2024 NFL mock draft: Chargers trade back, add pair of Michigan players in three-round projections

The Chargers must load up on as much talent as possible this offseason to compete with the back-to-back Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, next season.

With the No. 5 overall selection, Los Angeles is in an excellent position to trade back and stockpile more draft picks.

For this mock draft, L.A. trades picks with the Jets, who move up five spots to select Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu. Meanwhile, the Bolts acquire an additional third-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick.

Let’s dive in!

Round 1, No. 10 (via NYJ): TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

The Chargers move back five spots and still land a player commonly mocked to them where they’re currently slated to pick, acquiring Bowers with the No. 10 overall selection.

With Gerald Everett set to be a free agent, the Bolts will be in the market for a bonafide starting tight end for offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who covets players at the position in his system.

Bowers, the only player to win the John Mackey Award twice, finished this past season with 56 catches for 714 yards and six touchdowns. He led all FBS tight ends with 486 yards after the catch.

Along with his ability to be a mismatch for any defender in the passing game, Bowers is good as a run blocker, which the Chargers have struggled to get from their tight ends in recent seasons.

Round 2, No. 37, C Zach Frazier, West Virginia

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Corey Linsley missed most of this season with a heart issue, likely leading him to retire. If that’s the case, the Chargers will need a starting center, and Frazier could fill the void.

One of the top centers in this year’s class, Frazier is a pro-ready player with the athletic ability, anchor strength, highly impressive awareness and toughness. He started 47 games for the Mountaineers, so he possesses plenty of experience playing the position.

Frazier suffered a leg injury on the final drive in West Virginia’s last game of the season against Baylor, which he had to have surgery on. But he is close to becoming fully cleared, and it will only help his stock if he is ahead of the upcoming NFL Combine.

Round 3, No. 69, WR Roman Wilson, Michigan

Kicking off Round 3, Jim Harbaugh gets one of his former players and adds a dynamic weapon to the offense.

Despite being smaller at 5-foot-10 and 186 pounds, Wilson plays tough for his size as he is strong at the catch point and is a willing blocker. But the most attractive aspect of his speed is his track speed to run right through coverage.

Wilson recorded 23 catches of 15-plus yards with a 14.1-yard average depth of target, according to Pro Football Focus.

Round 3, No. 72 (via NYJ), CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

After bolstering the offensive side of the ball, the Chargers finally go defense with another former Michigan player and a stud in the secondary for defensive coordinator Jesse Minter.

Sainristil isn’t the biggest player, standing at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, but the way he plays covers up the lack of height and weight. He is a quick defender who has fluid hips, good closing speed, solid instincts and is aggressive when making plays in the open field.

Sainristil’s six interceptions were the second most among college football cornerbacks in 2023.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire