The Los Angeles Chargers official website put together a list of seven draft prospects that the team could target with the 7th overall pick in this year’s 2017 NFL Draft. The article is more or less just a compilation of the prospects that draft pundits from around the sports web have associated with the Chargers the most. Most of the names on the list probably will not come as much of a surprise. Here are the seven players that were mentioned in the article and what Chargers.com had to say about them:
1. S Jamal Adams, LSU
Considered one of the top all-around safeties to come out of college football in recent years, the LSU star is fresh off an impressive junior campaign in which he was named a first-team All-American. Adams followed up a strong sophomore season in which he totaled 67 tackles, four interceptions and six passes defensed by notching 76 tackles, one interception and four passes defensed in 2016. In addition to his coverage skills and ability to patrol the secondary, he is a physical tackler who excels against the run. Many laud Adams for his exceptional leadership qualities, and his overall skillset has drawn comparisons to Giants’ Pro Bowler Landon Collins and Cowboys’ legend Darren Woodson.
2. DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
A prototypical 4-3 defensive end, Charlton broke out last season at Michigan. After serving as a rotational lineman his first two seasons, he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after leading the Wolverines with 9.5 sacks. Charlton combines freakish athletic gifts with a commanding presence, projected at 6-6, 272-pounds. Still raw, the defensive end is a prospect on the rise who figures to get a lot of attention in Indianapolis.
3. WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
A four-year starter at Western Michigan, the 6-3, 213-pound wideout became college football’s all-time leader with 5,285 yards last season. He also was named the 2016 Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-American after catching 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior. Davis finished his collegiate career with 332 catches, 5,285 yards and 52 TDs. An exceptional route-runner with great ball skills, his production in the red zone also sets him apart which is why some believe he may be the first wide receiver selected in the draft.
4. S Malik Hooker, Ohio State
No prospect has been associated more with the Chargers in mock drafts than the rangy Ohio State ball hawk. Last season was the safety’s first as a starter, and he finished tied for second in college football with seven interceptions. Hooker earned first-team All-American and Big-Ten honors by also totaling 74 tackles and 11 passes defensed. Unfortunately, he won’t work out at the Combine after undergoing surgery on a hernia and his labrum.
5. T Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
Ramczyk is another player who won’t take the field in Indianapolis following offseason surgery. The tackle burst onto the scene last year for Wisconsin in his only year of FBS football after transferring from Division III’s UW-Stevens Point in 2015. He sat out that year before breaking out in 2016, starting every game at left tackle for the Badgers. The 6-6, 314-pounder earned first-team All-Big Ten and AP All-American honors as he excelled in pass protection and run blocking. His overall skillset has drawn comparisons to the Patriots’ Nate Solder and 49ers’ Joe Staley.
6. DE Solomon Thomas
The Stanford star was a force in 2016, winning the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year as a redshirt sophomore. Thomas paced the Cardinal with 61 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and notched eight sacks. He also earned a lot of praise for his ability to impact the game in ways that don’t show up on the scoresheet. Thomas went out with a bang in his final game, earning MVP honors in the Sun Bowl after leading Stanford over North Carolina with multiple pressures, two tackles for loss and a sack. His stock is on the rise for his ability to dominate as either a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive end.
7. WR Mike Williams, Clemson
A big target at 6-3, 225-pounds, Williams is one of the draft’s flashiest players. The Clemson wideout bounced back from a serious neck injury in 2015 to dominate last season. He was a first-team All-ACC pick after catching 98 passes for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns, leading the Tigers to the national title. Williams put on a show in the National Championship Game, catching eight passes for 94 yards and one touchdown to lead Clemson over Alabama.
Unsurprisingly, the list hits on most of what should be the Chargers biggest areas of focus this offseason. Malik Hooker has definitely been the favorite to end up with the Chargers to this point. Hooker has only one year of starting experience in college, but there is no denying his ability to create turnovers. One of the biggest problems with Hooker is his tendency to miss tackles (he missed one out of every six last season). I don’t think the Chargers should use their first-round pick on a safety, but Adams would be my selection if they were set on addressing the position with the 7th pick. Jamal Adams look like the total package as a physical player who is stellar in run support and can hold his own in coverage.
Tom Telesco really shouldn’t be looking at a wide receiver at the top of round one, but if he were to select one, Corey Davis looks like the best receiver in this class. Davis runs some beautiful routes and practically lives in the end zone. He’s going to be a darn good player at the next level. Mike Williams is a decent receiver himself but doesn’t possess the tools or display the refinement in his game that Davis does.
Neither of the two defensive ends listed would be my pick for the Chargers, but of the two players, Solomon Thomas looks like the better option. Taco Charlton is a player who has what it takes to be a complete player, but he hasn’t been able to stay consistent and really put it all together. Selecting a player in the top 10 you’re looking for more than what Charlton has to offer right now.
Ryan Ramczyk is another is another interesting player with only one year of collegiate starting experience. I really like Ramczyk and I think he has what it takes what it takes to succeed in the NFL. The only problem is I don’t like him at the top of the first round. The Chargers could sure use some help at the tackle position, but I believe that pick would ultimately be better spent along the defensive line.