This pick may surprise some. Quarterback isn’t the biggest need on the Chargers roster. They have Philip Rivers entrenched as their starter, and he still probably has a couple of quality seasons left in the tank. Furthermore, they brought in Geno Smith in free agency to compete with Cardale Jones for the backup spot. That said, it shouldn’t prevent them from drafting a quarterback at any point in 2018.
Smith was added on a one-year deal and hasn’t done much to alleviate concerns about his turnovers during his NFL career. During his career, Smith has a record of 12-19 and has thrown 29 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He has also fumbled the ball a whopping 19 times during his career, so unless he drastically improves, he will never be a true starter. Meanwhile, Jones hasn’t done much during his career, so finding a true successor to Rivers would be a smart move.
I have a feeling that the Chargers are going to be interested in Lamar Jackson if he’s available at this point. Jackson is a great playmaker in the mold of Michael Vick. He has great athleticism, can throw the ball, and just needs to improve upon his accuracy in order to be a quality NFL quarterback.
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Anthony Lynn seems like the kind of coach who might be able to get the most out of Jackson. In Buffalo, he worked well with Tyrod Taylor when he was the offensive coordinator. Jackson is a player who could have the same type of athletic ability as Taylor, but he projects to be a much better passer. For that reason, taking him at this point would make sense.
Jackson could sit for a year or two behind Rivers and then eventually take over as the starter. That would set up the Chargers for long-term success, especially since their team is on the cusp of being a playoff contender. Adding Jackson here and improving the trenches in the coming rounds will do a lot to improve their chances of qualifying for the postseason.
If the team doesn’t get Jackson here, they could consider a linebacker like Rashaan Evans or Leighton Vander Esch or they could get an offensive tackle. Still, Jackson provides solid value here and if the Chargers don’t want him, another team will trade up to get him around this point.