So most of the mock drafts I've seen take into account the future for the Chargers beyond the 2014 season. I did a 7-round mock draft through Fanspeak.com using the Walter Football Big Board and I selected players ready to contribute to a Super Bowl run as soon as possible.
I took a look at our projected starters for next season and drafted on the positions we need to upgrade the most and took a gamble on players currently on our roster.
Super bowl or bust means gambling on players staying healthy so I am assuming Malcolm Floyd can make a comeback and Dwight Freeney plays the whole season. I know this is already a shaky start so I have to fill the biggest holes with prospects who can contribute on the spot.
Round 1 - Darqueze Dennard CB
Playing Payton Manning means we need to take risks by blitzing and leaving our cornerbacks on man to man coverage. Dennard is the top if not one of the top corner backs who will stick to those receivers when we try to rush more than 4.
Round 2 - Gabe Jackson OG
Guard with nimble feet, long hands, has good recovery with great balance and leverage. Locks on to defenders too. Similar to Larry Warford. He is someone we can plug in who could be an instant upgrade to Clary with Probowl Potential.
Round 3 - Deone Bucannon SS
One of the best Strong safeties in the draft fell to me so I had to pick him up real quick. We would finally get our enforcer and let Eric Weddle man his natural spot and cause havoc. Bucannon is 6'1, has 4.49 speed to keep up with both tight ends and receivers. He also delivers mean hits causing fumbles during his college career.
Round 4 - Daquan Jones NT
6'4 322 pounds. He could handle double teams and man our Nose Tackle Spot. He lead all the DTs in his conference on hits meaning he gets to the quarterback and collapses the pocket if left one on one. He had 11.5 tackles for loss last year and 56 tackles which is really high for a DT.
Round 5 - Philip Gaines CB
A 6 foot cornerback with 4.38 speed, dominating his conference with 42 passes defended in 45 starts. He can stay Hip to Hip with those tall receivers and help us out on our red zone defense too. Again, somebody with a lot of starting experience against number 1 receivers.
Round 6 - Ben Gardner DE
A two-time first team All-Pac 12. He wasn't invited to the combine but he wowed with his pro day numbers. With 39.5' vertical and 4.83 40yd dash for a lineman, he definitely translated his athleticism to his career with 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks last year. He also led his team with 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks the year before. DE was one of our weakest links last year thanks to a sophomore slump for Reyes. If he still performs below standard, Gardner is here to push the pocket for us.
Round 7 - Justin Britt OT
A nimble and long tackle who earned All-Sec accolades last year (first team in media voting). That alone speaks to how he fares with the best competition. He is being compared to David Bakhtiari of the Packers because he has good initial quickness and is physical. He is someone who can contribute incase our tackles get hit with the concussion bug again. I would put Clary as depth behind Dunlap and Britt as depth behind Fluker.
I didn't draft a wide receiver because I went all-in on our biggest weakness which is our Defensive Line, Secondary, and Guard Position. Getting Bucannon with Dennard and Philip Gaines is a huge boost upgrading all of our cornerback positions. With Freeney and Floyd staying healthy this draft could push the Chargers all the way to the big dance with a lot of Luck. Upgrading both Defensive and Offensive lines will be the difference for next year.