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What Position Should and What Position Will the Chargers Take in the First Round?

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The BFTB staff participates in a roundtable discussion about the Chargers’ first-round selection.

Clemson v Georgia Tech Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Richard Wade: What position do you think the Chargers will take in the 1st round (and why) and what position do you hope they'll take in the 1st round (and why)?

Jamie Sewell: The Chargers usually draft for need in R1 but I can't see them reaching that far for an OL. A replacement for Liuget should be in play but they're probably content to give him another year, and I don't see WR as a huge need, which only really leaves safety as an option. I hope I'm wrong, but I think they're going safety at #7 and giving Gus Bradley a shiny new toy to play with

Richard: counterpoint: D.J. Fluker.

Matthew Stanley: I think they probably go OL in the first. Telesco has shown he isn't afraid to reach for need, but he has also shown he doesn't value the Safety position enough to spend a first there.

I hope they go DL or Edge. They are trying to lock up Melvin Ingram long term, they drafted Joey Bosa, and if they can add one more young stud to the DL this team will be set on defense for a while. Plus I think the value at OL, S, and WR will be on day 2

Jamie S.: I hope they'll take a QB at 7 if that's Patrick Mahomes, because he'd be the future of the franchise with a HOF ceiling, and you can't pass up a QB like that, even if it's not an instant need. That's probably not likely, though, so I hope they take a DL/Edge guy. Liuget isn't doing the job, there's a lot of talent on the board there and it'd give the Chargers the makings of a very good defense

Nathan Graber-Lipperman: I'm thinking in a similar fashion to our good ole lobstercoat Jamie. Though I do like Jamal Adams a lot, I think picking a safety at 7 is a little too rich. However, unless the team addresses the position in FA, I have a feeling they go with either Hooker or Adams. I'm jumping on the bandwagon, too, when I say I want them to go with a DL. Control the line of scrimmage, and your defense always comes up on top. Why not add to the team's current strength in building one of the best lines in football?

Daniel Stebbins: I think LA will go safety in the first. Their apparent love for Addae being what it is, I am not as solid on this as I was a week or so ago but safety is a rather large need and plays a big part in Bradley's defense. The Safety group on the team currently needs a large influx of talent and going there in 1 wouldn't surprise me one bit.

I hope they go DL or Edge. Mebane won't be there forever and Liuget is probably in a make-or-break season. The decision to franchise Ingram with word that they are working on long-term extension makes me think they won't go edge, but what I would do is bring in a rookie for a year behind Mel and let him walk in the offseason. Either position would be a better decision than Safety IMO.

Ryan Doyle: I believe the Chargers go safety at number seven. There are top prospects at that position and one, if not both should be there at 7. New D.C. Gus Bradley helped build a successful defense with strong safety play and I think they Chargers go that route again.

I would like to see the Chargers select a DL or edge rusher. I think that they could find someone to pair with Joey Bosa to create something special up front. I'm not against taking a safety at 7, I like Hooker and Adams a lot. I just think addressing the front seven is a tad more important.

Jamie S.: I've never been called a lobstercoat before. I think I like it

Thomas Herd: The Chargers are taking a tackle at 7. They've gone with need over BPA in the last four years and that's not going to change this year. I'd love them to take a DL, either Malik McDowell or Jon Allen would be a great pick and make that front 7 even better. Liuget is on the road to being cut, Mebane isn't getting any younger and who knows what is happening after 2017 with Ingram. However, I can't see them taking another DL in the first after picking up Bosa last year.

Derrick Browne: At this point, I believe they're either going to go pass rush or safety. I say that because safety was the least productive position on this defense in 2016. They may go pass rush because Bosa needs help and there is absolutely no depth behind Ingram.

I'm hoping they go McDowell at 7. If you asked me this two weeks ago I'd say Jamal Adams. But after doing more homework on him and reading @kposey's article about him, I feel like he'd come in and make the biggest impact right away

Daniel Short: I believe the Chargers will go Safety with Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams, which I am in favor for as well. I also wouldn't mind a trade down for extra picks and then selecting Temple OLB Hasson Reddick. He is a FREAK! I can't see the team selecting an OL this early with no clear standout at this point.

Louis Gorini: Who I think they will take: I have a weird feeling that the Chargers are going to pick Garrett Bolles with the 7th pick. Round 1 they usually draft for need and can "justify" Bolles because it's been a huge area of need and will say they are protecting Rivers their franchise QB. Bolles is the type of player that Lynn will fall in love with because of his passion and tenacity. Telesco stated the offensive line position isn't good this year, and I took it as: offensive line is weak so you have to get your guy early.

Who I want the Chargers to take: I'm probably one of the few here when I say I want the Chargers to draft a safety with their first pick, only if it's Jamal Adams. A lot of people will say Chargers should draft a pass rusher in round 1 and select Budda Baker in round 2. I would sign up for that scenario 7 days a week. Only problem, I don't believe Baker makes it to round 2. So I that is why I would rather the Chargers do the inverse, get Adams in round 1, and a pass rusher (like Tim Williams or Carl Lawson) in round 2. @richardwade (edited)

Kyle Posey: I think they go off the grid and take a receiver. I don't agree with that but I think they're tired of seeing Rivers having to throw to 2/3 WRs. I don't agree with it but I think there was too often where the quarterback didn't have a receiver open last year. Allen’s injury makes that decision for them. What I would do is continue to solidify the trenches. Bringing Ingram back and with Bosa, compliment them with another pass rusher, whether interior on the edge.

