The Chargers made a strategic mistake by not making any draft day trades in 2019. After going 9-7 in 2017 then improving to 12-4 last year, the Chargers are on the verge of moving beyond being a good team to a true Super Bowl contender. One of the best ways to do this is to maximize salary cap value through the draft. As I state in Article 1 of Trade Down Island’s Glorious Constitution, “Productive players on rookie contracts are the single greatest asset in the NFL behind franchise quarterbacks.” The Chargers have a franchise quarterback in Phillip Rivers, so the best way to build around him is by trading down and landing solid players on rookie contracts.
The Chargers were in perfect position to move down in both the first and second rounds. Because of their 12-4 record they entered the draft with pick No. 28 (1st Rd.) and No. 60 (2nd Rd.) There is little risk in moving down 10-15 spots at those points in the draft if it means loading up on additional Top 100 picks. But the Chargers decided to play it safe, and few teams who play it safe go on to greatness.