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By Bill Seals
Sports Reporter 

Chargers add McConkey and Colson on Day 2 of the NFL Draft


April 25, 2024

Photo courtesy of the University of Georgia Athletics

The Chargers selected wide receiver Ladd McConkey with their second round pick in the 2024 NFL draft. McConkey ran a 4.39 forty yard dash at the NFL combine.

After losing starting wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to salary cap issues before the 2024 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers entered Day 2 of the three-day NFL draft needing a wide receiver. They used Day 1 of the draft to add Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt. General Manager Joe Hortiz and head coach Jim Harbaugh, both experiencing their first Charger draft in their new jobs, got their guys with the two Day 2 picks.

The Chargers started the evening with the 37th pick in the draft, but Hortiz engineered a trade with the New England Patriots that moved the Chargers to No. 34, where they selected Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey, a 6-foot-0, 186 pounds with exceptional quickness. McConkey ran a 4.39 forty at the NFL combine and a ten-yard split at 1.52, among the better times for wide receivers in both categories. The trade did not cost the Chargers any draft picks, they switched their 110th pick in the fourth round for the Patriots 137th pick in the 5th round.

McConkey was a second team All-SEC wide receiver for the national champion Georgia Bulldogs in 2022. In 2022, McConkey caught 58 passes for 762 yards and seven touchdowns, while adding 134 yards rushing on just seven carries and two rushing touchdowns. He also returned 16 punts for 197 yards, a 12.3 yard per return average. McConkey was a finalist for the William Campbell trophy in 2023, the academic Heisman, an award won by Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in 2019 at Oregon.

Ourlads Scouting Services ranked McConkey as the 5th best wide receiver in the 2024 NFL draft. Ourlads describes McConkey "as a refined route runner with a sense of intelligence that is hard to find. Shows a strong understanding of what defenses are trying to both pre-and post-catch." The combination of Herbert and McConkey working together in the future should be productive for the Chargers and entertaining for Charger fans.

Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan Athletics

The Chargers selected linebacker Junior Colson from Michigan with their third round pick. Colson was recruited at Michigan by Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

In the third round, with the 69th overall pick, Harbaugh got a Michigan man, linebacker Junior Colson. The 6-foot-2, 238-pound linebacker was a second-team All- Big Ten selection in both 2022 and 2023 for the Michigan Wolverines. Ourlads had him ranked as the second-best linebacker in the 2024 draft, making this a very good selection at this point of the draft for the Chargers.

Colson was recruited by Harbaugh and played for defensive coordinator Jesse Minter at Michigan, so this will feel very familiar to Colson. He will compete for the starting middle linebacker spot with Denzel Perryman, the veteran middle linebacker with the Chargers and Raiders. Colson is the first Michigan player selected by the Chargers since 2012, when the Chargers selected center David Molk in the 7th round. With Harbaugh as the head coach, that will be changing.


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