Updates on the Two Biggest Mock Drafts

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have released their latest mock drafts. Who do they think the San Diego Chargers will select in the 2013 NFL Draft?

It's around this time of year that the names Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. become important. Though they both work for ESPN, each puts out separate "mock drafts" leading up to the NFL Draft in April. Their mock drafts are generally among the most accurate and most telling when analyzing the draft stock of a prospect.

Each of these men released a new mock draft today and, although they both have the San Diego Chargers selecting offensive linemen with their #11 overall selection, they do not agree on who the Bolts will be taking.

Todd McShay

Lane Johnson, OT (Oklahoma)

McShay sees the Chargers parting ways with Jared Gaither, opening up a hole at the most important position on the line (Left Tackle). Johnson is not only a first-round talent when it comes to pass blocking and run blocking, but he's a good fit for the Zone Blocking scheme that new Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris will be implementing in San Diego.

Cutting Gaither would free up $500,000 in cap space in 2013, but it would also save the Chargers $4.5 million in real dollars. The #11 pick in last year's draft, Dontari Poe, got a 4-year contract worth $11.3 million. His cap hit for his rookie season was a hair over $2 million. Would the Chargers be willing to eat $1.5 million in cap space to replace Gaither with Johnson?

See More: Free Agent Offensive Tackles (Pre-Franchise Tags)


Mel Kiper, Jr.

Jonathan Cooper, G (North Carolina)

Kiper went back and reviewed tape of the 2012 San Diego Chargers and was shocked at how poorly the Guards played. He seems to think that they were equally responsible for the poor pass blocking, and more responsible for the poor run blocking, as were the Offensive Tackles.

Cooper would be an easier addition to a roster than Lane Johnson, if only because the team barely has just one Guard (Johnnie Troutman) signed for the upcoming season.

See More: Free Agent Offensive Guards (Pre-Franchise Tags)


One thing is for sure, the Chargers have holes to fill at the Tackle and Guard spots. Most teams in situations like this will attempt to fill both via free agency, and take whichever free agent fits the team best (in terms of scheme, personality and dollars). They'll then fill the remaining hole on the offensive line with a first or second-round draft pick. That means that Kiper or McShay could be right, but it will probably depend on free agency to decide which one actually is.
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