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Joe Hortiz Emphazises That Chargers Are Looking for An ‘Attractive Offer’ for the No.5 Pick

Joe Hortiz (Via NFL/Twitter)

Los Angeles Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz stated Thursday that the Chargers are not interested in a “fair trade” for the No. 5 pick in next week’s NFL draft, emphasizing that the team would need to be blown away to consider trading the selection.

“They have to make it attractive for us to move away from those players,” Hortiz said. “The whole, ‘It’s a fair trade, it’s a wash’ — I don’t think that’s a trade that we’re interested in.”

Hortiz mentioned that teams have reached out to the Chargers, though none have made a formal offer.

Teams have inquired if the Chargers would consider a trade if a desired player is available during the draft, to which Hortiz has responded affirmatively, but with a high asking price.

Coach Jim Harbaugh previously referred to L.A.’s first-round pick as essentially the No. 1 pick in the draft, given the potential for all four teams ahead of the Chargers to select quarterbacks. Hortiz reinforced that idea on Thursday.

Joe Hortiz (Via NFL/Twitter)

“We believe we have the first pick of the draft. I know there are going to be four picks before us, but we believe that,” Hortiz said.

“We know it’s the fifth pick and people are going to be trading on that scope, but it has to be a good value for us. And does it have to blow us away? What is blown away? I don’t know the answer to that.”

The first three picks are held by teams without a long-term answer at quarterback: the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New England Patriots.

Hortiz noted that the Chargers are prepared for any outcome in the top four picks and anticipate that the Arizona Cardinals, who have quarterback Kyler Murray, might trade the No. 4 pick to a team seeking a quarterback.

In that scenario, the chances of a team offering a package to the Chargers to select a fifth quarterback in the top five seem slim.

Hortiz stated that the Chargers would adhere to the best-player-available strategy he used during his 26 years in the Baltimore Ravens’ personnel department.

He cited the Ravens’ selection of safety Kyle Hamilton with the 14th pick in 2022 despite already having one of the league’s better starting safety pairings in Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark.

LA Chargers Team (Via NFL/Twitter)

“We want to add depth, and certainly there are some positions that we don’t ‘need,’ but like I said, you’re one play away from needing a position. So, if you look at it based on need, you’re never one player away ever. … And so you get a chance to have a great player, and so that’s how we’re going to approach it.”

One of the biggest questions facing the Chargers since hiring Harbaugh and Hortiz in January is who will have the final say on personnel decisions. Harbaugh’s last NFL stint with the San Francisco 49ers was marred by reports of a power struggle between him and the front office.

Harbaugh stated publicly in early 2015 that he “felt like the 49er hierarchy left me” when he parted ways with the team a year before the end of his contract.

On Thursday, Hortiz confirmed that he has the final say on who the Chargers draft.

“I’m the one who picks the player,” Hortiz said, “but it is, when I tell you it’s a collaborative process, it’s a collaborative process.

I put the list together based on what we do as a group, and that’s scouting, that’s coaching, that’s talking to Jim — Jim’s input, his evaluation on players. I’m the one who ranks them and ultimately the one that calls them.”

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