The Chargers have their highest draft pick in more than a decade, but they might not be intending to keep it.
Per the U-T San Diego, citing a source familiar with the situation, the team is open to dealing the No. 3 overall pick. The move would not be unusual for a franchise that previously dealt a No. 1 pick that eventually became Mike Vick and Eli Manning, whom they traded to the Giants a few picks later.
But the real surprise here would be if anything happened at all. Teams are still trading up to acquire once-in-a-generation players, but the playbook is out. Like baseball’s transition into the Moneyball era, teams have the proper sample size to determine that more draft picks are better than fewer. With hundreds of draft eligible prospects every year, and with a deep class that could push first-round talent into the early third round, this draft is more about increasing your chances at a hit.
Across any sport, this theory has its outliers. Bryce Harper, Andrew Luck or LeBron James are worth their weight in gold. But in a draft like this one in 2016, is there anyone beyond the No. 1 overall pick that is worth your right arm?
The Robert Griffin III trade has changed expectations for that kind of move-up forever. It was too steep for Chip Kelly last year, and Marcus Mariota could have very well saved his career in Philadelphia. The Chargers may have a market if the quarterback market elevates during Pro Day season and Jerry Jones gets serious about taking Tony Romo‘s replacement at No. 4.
If not, trading down in a big spot is simply a good idea — so good that most of the teams are already trying to do it.