I recently participated in a twitter mock draft with some other football writers and members of #drafttwitter. Each person had one team and we went through all 7 rounds like normal. The rules were that trades are allowed, but no players can be involved, only picks and future picks can only be included for trades in the 1st round.
The Chargers first pick was 17th overall, I didn’t do any trading. There were a lot of players off the board that have been popular as potential targets for the Chargers. Roquan Smith, Derwin James, Quenton Nelson, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tremaine Edmunds, Vita Vea, Rashaan Evans. So, to me, this whittled down my board to Lamar Jackson and Isaiah Wynn.
I selected Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia. Jackson would be a lot of fun, and that is certainly a real option, but I decided to go with Wynn. Almost everyone is projecting Wynn as a guard, and he will definitely be a great OG. However, I don’t think he can ONLY play guard in the NFL. Wynn is a nasty finisher and a good mover for his size. I love what the Chargers did in the draft last year taking Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney, and I think they should keep building on that by taking Wynn. I would let Forrest Lamp and Isaiah Wynn split time at RG and RT early in camp and let their play decide who should start where. Russell Okung - Dan Feeney - Mike Pouncey - Lamp/Wynn - Lamp/Wynn would be fantastic for years to come.
When it came time for my pick in the 2nd round, it was a similar story to the 1st round. Many of the players we liked were gone. Justin Reid, Lamar Jackson, Taven Bryan, Malik Jefferson.
I went with the next best safety on my board. Jessie Bates III, FS, Wake Forest. Bates is a very good coverage safety. He is a ballhawk who has 6 INTs and 10 PD over the past 2 seasons. He moves very well in space and shows good instincts in pass coverage. He also has good size for the position at 6’1 200lbs, he could probably stand to put on a few pounds but I’m not worried about it. He tested extremely well at the combine. 4.50 in the 40, 35.5” vertical, and was outstanding in the agility drills with a 6.78 in the 3-cone and 4.26 in the short shuttle. His one area of weakness is going to turn a lot of you off though, he isn’t the best tackler. With Tre Boston still unsigned, I feel like bringing in Jessie Bates would help fill that hole of the centerfielder playing deep.
In the 3rd round, I grabbed Alabama DT Da’Shawn Hand. This is the one pick I regret. I should have taken Florida State DT Derrick Nnadi. Nnadi actually fills a bigger need as he can play the 1-3 technique who’s a stout run defender. Hand is a 3-5 technique guy who will help lessen the blow with Corey Liuget being suspended 4 games. Hand has the size you can’t teach and is an above average athlete. He will need to put in a lot of work to refine his technique and start producing to his potential, but if he does he could be a stud.
I then decided to pull a Tom Telesco. I traded back into the 3rd round, sending the 4th and 5th round picks to the Los Angeles Rams. I traded back in to fill that hole that is still there. A linebacker. I selected Genard Avery, LB, Memphis. Avery could wind up being a steal. If you want to read up more, this is a great piece on him. Long story short, he is EXTREMELY athletic. At the combine, he measured in at 6’1, 255lbs. At 255, he somehow managed to run the 40 in 4.59, jump 36” in the vertical, 124” in the broad jump, had a 6.90 3-cone, and put up 26 reps of 225 in the bench. He was extremely productive on the field as well. Over the last 2 seasons, he has 159 tackles, 32 TFL, 13.5 sacks, 2 INTs (both pick 6s), 4 PD, and 3 FF. Avery would be a fantastic weapon.
I then sat and waited for the 4th and 5th rounds to play out. In the 6th round, I grabbed a player that I frankly just really like. Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo. I think Woodside has the traits to play QB in the NFL. He was very productive at Toledo. In 3 years as a starter, he completed 65.3% for 10,274 yards, 92 TDs, and only 25 INTs. He is a bit undersized at 6’2” 201, but he tested as one of the more athletic QBs at the combine. Woodside makes smart reads, he’s a very accurate passer with good touch, however, he isn’t the strongest thrower. I really like Woodside, and while I don’t necessarily think he’s the QB of the future, he has what it takes to play in the NFL.
Finally, in the 7th round, you knew this was coming since this is me drafting, Eddy Pineiro K Florida. Pineiro is a very good and consistent kicker. He is 26/31 from 30+ for his career, and 5/5 on kicks of 50+. He looks like he has all the confidence in the world based on every interview I’ve seen him in. He has an unbelievably strong leg. He has made multiple kicks of 70+ yards in training/practice (you can see the videos on youtube). No I don’t think he could do that in a game, nor would I want him to try, but that gives me confidence that from 50+ he’ll have the leg. His kickoffs are high and long as well. The Chargers have had a big problem at kicker for a few years now and I think the more competition the better this offseason. Add Pineiro to the stable of kickers and let the kicking competition begin.
There you have it. A full 7 round mock draft with all 32 teams being picked by real humans. I think this draft would fill a few holes but also provide solid depth and growth for the future.