defensive schools in the country. He has a high IQ for the game, and although he’s a bit undersized, he’s still quite strong. Ojulari finished 2020 with 9.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles. Ojulari could excel early playing Robin to Bosa’s batman, and by next season, the Chargers should have one of the most intimidating pass-rushing duos in the league.