Chargers Select Joe Alt At No. 5

The Chargers were one of the few teams with an early first-round pick that didn’t need a QB, leading to plenty of speculation about how they’d proceed. The selection is in, and the organization has opted for Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt.

Alt was previously described as “(Jim) Harbaugh‘s guy,” so this pick doesn’t come as a huge surprise. There was some thought that the team could look to trade back and pick up extra assets, and there was also a belief that they’d pursue a wide receiver to replace the departed Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Instead, they’ve opted for OL help.

The run game will clearly be a higher priority for the Bolts this season, with the team hiring Greg Roman and reuniting the well-traveled OC with Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins. Alt will presumably be kicked to right tackle with the Chargers, as Rashawn Slater has been the Bolts’ LT since being a 2021 first-round pick. An Alt investment would stand to displace Trey Pipkins, the Bolts’ RT regular for the past two seasons.

A two-time first-team All-American, the 6-foot-8 Alt played left tackle for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame LTs have been coveted prospects and moved to other spots in the pros. Zack Martin operated as a left tackle for the Division I-FBS independent; so did Mike McGlinchey. Alt has widely been considered the top offensive line in the draft, and he was considered one of the top non-QB prospects. Being selected at No. 5 is pretty much in line with most pre-draft mock drafts.

The team has invested heavily in offensive line help in recent years. An Alt selection represents the Bolts’ third O-line first-round pick in four years. In addition to Alt and Slater, the team has 2022 first-round guard Zion Johnson going into Year 3.

Joe Alt becomes a first-round pick 40 years after his father (John) went off the draft board in Round 1. John Alt played 13 seasons for the Chiefs, operating as the franchise’s left tackle starter for most of that span. Despite this Chargers operation still being in dire need of receiving help, Harbaugh has not built his past teams around aerial attacks. It will be interesting to see how the Bolts go about addressing the void created by the Allen and Williams exits.

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