The Chargers could go a handful of positions in the 1st round and easily justify it. I reached out to some of our staff to see what positions they thought the Chargers should avoid with the 7th overall pick.
Nathan Graber-Lipperman: I'd have to go with WR, as I think that as long as Rivers is still being Rivers, building up the defense and O-Line is much more important. I get the whole make a run while Rivers is still good, but neither Corey Davis, John Ross, or Mike Williams seems like the prototypical #1 to put them over the top.
Derrick Browne: they should definitely stay away from the offensive line in the 1st round. There are too many holes on defense. No real free safety, no depth at corner or on the edge. I just think one of the top OL will fall to the top of the second and that's the earliest they should look for one.
Louis Gorini: I'm going to say OL. Yes, I know the Chargers never address OL properly in the Tom Telesco era. But the Chargers can't reach for an OL at 7 like they did with Fluker a couple years back. Just because it's their biggest need to avoid OL in round 1 because simply, there are not any sure-fire elite lineman. I love Bolles and all, but he is already 25 and is raw. He doesn't warrant a top 10 selection because there would be so many players better than him at 7. The Chargers need good ball players and many as they can get, regardless of the position or need.
Jamie Hoyle: I'll go off the reservation a little and say, quarterback - especially if the team stays at seven. Rivers has three years left on his current contract and is rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns in terms of trade value. All that means the team is better served riding out his current deal, which also means the team would have one year to evaluate a first round quarterback as a starter before making a decision on his fifth-year option. Better off waiting one more year to pull that trigger.
Ruben J. Gonzalez: The position the Chargers should stay away from in the first round is WR. This one is tough for me because WR is my favorite position on the team. But I don't see a legitimate game breaker with the Chargers sitting at 7. I should preface this by saying I am a real fan of John Ross; imI can see him have a Tyreek Hill type impact. I also like Corey Davis and his raw ability. But not a 7. I have been contending that the Chargers should look to trade down in the 1st and if they could pick up another draft pick in the 2nd or 3rd and say fall to 17 because the Washington Redskins want to grab a certain QB, then Ii wouldn't be so mad if they chose Ross or Davis. I think drafting WR is the hardest one to get right. So many WR get taken early and you never hear about them again. Anybody remember Laquon Treadwell? How about Corey Coleman? Josh Doctson and even Will Fuller. Those are your 2016 1st rd WR. If i had my choice id rather the Chargers stay away from WR in the 1st, especially at 7.
Garrett Sisti: The answer is obvious but simple, it's any Offensive Lineman. There is no Top 10 talent from any spot on the OL in this draft class. I wouldn't want the Chargers to draft a QB in the 1st BUT if you were gonna select a quarterback in this draft class it's in the 1st, there won't be any QBs left even in round 2 worth investing in. I can also make a case for a guy at almost any position at #7 that'd be worth the pick like: Multiple edge/interior DL players, S Jamal Adams, CB Marshon Lattimore, LB Rueben Foster, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Corey Davis or even TE David Njoku would be fun. I'm not saying I'd like a lot of those guys at that spot but there is an argument to be made. When it comes to Offensive Line any guy there would be a reach; no OL in Round 1.
Jamie Sewell: I'm saying OL. It's a tossup for me between OL and WR because I don't think there's any player at either of those positions worthy of being picked at 7, but I could stomach Corey Davis there a lot more than any OL (Mike Williams or John Ross are definitely a no from me). Cam Robinson, Ryan Ramczyk and Garett Bolles are all good prospects, but when there's going to be so much talent on the board at other spots it makes no sense to reach and overdraft an OL just because they'd fill a need.
Matthew Stanley: I'd say offensive line. There is no generational lock down LT available in this draft, and you don't reach on an OL for "upside" like you would for someone who plays a position that could score points. QB is a close second for me here because I don't really like any of the QBs in this draft all that much, but don't go OL at 7.
Aaron Woolley: Unless the Chargers are trading down, they should 100% avoid drafting any guy on the offensive line. No one is good enough to deserve the 7th overall pick, and I'm hoping that Telesco's thinks the Okung signing is good enough to wait until the 2nd or third round to address the line. I also agree with Matthew and say that the Chargers should not be reaching for a QB at 7 either. I like Mahomes in the 2nd round, but my fear is the Chargers fall in love with the weak-armed Deshaun Watson and take him at 7. I would think about leaving the Chargers as a fan.
Nothing too surprising here. Especially after the recent investment in Russell Okung. If the team hadn't spent on a left tackle you could understand why they might make a reach for the position. Telesco doesn't seem to be too interested in offensive lineman or safeties early. In this draft, the best lineman will likely go in the 20's and the best safety will likely go in the 30's.
What position and why do you think the Chargers should avoid early on?