I’ve been behind this year. Dealing with personal stuff, starting a new job, we even thought it would be a good idea to get a new puppy a few months ago. So it’s draft week and I’m just now getting around to doing some mock drafts.
To do my mock drafts I like to use the draft simulator over at fanspeak.com. It is becoming more and more popular so they are able to add more and more into it. There are a ton of draft boards from various draft sites and experts you can use, or you can create your own. If you upgrade to “premium” (which I highly recommend) you get the ability to do trades. It helps you get a good sense of general areas of the draft where guys might go. Obviously nothing is a sure fire prediction but this is better (and easier) than trying to predict every pick for all 32 teams.
Here are 3 mocks that I did with interesting results. I tried my best to fill needs while maximizing talent and value.
All the top offensive tackles were gone when pick 28 rolled around. As for defensive tackles, Dexter Lawrence was there, but I don’t like the value in round 1, and Jeffery Simmons was there but I wasn’t a fan of the idea of spending a 1st rounder on a guy who won’t play this year. So I went with Nasir Adderley who, in my opinion, is the best center fielder in the draft. He fills a huge need and pairing him with Derwin James gives the Chargers an insane duo of Safeties.
In the second round, Simmons was still on the board but I threw need out the window for the value of Deebo Samuel at the end of the second round. Deebo has good long speed, hes fantastic after the catch and he is the definition of Tom Telesco’s favorite adjective “versatile.” He lines up outside, in the slot, in the backfield. He returns kickoffs and has been a gunner on punt coverage. He had 25 rushing attempts in college, converting 7 for TDs, and took 4 kick returns to the house for TDs. Deebo brings a ton of value to the team at multiple positions and, as much as we like Geremy Davis, really lessens the loss of Tyrell Williams on offense.
Finally in the third, Jeffery Simmons was still there and I couldn’t keep passing on him. Simmons has that one character red flag, and he likely won’t play this season, but he’s an outstanding talent. He is so good with his hands, and an athletic freak. He can play any position on the DL. In the 3rd, he’s more than worth the risk/delay.
For the day 3 picks I doubled, then tripled down on DL with Greg Gaines in the fourth, who I think is a stud on the interior. He’s basically an immovable object, and a good run stuffer. In the sixth I grabbed Daniel Wise who is more of a Darius Philon replacement, an great athlete for his size who’s better playing the 5 or 7. Round 5 I grabbed one of my favorite LBs in the draft, David Long from WVU. He has great range, is a good, punishing tackler, and was ultra productive over the last 2 seasons with 183 tackles, 35 TFL, 10 sacks and 10 PD. I wrapped things up with Cameron Smith at LB in the 7th. He is one of those typical Telesco guys: Proven leader, tons of production, he’s local. The fit was there.
This draft fell more my way. Jonah Williams still being there at 28 was fantastic. Williams is one of the very few plugin starters at OT in this draft. The Chargers have a big need for a starting caliber OT and Williams fits the bill.
Darnell Savage is making a late move up draft boards. He isn’t a prototypical FS but Tony Pauline said this last week that teams believe he is good enough in coverage and athletic enough to play CB in certain packages and that the Chargers appear to be very interested in him including a private visit.
Vosean Joseph in the 3rd fills a need with a good player. I’m still not sure if I like the pick 100% but it was the best option I had available. He has decent range on tape, hits very hard, and had a productive Jr year for Florida all around.
In the 4th I grabbed NC State QB Ryan Finley. The Chargers have been doing lots of work on QB’s despite signing Tyrod Taylor this off season. I don’t think they’ll take one on day 1 or 2 but it wouldnt surprise me to see one taken on day 3. Finley has good tools, and had good accuracy numbers in college. Plus there are reports Philip Rivers has been mentoring him this off season in the process of heading into the NFL.
Greg Gaines I talked about above, being able to take him in the 5th made him even more attractive.
In the 6th, well it’s me guys, you know I was taking a Punter somewhere during this process. Corey Fatony has a great leg and can get off some deep punts. He was also the holder for Mizzou and can get off some deep kickoffs.
I finished with a CB, Jamel Dean. He has great size/speed (6’1 206, ran an official 4.3 at the combine), he can jump out of the gym, and shows good feel for coverage. The reason he’s a day 3 guy is that he’s only a 1 year starter and going back to highschool has had 3 knee surgeries. Though he has played 26 games over the last 2 seasons in college.
This may have been my favorite mock. Things started with Cody Ford dropping to the Chargers. Ford, like Williams in the last mock, is one of the few plug n play OTs in this draft. He is enormous but not fat, plays mean, great athleticism for his size, basically he has all the things you can’t teach. His weaknesses are all correctable technique issues and the Chargers have improved in developing young players in recent years.
Darnell Savage again in the 2nd, see above.
In the 3rd I grabbed Wisconsin Guard Michael Deiter. G isn’t necessarily a need, but Deiter fills the versatile role that Telesco likes, having started multiple games at Tackle, Guard, and Center. He isn’t the most athletically gifted, but he’s a nasty blocker, he’s extremely durable, and he gives the Chargers more reliable, versatile depth that can help push the group of guys they have at IOL.
The fourth round presented Te’von Coney at LB from Notre Dame. I know...the last time they drafted a Notre Dame LB, the results were sub-optimal. Coney isn’t over hyped though. He is a very productive LB who wins with good instincts and uses his hands well to shed blocks and make sure tackles. He has good size and the potential to put on some more weight to be an enforcer on the inside, which the team may need with Denzel Perryman dropping back down to 220ish lbs to try and avoid injury. He could come in and learn from Thomas Davis for a year while splitting snaps with him when he needs rest.
Greg Gaines again. He’s honestly just a guy I think this team could really use and he’ll be there on day 3 in all likelyhood. Daniel Wise as well. He would help replace what the team lost in Darius Philon.
For the last pick I went with a guy I’ve liked for a few years now. Cody Thompson from Toledo. He doesn’t have Tyrell Williams’ deep speed, but he has outstanding acceleration and explosiveness. He also knows how to use them both as a superb route runner and producing after the catch, evidenced by the fact that he only ran a 4.57 in the 40 but averaged 18.3 yards per catch for his career in college. He managed 3312 yards receiving and 30 TDs over his career as a receiver. But as a 7th round pick he’ll need to contribute on special teams as well, and he does with experience as a punt returner, multiple tackles on punt coverage, and a highlight play blocking a punt by catching it off the punters foot and walking it into the endzone for a touchdown.
Each of these mocks had a slightly different approach but each had good results and provided a lot of value to the team.
We only have 2 days left so if you’d like to take a couple stabs at it, head over to fanspeak and give it a few runs.