Ruben J. Gonzalez: I think they will go Safety or Cornerback, especially if they get wowed by a CB in the next few weeks. Assuming they let Flowers go, there is going to be a need there and we all (except for a certain Brit) around these parts believe there is no legitimate safety on this roster as it currently holds. Of note, I saw a tweet somewhere that said Tom Telesco is looking for his Tyreek Hill. Could that be the star of the combine John Ross in the 1st? I wouldn't be mad at all. Before the combine I wanted McDowell. Today Solomon Thomas moved passed him on my board. Thomas looked smooth.

Cody Young: I hope the Chargers go defensive line in the first round. They have a chance to build something incredibly special on defense and I'd love for them to use their second consecutive top 10 pick to make that defensive front something to fear.

Even though the Chargers have neglected the safety position under Tom Telesco, I have a feeling that's what the pick will be in April. Why? Because it would serve them better to use the pick elsewhere. I want to believe they will do what's best, but they still to this point haven't shown that they know what that is. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

Jamie S: I wonder who that could be, Ruben.

Garrett Sisti: I've longed believed that the Chargers draft Derek Barnett. While there might be strife in the draft room over who the player should be I think Telesco seals the pick by justifying it with breaking the Reggie White sack record. An Edge is the right position just the wrong guy for me.

Jamie Hoyle: I've had a feeling for a couple weeks the Chargers will take Bolles. From a personal background perspective, he's right up their alley. He was selfless enough to forfeit eligibility to go on his LDS mission, already has a family of his own, so he's mature. Came from a winning program at Utah. On the field, he worked his ass off to get to Utah from the JC ranks and made himself into an elite draft prospect. He's also built for Lynn's system because he's smart, athletic, and mean. He would also be exactly the kind of overreaction I would expect from the player/personnel group because he's the antithesis of the awkward, lumbering OL they've been running out there.

I should point out that I think Bolles is the best OT in this class, who happens to have the highest ceiling and highest floor. I just don't believe in taking OT that early.

I want Malik McDowell. He's highly skilled, versatile, and very mean. He can play edge in base defense and 3-technique in sub packages. Even though it isn't his highest and best use, he can also replace Mebane long term. He fits this new defensive scheme like a glove and is going to be a star.

Jamie, there are things I like about Mahomes, but I'm not sure I can get with the "HOF talent" talk. Gonna have to coach some of that unorthodox style out of him in order for him to be effective. He's also isn't real sophisticated with his reads and the fact that he still makes the same mistakes he made in his first year as a starter suggests he may not be terribly willing to accept coaching.

Lee Bedrouni: If you think about Tom Telesco's primary draft trends, there are two relevant ones here: 1) Round 1 draft picks have always been characterized as more need-based than necessarily best player available (even the Bosa pick could be characterized as passing over Ezekiel Elliott or Jalen Ramsey as BPA in some circles) and 2) Tom Telesco does not rate or value the safety position that much. I think the Jahleel Addae situation will be resolved in a way that makes me squirm and likely takes the safety option off the board.

What does that leave? Well, the most obviously heinous unit on the entire roster last year, even more so than the safety group, was the offensive line. Some bandied about picks here include Alabama's Cam Robinson, Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk, and Utah's Garrett Bolles. Funny thing is, all three guys have character/injury concerns (Robinson and Bolles the former, Ramczyk the latter) so I'm also not super confident, but I think given the number of need-oriented players with similar concerns across the Chargers' draft board, they'll take a risk on the post-hip surgery career of Ramczyk and take him at #7. (Plus, they'll score brownie points with the people who are hellbent convinced that Melvin Gordon will transform into Jim Brown incarnate if we acquire every player who played on offense with him at Wisconsin)

Personally? I think the offense is kind of a mess at this point, but one in which Philip Rivers can and will inevitably raise the proverbial tide of all ships (even Travis Benjamin's multi-million dollar lemon of a ship). Taken together with the lack of wiggle room on the offensive line (seriously, it's tantamount to hoping Dunlap will retire at this point) and I just don't see the point unless it's to anticipate an injury at a skill position (which, yeah, pretty likely).

So who do I want then? Malik McDowell. I don't care that he allegedly gave up on a mediocre Michigan State squad (I mean, let’s be honest, this Chargers team has quit repeatedly over the past 5 years, wouldn't be anything new). What I care about is the best possible realistic addition to the team at #7 and there's not a doubt that McDowell is the likely BPA there, given his inside pass rushing prowess and run defense. Plus, we could finally start the process of moving on from Corey Liuget. Hooray!

Richard: For a while now, I thought they would select a safety at #7, but right now I can’t shake the feeling that they’ll go wide receiver, specifically Mike Williams. I hope I’m wrong because I still want to see them take an edge defender that can rush the passer.

What do you think? What position will they focus on and which position do you wish they would take?