Jim Harbaugh's philosophy will be bad news for the AFC West

Jim Harbaugh may have revealed his plan in the 2024 NFL Draft, and it's not good news for the rest of the AFC West

Jim Harbaugh
Jim Harbaugh / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Chargers made a huge splash early in the 2024 offseason by hiring Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach. The arrival of Harbaugh, who has been outstanding wherever he's been a head coach (college or pro), was already not great news for the rest of the AFC West.

Of course, the Kansas City Chiefs don't have much to worry about at this point with three Super Bowls in the last five years, but over the long haul, having Harbaugh in the division is going to be a thorn in everyone else's side.

Harbaugh knows how to build teams with lasting success, and it starts in the trenches. But more specifically, it starts in the trenches offensively. Harbaugh is armed with the 5th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, a spot that could end up being where we get the first non-quarterback of the 2024 NFL Draft. And if the Chargers don't trade out of that slot, perhaps we can expect the pick to be an offensive lineman

Harbaugh recently spoke to the media at the Annual League Meetings and shed some valuable insight on the importance of building the offensive line the right way.

When you look at Harbaugh's teams with Michigan and Stanford at the college levels as well as the 49ers when he was there over a decade ago, you can see this philosophy played out year over year. As a college coach, Harbaugh consistently has churned out NFL-caliber offensive linemen and you see how valuable this area of the roster is to him in the way that he recruited and developed guys.

Now that he's coming to apply this philosophy to the Los Angeles Chargers, the rest of the AFC West should be at least a little worried about the fact that Harbaugh will make this Chargers team a force to be reckoned with on the offensive line. When you can dominate the line of scrimmage, he's absolutely right: Everything else just kind of falls into place.

The Chargers could realistically take Joe Alt out of Notre Dame as the first offensive lineman off the board. They could also realistically trade down and get a stud like Taliese Fuaga, Troy Fautanu, or just about anyone else to play tackle opposite Rashawn Slater.

After cutting Mike Williams and trading Keenan Allen, taking an offensive tackle would be somewhat boring for the Chargers. When Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze, and Malik Nabers are available? It might even be a tough pill to swallow. But Harbaugh's philosophy is proven over time at Michigan, in San Francisco, and at Stanford. And that should scare the rest of the AFC West.