3 sleeper prospects for Chargers to target in 2023 NFL Draft

Led by Justin Herbert, the Los Angeles Chargers found their way into the playoffs in 2023. In Herbert’s first playoff appearance, the team fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 31-30.

Since the start of free agency, the Chargers have not been major players in the market. The one notable addition that they made came with the signing of veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks.

Instead of looking to add new faces to the team, the Chargers have brought back players who were already on the roster. Tight end Donald Parham, tackle Trey Pipkins, and quarterback Easton Stick have all returned to the team on new deals.

With the Chargers not addressing many needs through free agency, the team will look to use to draft as a way to re-tool the roster. In the first round, Los Angeles could have their sites set on several elite playmakers, on both sides of the ball. But they could also look to add star power in the later rounds.

In a strong 2023 class, especially in many of the areas where the Chargers are in need of depth, they could have their pick of talent on days two and three of the draft.

With that being said, here are three sleeper players the Chargers could target in the draft.

Chase Brown, Running Back, Illinois

The Chargers have a superstar in the backfield in Austin Ekeler. In recent seasons, he has often looked to be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL. But in recent weeks, Ekeler has requested to speak to other teams regarding a trade as he is on the search for a new contract. With his future in Los Angeles still unknown, the team could look to add a running back. Chase Brown of Illinois could be a potential option in the later rounds.

Over his final two seasons at Illinois, Brown played a key role in the offense. In 2021, while taking the field in 10 games, he rushed for 1,005 yards and five touchdowns on 170 carries. Through the air, he added 14 receptions for 142 receiving yards.

This past season, in his fifth year, Brown returned to Illinois to play even better football. Over 12 games, he carried the ball 328 times, rushing for 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns. Through the air, he added 27 receptions for 240 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Brown is a physical runner that does not shy away from contact. Along with being a playmaker on the field, he thrived at the combine. While at the combine, he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, while posting a 40″ vertical and a 10’7″ broad jump.

If Brown can translate his college game to that of the NFL, he could be a hidden gem in this year’s class. The Chargers offense relies heavily on their backfield, and Brown has a playstyle that could fit with what they do.

Zach Harrison, Defensive End, Ohio State

This past season, the Chargers defensive front dealt with injuries for much of the year. In turn, the team was forced to rely heavily on depth, which at times hurt them. To better prepare for this scenario in the future, they could look to solidify the defensive front through the draft. A player such as Ohio State’s Zach Harrison could be on their radar.

Over his four seasons at Ohio State, Harrison produced regularly. In total, he took the field in 40 total games, recording 97 total tackles, 58 solo tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 111 sacks.

In 2022, Harriosn was a key contributor to the Ohio State pass rush. Over 13 games, he recorded 34 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception, and three forced fumbles.

Coming in at 6’5 1/2″ and 274 pounds, Harrison has the size to be a force off of the edge. In addition, with his blend of strength and speed, he could regularly find himself in the backfield.

Adding Harrison alongside Bosa and Mack could be the ideal move for this Chargers defense.

Trey Palmer, Wide Receiver, Nebraska

Nebraska wide receiver Trey Palmer enters the draft as one of the more intriguing pass catchers. Palmer spent the first three seasons of his collegiate career at LSU. During that time, he appeared in 22 games, recording 41 receptions for 458 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Following the 2021 campaign, Palmer made the move to transfer to Nebraska. In his lone season at the school, he took his game to new heights. Over 12 games, he recorded 71 receptions for 1,043 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Palmer has made a name for himself through his speed and ability to stretch the field. In a Chargers offense that relies heavily on the deep ball, Palmer could fit right in. Not only could he help add much-needed depth, but he could also give the team a building block for the future.

The post 3 sleeper prospects for Chargers to target in 2023 NFL Draft appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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