With glaring needs at safety and guard, many feel the Chargers should address their secondary in round one. There are also those that feel the Chargers could snag a receiver in the top 10 and give Philip Rivers a true number one receiver.
Now that things are looking clearer and free agency has answered a lot of question about the roster, draft experts are starting to dial in on who the Chargers are going to select on draft night.
Dan Kadar (SBNation.com): CB Marlon Humphrey - Alabama
The Chargers have the pieces necessary on the line and at linebacker to fit Gus Bradley’s defense. But what they don’t have is the type of big cornerback he prefers. At just over 6’0, Humphrey is a solid fit who plays physical.
Daniel Jeremiah (NFL.com): QB Deshaun Watson - Clemson
Now wouldn’t this be interesting.
The Chargers are aware that Rivers only has a few years left and with a top-ten pick, the Chargers can get a top prospect at quarterback to groom. This may not be a likely scenario, but it is one that could change the dynamic of this organization.
Like Jeremiah explained, Watson isn’t going to be ready to start in year one, but he has a winning pedigree and is a proven leader.
Matt Miller (Bleacher Report): CB Marshon Lattimore - Ohio State
Of late, many feel that the Chargers are going to address their secondary by adding another cornerback. The Chargers have two talented players at that position, but with Jason Verrett’s health concerns, it may not be a bad idea.
The Chargers have clearly showed they don’t value the safety position and if they are going to select a defensive back, it would likely be corner.
Walter Cherepinsky (Walterfootball.com): S Malik Hooker - Ohio State
The one steady name that has been mocked to the Chargers since the season ended has been Malik Hooker.
Charlie Campbell was the first to report that Malik Hooker is out 4-6 months after two surgeries. I considered dropping him out of this slot, but I'm going to hold off for now. The Chargers like Hooker, and it doesn't sound as though he'll miss any regular-season action, so it's not like they won't have him for his rookie campaign in the wake of this news.
Besides, Hooker fills a huge need. The Chargers were already weak at safety in the wake of Eric Weddle's departure, and now Jahleel Addae happens to be an impending free agent.
Chad Reuter (NFL.com): S Malik Hooker - Ohio State
Reuter did a four-round mock draft and had the Chargers adding Hooker in the first round.
Then, he had the Chargers finding Rivers’ replacement in the gunslinger from Texas Tech Patrick Mahomes.
The final two picks were guard Dorian Johnson out of Pittsburgh and wide receiver Dede Westbrook from Oklahoma.
From a need standpoint, this mock makes a ton of sense. The Chargers need to find a replacement for Rivers sooner rather than later and the team needs to find an answer at right guard.
Jared Dubin (CBSSports.com): S Malik Hooker - Ohio State
Another Hooker selection. There are plenty of people who want the Chargers to avoid taking a safety in round one, but I would be open to the idea.