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Chargers remaining draft needs

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Without any picks in rounds two or three, the Bolts must look to late-round prospects to fill remaining needs.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, the Chargers list of positional needs probably looked like this for most of the fans:

  1. QB/OT
  2. OT/QB
  3. WR
  4. CB/LB
  5. LB/CB
  6. Edge/RB
  7. RB/Edge

Quarterback and offensive tackle were fairly interchangeable depending on how highly you thought of Tyrod Taylor going into Thursday night. Regardless of your preference, if the Bolts went QB in the first, then I fully-expected them to grab a tackle with their next pick. They did inevitably take their QB of the future but totally passed on grabbing one of the top-8 or so tackles in this draft with Tom Telesco deciding to send both day two picks to New England in order to go get a linebacker at #23. I can’t even tell you what tackles are worth a shot after the third round.

So the Chargers turned their first three picks into two players, filling arguably their biggest need and then securing depth at their fourth-neediest position. It’s safe to say that was, “Not great, Bob!”

The value in this draft for offensive tackle and wide receiver were, far-and-away, the highest in the second and third rounds. They still need help at either position and aside from signing Jason Peters or making an unrealistic trade for Trent Williams, those issues needed to be solved in the draft.

So here we are, with a handful of needs remaining and four picks left in the 2020 NFL Draft. Let’s go over them, shall we?

Offensive Tackle

After passing on a potential left tackle with their first two picks, the Chargers are likely to miss out on the drafts top-8 to 10 at the position. The top remaining OTs are Josh Jones of Houston, Ezra Cleveland of Boise State, and TCU’s Lucas Niang. All could potentially be gone by the middle of the second round.

As far as prospects that should be available in the fourth and beyond, names like Prince Tega Wanogho from Auburn, LSU’s Saahdiq Charles, and UConn’s Matt Peart could all be there when the Chargers select for the first time tomorrow.

Wide Receiver

The Chargers need a serviceable presence at WR3 and that presence also needs to have blazing speed to round-out this receiver group. They have their point guard in Keenan Allen, their power forward in Mike Williams, and now need their swing guy who can hit the deep ball. Basketball metaphor be damned, they need a guy to take attention away from the other two simply based on his ability to burn up the field.

Wide receivers that fit this mold who could be available in the fourth round or later include Texas’ Devin Duvernay (cousin of Kyle Murray), Florida’s Van Jefferson, and Rhode Island’s Isaiah Coulter. Duvernay was a 4.39 guy at the combine while Jefferson and Coulter were timed in the middle to low 4.4s.

Cornerback

The Chargers’ current cornerback group is stacked. That is a fact. But what type of corners is it stacked with? Two elite Nickel corners, one veteran on the outside who gets away with a lack of speed with his mental acuity, and a former UDFA who hasn’t been able to stay on the field when given the chance to solidify the CB2 spot.

Possible cornerbacks who could be available in tomorrow’s rounds include Georgia Southern’s Kindle Vildor, Oklahoma State’s A.J. Green (has met with the Chargers before), and Iowa’s Michael Ojemudia.

Running Back

Yes the Chargers are pretty solid here with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. Anthony Lynn has still mentioned he wants another running back to work in WITH Ekeler going forward. That back may be Jackson, but I fully expect the Bolts to grab a bigger back to bring some thump to the backfield. That is not going to be Troymaine Pope.

A lot of really interesting and exciting backs will be gone before day three begins but there’s no short of big bodies to take a chance. Boston College’s A.J. Dillon is 247 pounds while Memphis’ offensive weapon Antonio Gibson is 225. Gibson was mostly used as a receiver but projects best as a dual-threat back or utility player in the pros. In the late rounds, don’t forget about TCU’s Sewo Olonilua. The Chargers have met with the 6’3, 233-pound back who was utilized as the team’s goal-line QB in wildcat packages.

Edge Rusher

Finally, I’m giving edge-rusher the nod as the final need for the Chargers in this draft. While the group has a very strong core of Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and Uchenna Nwosu heading into 2020, Ingram is likely an odd-man out this offseason once the team starts to re-sign it’s vast amount of players set to be free agents in 2021. I haven’t felt that Ingram has lived up to his hype in recent years and certainly hasn’t deserved the 30+ million he has earned the last two season. With him likely gone next year and Nwosu taking his spot at the LEO, the team will need depth at either the LEO or Base End position played by Bosa.

For LEO prospects on day three, Florida’s Jabari Zuniga and Utah’s Bradlee Anae come to mind. For base ends, I really like Syracuse’s Alton Robinson and UNC Charlotte’s Alex Highsmith.