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NFL Mock Draft 2017: Chargers Get an Alabama Defensive Lineman

Who is the right pick for the Chargers in the first round?

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Texas A&M v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

One week ago, SB Nation’s Dan Kadar mocked LSU safety Jamal Adams to the Los Angeles Chargers at #7 overall. This week, still nearly two months from the NFL Draft and just under a week away from the NFL Combine, he has them focusing along the trenches of the defense instead. Here is what he had to say about the Chargers:

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

Like many Alabama players, teams will have to figure out if Allen’s potential has already maxed out. Crimson Tide players get coached up so well that sometimes there isn’t room for improvement in the NFL. Is that the case for Allen, a rare top-10 senior?

Allen is only the second defensive lineman to be selected after Myles Garrett, who is almost certainly going to be the top pick in the draft. Last week’s choice at #7 is instead heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars at #4 overall. Allen was a decorated collegiate player taking home the 2016 Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Award. He recorded 69 tackles (16 for loss) and led the Crimson Tide with 10.5 sacks. And he was first-team All-SEC for a second consecutive year.

His draft profile from Lance Zierlein compared him to Fletcher Cox and had this to say:

Outstanding leader and athlete with an ability to rush the passer from outside or inside. Has produced against the run and pass thanks to his strength, agility, elite hand usage, and plus footwork. He might not be the cleanest fit inside as a full-time tackle for some teams, but his talent should trump any size concerns. Allen is a likely first-round selection with Pro Bowl potential down the road.

Pro Football Focus was no less glowing and they compared him to Sheldon Richardson:

Allen is an appealing player for any defense regardless of scheme, especially given his ability to rush the passer and play the run on the interior. His best fit on early downs may be as a base defensive end that is capable of setting a strong edge in the run game and creating mismatches against tight ends while working inside in nickel and dime situations. Regardless of role, Allen has three-down potential at the next level and he’s one of the best players in the draft.

Bolts from the Blue’s own draft expert, Kyle Posey, however, had a somewhat different take on the senior from Alabama:

Drafting a defensive lineman at #7 overall is clearly a popular choice and for good reason. Whether or not the Chargers bring back Melvin Ingram, they will need someone to complement Joey Bosa upfront. Is Jonathan Allen the right pick? It’s too soon to say.

And in case you didn’t see Allen play this year, here is a highlight package from his 2016 season:

Tell us what you think about Dan Kadar’s pick for the Chargers in the comments.