With a need to upgrade their linebackers, the Chargers came back into the first round after picking 6th overall, with a trade with the New England Patriots at pick 23 to select Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray. The Chargers had to give up their 37th and 71st picks in the draft in order to slide back into the round and get one of the few top-rated linebackers.
If there were weaker parts to this Chargers defense it was against the run (18th in the NFL) and on third down conversions, so Murray is a logical selection and Murray has some value as a pass rusher but the Chargers are looking to replace Thomas Davis who led the team in tackles in 2019. While the team still has Denzel Perryman, Murray could be groomed to be his successor in 2021. Murray doesn’t figure to be an IDP candidate yet, but he could be a starter which puts him on the watch list, and if he does become successful along with a potentially healthy Derwin James, the Chargers teams defense could have a bounce back season.
Conversely, the Patriots passed up the opportunity to select Jordan Love, so they must not have had him high on their draft board, nor were they looking to move up to grab a high-end quarterback, which would’ve required them facilitating a move into he top ten, something that Bill Belichick does not do.