Chargers go TCU heavy as NFL draft comes to a close
Perhaps the greatest Chargers player of all time was running back Ladanian Tomlison and he was a proud TCU Bullfrog. In the 2023 NFL draft Chargers tapped into a very familiar well, drafting three TCU offensive players. Chargers first round pick was Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU giving QB Justin Herbert a pair of twin towers downfield to throw to. Johnston (6-3, 208 pounds) joins another uber-sized wideout in Mike Williams. Johnston, ran a sub-4.5 and averaged 19 yards per catch in college and had a dozen TD grabs over the past two seasons. Adding to the wide receiving corps is Johnson’s college teammate Derius Davis. The Chargers last pick in the draft was another TCU player Max Duggan, their star quarterback who willed his team to the national championship game with pure heart and grit.
The Chargers also went heavy on defense, snagging two linebackers. Tuli Tuipulotu, DE/LB, USC: The two-time All-Pac 12 selection and conference defensive player of the year in 2022 topped the nation with 13 sacks last season, he also had 22 TFLs. At 6-3 and 266 pounds, Tuipulotu will start off as a nice rotational piece and insurance behind OLBs Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, both have been prone to injury. Chargers followed the Tuli pick up with Washington State linebacker Dayian Henley. Henley was one of the draft's better coverage linebackers. He may be penciled in as the replacement for former first round pick Kenneth Murray who Chargers announced they would not pick up his 5th year option which makes him a free agent after the year.
The Chargers draft plan was clear. Add speed to the WR position and sure up a defense that has shown potential to do great things but ultimately has broken down in big moments. The Chargers were a playoff team a year ago looking to capitalize on that momentum.