The 2020 NFL Draft was one to remember if you are the Los Angeles Chargers.
Not only did the Bolts snag former Oregon Ducks star Justin Herbert at No. 6 overall, but the Chargers landed their franchise quarterback of the future.
Herbert had a historic rookie season finishing as the all-time rookie leader in passing touchdowns (31), total touchdowns (36), completions (396), games with 300-plus passing yards (8) and three-plus touchdowns (six). The remarkable year with the Chargers earned Herbert NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors, and he became just the 10th quarterback in NFL history to win the award.
Knowing what we know now, we can safely safe the Chargers made the right choice when they were on the clock. But what if Herbert to LA never happened?
In a new mock re-draft of the 2020 NFL Draft’s top six picks, the draft picture is shaken up, showcasing what could have happened if the top six picks ended up elsewhere. In the re-draft, Herbert is the top quarterback coming off the board going No. 1 to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“The biggest reason why Herbert is the rightful first overall pick in the redraft is age. Herbert is almost two years younger than Burrow (21 months, to be exact). It sounds silly, but that indicates that Burrow might be closer to his eventual ceiling and Herbert might play an extra year or two.”
As for Joe Burrow, he ends up with the Washington Football Team at No. 2 overall. He is followed by Chase Young to the Detroit Lions, Justin Jefferson to the New York Giants, and Tua Tagovailoa still ending up with the Miami Dolphins.
And the Chargers sixth-overall pick? That’s former All-American Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa, who was selected No. 13 overall by Tampa Bay. The good news is LA would have had its tackle of the future in Wirfs, who was the fourth-highest graded rookie tackle (81.4) since 2006, per Pro Football Focus. He absolutely lived up to his first-round hype, allowing just one sack (including postseason) and played 769 pass-blocking snaps during the season.
Ultimately his addition would have meant the Chargers did not draft Herbert and instead had Wirfs protecting QB Tyrod Taylor.
It’s always fun to play the game of “what could have been,” but it’s good to know the Chargers struck gold in taking Herbert in 2020 and now have their cornerstone for years to come.