The team owns the No. 3 overall pick, which in this draft will give them a chance to select their favorite overall non-quarterback. The team has given little insight as to who that player might be, but the latest rumors seem to be in regards to Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner.
Buckner has been one of the most overlooked potential top 10 prospects in this draft class. After a terrific career at Oregon, and a senior season that saw him total 10.5 sacks, Buckner has performed admirably during draft season and worked out well at the Combine and individual workouts. Quietly, he has built himself into one of the stronger prospects in this class and the Chargers’ interest is demonstrative that he might go higher than many think.
The Chargers have some serious holes on the defensive line, the offensive line and at the safety position, which is making the pick harder to project. Many assumed initially that Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil would be the pick for the team, but Jalen Ramsey, a defensive back from Florida State, has gained a lot of momentum recently. Ramsey is arguably the best player in the draft, and for a while it looked like the team was set on taking him.
However, it appears as though Buckner may end up being their man on draft day. His versatility would be huge for the Chargers, as he could play either the five technique for them or play rush linebacker for their 3-4 alignment. Still, taking Buckner over some slightly superior prospects would be questionable, especially since this draft is relatively deep on the defensive line. They may be able to land a contributor in the second round who could have a similar skill set to Buckner.
Of course, the Chargers might be publicizing their interest in a less highly regarded player in hopes of making a trade. If a team hears that the Chargers are interested in Buckner, they may offer them a package to move up and grab a player like Tunsil or Ramsey. The Chargers could then move down, which they were reportedly interested in doing prior to the Philadelphia Eagles trade, and still get a prospect like Buckner, or maybe Ronnie Stanley.
Regardless of what is happening, there is not a lot of clarity around the Chargers’ first overall pick. If the team elects to go with Buckner at the three slot, then it will create a chain of events that could change the fabric of the draft and cause a top five player to fall.