New Los Angeles Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh has brought optimism back to southern California. Ever since leaving the Michigan Wolverines after the team was champions of college football in 2023, Harbaugh has set his sights on igniting the Bolts. The Bolts aim to surround quarterback Justin Herbert with a supporting cast to lift the franchise back to the postseason.

With a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chargers’ front office must make an important decision about which roster position to bolster. 

They decided the top offensive lineman prospect was too good to pass up.

Former Notre Dame OT Joe Alt was selected fifth overall in Thursday’s draft. Most mock drafts projected Alt as a top-10 pick and potentially generational at his position.

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According to the Los Angeles Chargers website press release on the draft, Dane Brugler of The Athletic praised Alt for his traits controlling the line of scrimmage. “Alt stays light on his feet with the big-man agility, body control and instinctive recovery skills to become a high-level run blocker and above-average pass protector,” he said.

Brugler believes that Alt can have an impact, adding that he has “the pedigree to be a cornerstone player for an NFL franchise.”

Before the draft, taking a wide receiver with their first-round pick seemed like a real possibility- nearly every top receiver prospect would still be available. Players like Washington’s Rome Odunze, LSU’s Malik Nabers, and Texas’s Adonai Mitchell would all be worthy additions to Herbert’s arsenal on offense. 

However, rumors also circulated that the Chargers could use their draft leverage and trade their first-round pick. They could have swapped picks with a team that might want to trade up to select a quarterback, possibly the Minnesota Vikings or Las Vegas Raiders. 

Ultimately, Harbaugh and the Chargers front office have given fans hope that the team can turn its fortunes around after a disappointing 5-12 finish in 2023. Now, they must continue to instill trust within the fan base as the calendar inches closer to the start of the regular season.

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