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Los Angeles Chargers select Notre Dame OT Joe Alt with the fifth overall pick. Grade: B

When I spoke with Jim Harbaugh during Super Bowl week, he talked a lot about how important it was to protect Justin Herbert. Alt can do that, but I’m not entirely sure what the plan is when Rashawn Slater already at left tackle. Maybe they move Slater to the right side? In any event, Alt doesn’t look like a power right tackle to me — he never played a single snap there in college. I might have either traded down for more talent (which the Chargers need), or taken another tackle here. 

A four-star recruit out of Totino-Grace High School in North Oaks, Minnesota, Alt is the son of John Alt, who was selected in the first round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and went on to play 179 games at offensive tackle, eventually being enshrined in the Chiefs’ Hall of Honor.

Joe Alt was a quarterback and a linebacker in high school, but his dad estimated that he would eventually be an offensive line prospect as he grew, which was a good guess. Alt chose Notre Dame over several other schools because of the university’s reputation for academics, and putting their offensive line prospects in NFL uniforms.

In 2023, his third season as a starter with the Fighting Irish, the 6-foot-8, 322-pound Alt gave up one sack, two quarterback hits, and two quarterback hurries in 368 pass-blocking reps. He allowed no sacks, two quarterback hits, and six quarterback hurries in 406 pass-blocking reps the season before, so the consistency as a pass-blocker is certainly there. And he’s more than capable of making things happen in the run game.

Alt brings Andrew Whitworth to mind — he doesn’t blow you away with his pure athleticism, but he does just about everything at a very high level, and that should transfer pretty easily to the NFL level.

PLUSES

— Keeps a wide base and strong fundamentals even when swerving to deal with speed rushers.

— Mirrors well through the rep. He doesn’t need to over-extend to make up for wasted moves.

— Fires out with a nasty demeanor; when he gets his arms out, a defender is in trouble more often than not.

— Recovers well if he does lose the leverage battle.

— Hits his targets at the second and third level.

MINUSES

— Athletic to a point, but he needs to keep his technique letter-perfect or things can go south quickly.

— Needs to avoid coming off the snap too upright; when he does, the usual stuff happens.

— Can fall off blocks at times when he loses his feet from under him.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire