clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Players the Chargers Should Draft to Excite the Fanbase

Here are my picks for players who would excite the new fans in Los Angeles

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft coming up, very, very soon, I thought it would be a great time to go over players who would excite the fans. I’m not saying these are players who should be drafted by the Chargers, but we all know that an Offensive Lineman is not in the least an exciting pick for the majority of fans. So here are my picks for players who would get the fans excited about coming to the tiny stadium to watch the Chargers play. My list is also eerily similar to this article on Bleacher Report.

Malik Hooker - DB, Ohio State

For the second year an a row, the Chargers could pick a playmaker from Ohio State with their 1st round pick. Malik has only played three real years as a DB, with two in high school and one in college. Despite that, he finished 2nd in college football last season with 7 interceptions. I don’t know about you, but a safety who can come in and be a ballhawk as opposed to the uninspiringly average Dwight Lowery, would be a huge win for the Chargers, and someone for the fans to get behind. He could even potentially sit for a year and learn behind Dwight Lowery before coming in and helping the Chargers create their own Southwest version of the “Legion of Boom,” especially with new defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley. Projected pick: round 1, pick 7

Christian McCaffrey - RB, Stanford

My personal offensive crush of the draft, Christian McCaffrey has all the tools to come in and make a huge impact for the Chargers in the same vein as Danny Woodhead. While his speed doesn’t match that of Woodhead’s, he has some of the best hands in the draft and can be an effective runner as well. I don’t personally think he should be drafted in the first round by the Chargers, but if he is there (and a certain Mahomes player is gone) in the 2nd round, the Chargers would do very well to have McCaffrey on their team. Especially considering he played at Stanford, most football fans in LA will be very familiar with McCaffrey, as he played in the PAC 12 with UCLA (go Bruins), and U$C. Projected pick: round 2, pick 38

Patrick Mahomes - QB, Texas Tech

Mahomes would probably not help the Chargers win a super bowl within the next two years, but he would be an exciting pick for many reasons. For one, he is an absolute gunslinger, and has loads of talent, and on the other hand, he is one confident man. We all love Philip Rivers and his southern drawl, but Mahomes would bring a swagger and a whole new level of confidence to Los Angeles. I am the biggest supporter of Philip Rivers, and I love his play, his demeanor, and his leadership, but you can’t deny the fact that he is getting long in the tooth for a quarterback, and it’s time to start looking at the future for when he retires. Projected pick: trade up (or down) to mid-20s

Marshon Lattimore - CB, Ohio State

Another guy from Ohio State, Marshon Lattimore is a bigger corner than we are used to, but is a phenomenal athlete, posting a sub 4.4 forty time. He plays good press coverage, and in 35 targets this season, he batted down 14 and picked off 4. This guy looks like a true shut down corner. To compare him to someone on the Chargers, his speed is very similar to Jason Verrett, except he is 3 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier. Unfortunately, he is a little too similar to Verrett in other categories, as he’s had injury problems throughout his career. He missed his freshman year due to hamstring injuries, missed about half of his second season for the same reason. In three years in college, he was only able to play enough this season to show what he’s got going. Although I love his potential and his play-making ability despite his rawness, I really hope the Chargers don’t go drafting him. Projected pick: Top 10

Obi Melifonwu - S, Connecticut

Obi is a guy who dominated while starting for four years at a small school. He has insane measurables and is 6’4”, 224. He runs a 4.4, jumped 44 inches on the verticle jump, and 141 inches in the broad jump. Those numbers are absolutely insane. He’s the kind of guy that we here at BFTB see in Dexter McCoil. He has the size and speed to cover receivers deep and to match up to tight ends. He could play a role near the line of scrimmage as a sort of linebacker/safety hybrid. This would be a phenomenal pick to get a lot of us excited. Projected pick: Early to mid 2nd round

John Ross - WR, Washington

John Ross broke CJ2K’s combine record in the forty-yard dash, posting 4.22 seconds. He has blazing speed and could be a great playmaker for the Chargers. The only problem that I have with him is that he is undersized and doesn’t have the play strength (from my view) to play in the slot. Bigger corners will knock him off his routes pretty easily and doesn’t make contested catches. The Chargers also have a player like him in Travis Benjamin who they are paying a buttload of money to, and they have another burner in Tyrell Williams, who posted a 1,000-yard season in his 2nd year in the league. If the Chargers are going to pick a receiver, go for someone big with soft hands who can be a reliable target for Rivers if Allen happens to go down again with injury. The Chargers don’t need another disappointing, small wide receiver. Projected pick: Mid to late 1st round

Garrett Bolles - LT, Utah

Bolles measures in as a very athletic guy, which is exactly what you want in a franchise left tackle. Some fans may say that the Chargers have shored up the tackle position with the signing of Russell Okung, but I couldn’t disagree more. The contract appears to be a one to two-year rental, with little penalty to cut him after his first two seasons. Bolles has great feet, and can match the speed of most he’ll face. The drawback to him is that he doesn’t have the power that you may expect from a starting left tackle, and is already 25 years old. You can attribute his lack of strength to only having one year of FBS football under his belt. Scouts project him to get stronger in NFL weight rooms, so they feel the strength isn’t a concern. Bolles would be put into a position to succeed, being allowed to sit and learn behind Okung for a year before being thrown out there. What NFL teams have to determine is if it will be worth it to wait a year for him to be 26 as a first-time starter in the league (which would give any team about 6-7 years with him as a starter). This will most likely drive his draft stock lower, and I could see him slipping out of the 1st round. Draft projection: Late 1st, early 2nd

Solomon Thomas - DE, Stanford

Slightly smaller than Joey Bosa, at 6’3, Thomas is considered to be a tweener and not a great fit for a 3-4. Fortunately, the Chargers will be playing to their strengths in a 4-3 in Gus Bradley’s first year as Defensive Coordinator, and Thomas would fit in well. He is very much in the mold of Bosa, as he plays through the whistle, and has the athleticism to get to the quarterback. He would be the perfect match across from Joey Bosa when the Chargers ultimately let the frustrating Ingram walk in free agency next year. If Solomon Thomas falls to the Chargers at 7, I guarantee Tom Telesco will have a fat grin on his face as he sprints to hand in his selection. Tom Telesco has a man crush on these kinds of players, and gets weak in the knees (and a lot more awkward if you can believe it). If you doubt my word, look at this video of him checking Bosa out. Draft projection: Early 1st round

Who do you think the newly minted Los Angeles Chargers should draft to excite the fanbase? Let us know in the comments.