The Los Angeles Chargers made the decision to hire Jim Harbaugh as head coach this week. He has a history of turning organizations around for the better, which is important for a Chargers team that has been snake-bitten for years. Quarterback Justin Herbert profiles as one of the best in the league but has been unable to overcome the other top teams to this point in his career. 

Harbaugh's first order of business has to be altering the mindset of those in the building to believe in themselves and set the course for a higher standard. When things are going well, no one should be wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. 

As far as personnel is concerned, the Chargers are more than $50 million in salary cap debt, and the franchise has not proven to be willing to charge the credit card in the way New Orleans, Cleveland, Philadelphia and others have done. Those circumstances could lead to uncomfortable decisions with veterans like running back Austin Ekeler and wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen

Here is one path for Harbaugh to take the Chargers from afterthought to contender in the AFC playoff picture:

No. 5 overall: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

 CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 4 | CBS Sports position ranking: No. 1 TE

Harbaugh is a coach who prefers to win with a physical style of football. While at Michigan, he funneled resources towards the offensive and defensive lines. However, Los Angeles stands to lose a lot on offense this offseason, and drafting replacements is the only way to compensate for that talent depletion without overspending in free agency. 

Bowers is a nimble pass-catcher capable of making plays downfield, but he is also not afraid to mix it up in the run game. Over his three seasons with the Bulldogs, 65.7% of his receptions have gone for either a first down or a touchdown. Veteran Gerald Everett is expected to hit free agency this offseason. 

Round 2: CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 27 | CBS Sports position ranking: No. 6 CB

Asante Samuel Jr. has emerged as a staple in Los Angeles' secondary, but the investment in J.C. Jackson fell through the floor. The AFC West franchise had no answer when that plan fell short. Lassiter is still a young player and on similar footing as other top talent at the cornerback position in this class. He has the skillset to become one of the better cornerbacks in the league. 

According to TruMedia, he allowed 359 yards and 1 touchdown on 50 attempts last season.

Round 3: RB Blake Corum, Michigan

CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 124 | CBS Sports position ranking: No. 6 RB

Harbaugh will probably favor bringing in players with which he has some familiarity so they can spread his message to teammates. Corum has been a big part of the Michigan operation over the past few years. His skillset should help minimize the impact felt by the potential loss of Austin Ekeler. Corum topped 1,000 rushing yards each of the past two years. 

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Round 4: DT DeWayne Carter, Duke

CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 172 | CBS Sports position ranking: No. 2 DT

Defensive tackle has been a point of weakness for the franchise. As noted earlier, Harbaugh will want to get more physical at the point of attack. Carter gives them a potential starter in an ideal world and serviceable depth at the very least. Austin Johnson is another Charger in line to hit free agency. 

Round 5: EDGE Cedric Johnson, Ole Miss

CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 139 | CBS Sports position ranking: No. 12 EDGE

Johnson is an investment in the defensive line. Tuli Tuipulotu was a solid choice last year, but Johnson helps build out that room for when Khalil Mack inevitably moves on. The 33-year-old Mack is entering the final season of his contract. 

Round 6: WR Luke McCaffrey, Rice

CBS Sports prospect ranking: N/A | CBS Sports position ranking: N/A

McCaffrey's father, Ed, played 13 seasons in the NFL. His brother, Christian, has been a star in the league for years. One of his other brothers, Dylan, played for Harbaugh at Michigan before transferring. Luke has a working knowledge of the league and the day-to-day work required to be a professional. 

Round 7: LB Michael Barrett, Michigan

CBS Sports prospect ranking: N/A | CBS Sports position ranking: N/A

Harbaugh adds another former player to his roster. Kenneth Murray will be a free agent in a few months. and Eric Kendricks is nearly 32 years old. Los Angeles will need a youthful infusion at linebacker, and Barrett has an understanding of Harbaugh's vision for the defense. 

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at CBSSports.com, including the weekly updated draft ordermock drafts and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects