With the NFL Combine in the books, the mock draft season has begun to heat up. There will be some movement in mock drafts as well. New faces will appear for the Los Angeles Chargers as well.
As some players tested well and proved themselves as top-tier prospects, others like tackle Orlando Brown saw a big dip in their stock due to their poor performances.
For the Chargers, head coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco provided hints to their Draft process, but with so much time before the Draft, there is still plenty of time for things to change.
In terms of the players tabbed to the Bolts, the positions of need remain the same. Interior lineman, offensive lineman, and a few flashy picks are still popular.
Here are some mocks from around the web:
Dan Kadar (SBNation.com): OT Orlando Brown (Oklahoma)
The best comparison for Brown has always been King Dunlap because of his sheer size and ability to use it to take up space. Brown had a bad combine, there’s no mistaking that fact. But in game, he’s a mountainous blocker who can be the Chargers’ right tackle for years to come. “When are you ever going to watch Orlando Brown run 40 yards down the field, you can watch last year’s tape and see he allowed zero sacks,” Brown’s Oklahoma teammate Baker Mayfield said at the combine. “I’d say that’s pretty important for a left tackle.”
Despite his awful combine performance, Brown is still going to be one of the first tackles off the board come Draft day. Los Angeles is without a right tackle and Brown might be the answer. If Telesco wants to invest more into the offensive line, Brown could solve much of the run blocking issues the Bolts had last season.
Lance Zierlein (NFL.com): LB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)
Last season, Vander Esch was a tackling machine for Boise State. With the Chargers extremely thin at linebacker, Vander Esch could slide right next to Denzel Perryman and be an instant upgrade.
Zierlein had Rashaan Evans headed to Detroit three picks later, the Bolts will likely have their choice of the two at 17 if they decide to go inside linebacker.
Todd McShay (ESPN): LB Rashaan Evans (Alabama)
Los Angeles’ defense is strong but needs an upgrade at linebacker, and Evans is a thumper in the running game. He plays with tremendous effort and has sneaky pass-rush ability as well.
Evans would fill a massive hole for Los Angeles with his ability to impact the running game. The Chargers run defense was atrocious in 2017. If the defense wants to be mentioned with the Philadelphia’s and Jacksonville’s of the league, a talented linebacker would solve a ton of problems.
Tom Fornelli (CBSSports.com): G Will Hernandez (UTEP)
Hernandez gives the Chargers a boost on the offensive line and helps create holes for Melvin Gordon to run through.
Another lineman tabbed to the Chargers. With the word that Dan Feeney may be moved to center, that will leave a guard spot open. There is also the possibility of Forrest Lamp moving outside to right tackle.
Los Angeles isn’t afraid of drafting guys from smaller schools either. The Bolts stole Lamp from Western Kentucky in the second round last year.
Vinnie Iyer (SportingNews.com): LB Rashaan Evans (Alabama)
The Chargers have great edge rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, plus a shutdown corner anchoring their secondary in Casey Hayward. Their 3-4 defense, however, is one speedy, playmaking linebacker away from being truly elite. Evans would be a huge asset against the pass, both in coverage and in blitz packages.
It may be a typo, but the Chargers run a 4-3 under Gus Bradley now. Regardless, Evans would fit the current system just fine.
Matt Miller (BleacherReport.com): OT Kolton Miller (UCLA)
Addressing the outside of the offensive line should be the focus of the Los Angeles Chargers front office this season after using two picks on guards Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp last year. If UCLA’s left tackle Kolton Miller is on the board, the front office can grab a local prospect to not only fill a major need, but to turn the line into a strength moving forward.
A new name in the roundup. Miller hasn’t received much press but could be an under-the-radar tackle prospect to keep an eye on.
Matt Miller put together a seven-round mock and had the Chargers selecting quarterback Lamar Jackson and defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand in the second and third rounds, respectively.
Nate Davis (USAToday.com): S Derwin James (Florida State)
The Bolts are probably about to lose S Tre Boston in free agency. And GM Tom Telesco admitted the team needs more production at linebacker, a spot James could man on passing downs (unless he’s playing deep or in the slot). Also, the value is too good. James swore at the combine he won’t fall outside the top 10 and might be right.
Through all of these mock drafts, James has been all over the board. He has been taken in the top ten, or fallen all the way to the Chargers at 17.
He would be a big-time get and with no viable free safety on the roster, he is certainly a name to pay attention to.