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Los Angeles Chargers 2023 NFL Draft picks, analysis and prospect spotlight

Glendale, Arizona, USA; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) is defended by Michigan Wolverines defensive back Rod Moore (19) in the second half of the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a flurry of selections from Thursday to Saturday, 259 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the Los Angeles Chargers draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2023 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2023 NFL Draft Picks

R1 (21): WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
R2 (54): EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu, USC
R3 (85): LB Daiyan Henley, Washington State
R4 (125): WR Derius Davis, TCU
R5 (156): T Jordan McFadden, Clemson
R6 (200): DI Scott Matlock, Boise State
R7 (239): QB Max Duggan, TCU

Day 1: The Chargers land the third-ranked wide receiver on the PFF big board, and a player who can make people miss in space in TCU’s Quentin Johnston. He forced 19 missed tackles on just 60 receptions and averaged 17.8 yards per catch. He did drop 11.8% of the catchable passes thrown his way this past season, though.

Day 2: Tuipulotu is one of the youngest players in the class at 20 years old and earned an 81.0 pass-rush grade in 2022 with a 19.1% pass-rush win rate. The Chargers are very smart to add a third edge beyond Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. They can move him around as well, as the USC product has the size to play as a three-technique defensive tackle or on the edge.

Henley is as explosive as can be with a big tackle radius and elite tackling numbers. He missed a mere five tackles on 97 attempts in 2022, his first year at the Power Five level after transferring from Nevada. Henley’s coverage skills are very much a work in progress, but he has the traits to develop into a quality off-ball linebacker for the Chargers.

Day 3: Davis ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash and can be explosive with the ball in his hands. He lacks route-running polish and was generally at his best when running crossing routes. The speedster offers immediate value in the return game but is likely more of a gadget player than a consistent contributor on offense — think Year 1 and 2 Mecole Hardman.

McFadden started at tackle in each of the past three seasons for Clemson (right tackle in 2020 and left tackle in 2021-22), but he’ll likely kick inside in the NFL at 6-foot-2. He graded out in the 88th percentile of all qualifying college tackles in zone run-blocking grade over his Clemson career and should add nice depth to a Chargers’ offensive line whose depth was tested last year.

A rugged run-stopper out of Boise State, Matlock has little pass-rush ability. He does add beef to a Chargers defense that has long had issues against the run. His 78.3 run-defense grade was the best among Boise State’s defense.

Duggan joins the Chargers as a developmental prospect who can comfortably sit behind Justin Herbert. He has tremendous intangibles and a solid ability to improvise. He needs to clean up his throwing mechanics and processing from the pocket.


Prospect Spotlight: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU

Johnston is a force of nature at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He is your vertical route tree X receiver in this class. For his college career, Johnston averaged 18.8 yards per reception.

Strengths, weaknesses and NFL role

Where he wins: Explosiveness

Johnston looks like a wind-up toy coming off the line of scrimmage with his high knees kicking into high gear. He challenges corners to be on their A-game every snap.

What's his role? X-receiver

Johnston has the draft class' most prototypical X-receiver skill set. Plant him on the outside to make safeties have to account for him every snap.

What he can improve: Physicality

If he can tap into his size just a little more, Johnston could be one of the league's most feared receivers. We've really only seen his play strength in flashes.

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