San Diego Chargers Mock Draft Roundup
With 11 days remaining until draft night, it's time to round up the latest mocks and see which players the experts are predicting the San Diego Chargers will take in all seven rounds.
No big surprises in terms of which positions the Bolts will address, but some of the names may surprise you. One of the most well-respected draft experts in the business is predicting a major fall from a top-20 player that would land him in San Diego with the 25th pick.
Let's analyze the picks and agree or disagree.
Round 1 (Pick 25)
Mel Kiper Jr. is predicting a major descent from one of the draft's top pass-rushers. In his latest mock, Kiper has UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr going to the Chargers with the 25th pick—a major steal considering other experts have Barr as high as sixth to the Atlanta Falcons.
Meanwhile, the guys at NFL.com and CBSSports.com have fallen in love with two defensive prospects for San Diego. Analysts Rob Rang, Dane Brugler, Pete Prisco and Pat Kirwan have chosen Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III as San Diego's 25th pick, while Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks, Charles Davis and Brian Baldinger are going with Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller.
I find it hard to believe that Barr would be there at No. 25, so my gut tells me Nix, Fuller, Roby and Verrett are more realistic scenarios for the Chargers. If I had to pick one, I'd probably go with one of the corners, because the secondary seems like the greater need at the moment.
Round 2 (Pick 57)
In the second round, Miller has the Chargers selecting an offensive tackle to pair with last year's top pick D.J. Fluker. I like the idea of drafting Tennessee's Antonio Richardson to replace King Dunlap, who was injury prone last season and will be a free agent in 2015.
But I think San Diego has to continue going defense.
If corner isn't the pick in the first round, then it should be in the second. Eddie Brown of U-T San Diego likes Phillip Gaines out of Rice while Rang is projecting Pierre Desir as a fit. Both have great size for the position and are fluid athletes, according to Rang.
Walterfootball.com takes a different tack with explosive pass-rusher Jeremiah Attaochu from Georgia Tech going to San Diego. After watching Attaochu's highlights from the ACC Network, I think his high motor would be a great addition to coordinator John Pagano's defense.
Round 3 (Pick 89)
Analysts Matt Miller and Eddie Brown agree that a defensive tackle from the state of Louisiana should be the pick in the third round.
After trading away a 2015 seventh-round pick for Sean Lissemore the previous season, San Diego general manager Tom Telesco may be looking for a player to complement Lissemore rather than replacing him. As Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego explains, Lissemore did well in certain situations for the Chargers in 2013, but playing every down of an entire season might be asking too much.
Round 4 (Pick 125)
WalterFootball.com has San Diego doubling up on corners with the selection of Oregon's Terrance Mitchell in the fourth round. Miller also doubles up but with another defensive tackle—Anthony Johnson from LSU.
Brown's choice of Oregon receiver Josh Huff is more to my liking, however. Huff had a great week of practice during the Senior Bowl, and his efforts caught the eye of Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage, who listed Huff in his position reviews as the top receiver in Mobile, Ala.
San Diego will have to add receiver help at some point in the draft even though Malcom Floyd is on schedule to make a return in 2014.
Round 5 (Pick 165)
The fifth round offers a variety of options from Miller, Brown and WalterFootball.com. Miller goes corner with Purdue's Ricardo Allen, Brown lists USC linebacker Devon Kennard and Brandon Coleman from Rutgers is the pick by WalterFootball.com.
One area I'd like to see the Chargers address in the later rounds is the offensive line, specifically the interior. 2014 could be Nick Hardwick's last year in the NFL, after he considered retirement in the offseason, and injuries were a problem at center and guard in 2013. Rich Ohrnberger was re-signed for depth, but San Diego needs to look to the future with a young O-lineman like North Carolina's Russell Bodine.
Bodine was a top-10 center coming out of high school and delivered for the Tar Heels as a starter the past two seasons, earning All-ACC Honorable Mention in 2013. Center was Bodine's primary position in college, but he did record a start at guard as well.
Round 6 (Pick 201)
U-T San Diego's Eddie Brown and I see eye to eye on the Chargers' sixth round with the selection of Oklahoma corner Aaron Colvin. Colvin suffered a torn ACL during a Senior Bowl practice in February. When healthy, Colvin was one of the top-rated prospects at his position, and he could be extremely valuable to a team that's willing to stay patient with his recovery.
Agent Ken Sarnoff tweeted a letter from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, which assured teams that Colvin's rehab has gone well and there have been no setbacks. If everything goes as planned, Colvin could return to his former self and be well worth the price of late-round pick.
The pick by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller is another enticing one. He has versatile Vanderbilt O-lineman Wesley Johnson going in the sixth round to San Diego. Johnson played both tackle spots and guard for the Commodores while making a school-record 51 starts.
Round 7 (Pick 240)
Matt Miller's last pick for the Chargers is South Carolina's Chaz Sutton. One of four team captains, Sutton tallied 32 tackles, 8.5 for loss and three sacks in the shadow of top-rated prospect Jadeveon Clowney.
What Sutton could offer on defense is a different look on passing downs. Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes have proven to be very effective players, but it wouldn't hurt to add more firepower behind them. There were instances when Sutton lined up at defensive tackle just to provide South Carolina with another pass-rusher in addition to Clowney.
I'd have no problem with another pass-rusher in the seventh round, but I also like small-school stud Matt Hazel, who set numerous receiving records at Coastal Carolina. The former Chanticleer caught 70 passes and totaled 990 receiving yards in 2013 and earned a trip to the East-West Shrine game for his efforts.