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Chargers pick 12th in early 2021 mock draft

The Bolts add blazing speed in next year’s first round.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Citrus Bowl - Michigan v Alabama Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s never, EVER, too early to start reading some mock drafts for next season.

In that spirit, Dane Brugler of The Athletic posted his extremely early 2021 mock draft just mere days following the end of the 2020 draft. In his mock, the Chargers improve upon their draft position, but not by very much. Brugler has the Chargers selecting at #12, and he does NOT have the Bolts selecting an offensive tackle.

Instead, the Chargers will be adding to their already stacked offensive talent with the selection of wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, another dynamic Alabama player with turbo speed. Here’s what Brugler had to say about the selection:

“With Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs now in the NFL, Waddle should see added targets and snaps as a junior with a chance to be an All-American candidate. He is one of the fastest and most elusive players in the nation with the ball in his hands.”

Now that’s not the most-thorough of analysis, nor does it explain why the Bolts would select a receiver in the first round after selecting two in this year’s draft, but it’s hard to argue with “Alabama”, “All-American”, and “most elusive player.”

I think the thought behind this might be the off-chance that the team decides to move on from Keenan Allen following the 2020 season. It’s unlikely and a horrible thought, so let’s just forget I mentioned it.

As a freshman in 2018, Waddle caught 45 passes for 848 yards and seven touchdowns. This past season, he regressed a bit but still managed 33 catches for 560 yards and another six scores. Waddle would also offer return ability, seeing as he took two kickoffs and one punt back for touchdowns over his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa.

After the team refused to address offensive tackle with either of their six draft picks, it’s tough not seeing them address it in the first next season. I’m all for one of the options earning the job and running away with it, but I’m just playing the odds here. If this pick really ends up anywhere near #12 or higher, I don’t see how OT isn’t choice.