We are just hours away from the beginning of the 2014 NFL Draft and we still have next to zero idea who will be drafted by the San Diego Chargers. Part of this is that we are looking at one of the least predictable drafts in years. Seriously, we usually know the top five picks or so by now. This year, we don't even know who is going #1 overall. Part of this is that the Chargers pick at 25 and that means we don't have a real clue what players will still be on the board. The other part is that the Chargers have holes up and down the roster on both sides of the ball, so they could reasonably go in a ridiculous number of directions.
Most experts and fans seem to think the Chargers will need to draft a cornerback, but this is overly simplistic and assumes that the DBs available at 25 will even fit in John Pagano's defense.
I love Mike Mayock as an analyst. He knows his stuff and he communicates complex football concepts clearly and in an enjoyable way. His mock drafts tend to be accurate as he only releases one and on the day of the draft. That said, I'll be disappointed if the draft shakes out the way he has it and the Chargers don't take Xavier Su'a-Filo.
Pick No. 25 Bradley Roby Ohio State CB
This team needs a corner desperately. Roby is the second-most physically gifted corner in the draft. He has some issues off the field, but I think he can be a corner with upside in San Diego.
I understand there's a dearth of corner talent on the Chargers, but do we really want Roby's off the field concerns over a monster talent like XSF?
Todd McShay has Anthony Barr falling all the way to 25 and he does seem like a good value. That is, until you realize he has the Chargers passing on Odell Beckham Jr. I may actually cry if that happens and I like Barr.
25 Anthony Barr San Diego Chargers (9-7) COLLEGE: UCLA Class: Sr HT: 6-4 WT: 255 POS: OLB
Analysis: Barr is the No. 25 player on my board, so the value matches up here, and the Chargers have a specific need at 3-4 outside linebacker and a general need to produce more game-changing plays on defense (just 17 takeaways and 35 sacks last season, both ranking in the bottom half of the league). Barr's upside as a speed rusher coming off the edge could be too tempting to pass up.
Mel Kiper's draft makes me feel physically ill. I predicted Stan Jean-Baptiste earlier today because it's the pick I would hate the most and I'd like to at least get to be right if I'm going to feel that angry. I would rather have just about every player Kiper has getting selected from 26-32 over SJB.
25 Stan Jean-Baptiste San Diego Chargers (9-7) COLLEGE: Nebraska HT: 6-2 WT: 218 POS: CB
Analysis: This is a bet on upside, a shot taken on a big cornerback you hope develops into the kind of player we're seeing in the Seattle secondary. But the Chargers really need help at cornerback, and with Roby off the board at No. 24, they make a play for upside here. I do think the Chargers could go a few ways here, but if they believe they can develop Jean-Baptiste, they could have something.
I'll be surprised if any of these three players is the pick at 25, but these are our foremost mock draft experts. Who do you think will be the pick? Will one of these three be right?