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Chargers see new faces in Reuter’s 4-round mock

The Bolts pillage the Big Ten early in this new exercise.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis v Penn State Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What’s good, Chargers family?

Chad Reuter of NFL.com just put out a new four-round mock that offers plenty of new faces not before seen matched with the Chargers in past mock drafts. They include an interior offensive lineman from a blue chip program, a corner with a worrisome amount of playing time, and a tight end that not enough people have been talking about.

Hope you guys enjoy this one!

Round 1, Pick 13 - OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

Slater’s name is one we’ve all seen over and over again when it comes to the Chargers’ first pick in this year’s draft. He can play all five positions on the line but he’ll most likely end up at left tackle. At his pro day on Tuesday, Slater noted that zero teams have asked him to transition inside but that he’d still be willing to make the move if it’s in the best interest of whichever team drafts him.

Elite movement skills, superb strength, and the type of nuance that sets him apart from other lineman with his physical capabilities. Slater would be a home run at #13.

Round 2, Pick 47 - TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

Up to this point, the only prominent name at tight end that has been paired with the Chargers has been Kyle Pitts from Florida. Behind Pitts, Freiermuth is the best tight end in this draft. At 6’5 and 260 pounds, many had him pegged as the next Rob Gronkowski during his early years in Happy Valley due to his complete game as a run blocker and receiving threat.

In his first two seasons for the Nittany Lions, Freiermuth hauled in 69 passes — nice — for 875 yards and 15 touchdowns. In the abbreviated 2020 Big Ten season, he played in just four games, recording 23 catches for 310 yards and a single score. Following that year, he was also named the winner of the Kwalick-Clark Big Ten Tight End of the Year.

With the Chargers choosing not to hit Hunter Henry with the franchise tag, it’s now much more realistic to mock tight ends to the team than it was before. My gut says they end up re-signing him in free agency, but there’s a legitimate chance now that the team decides against in a year where they have to be incredibly careful with how they handle a minimized salary cap.

Round 3, Pick 77 - C Josh Myers, Ohio State

With Mike Pouncey announcing his retirement earlier this year, and last year’s starter Dan Feeney scheduled to hit free agency, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Chargers address the center position, especially if they cannot land a notable free agent like Green Bay’s Corey Linsley.

Enter Josh Myers, a former four-star offensive tackle recruit who has been a stout presence at the pivot for the Buckeyes over the last three season. At 6’5 and 312 pounds, Myers has the ideal build to play anywhere along the interior of the offensive line. Per his scouting report on The Draft Network, Myers has the physical capabilities to be a starting center at the next level, but his lack of short-area quickness may limit his ceiling depending on the type of offense he is drafted into. His strength and brawn will help him in inside zone-heavy offenses, but he will struggle when heading to the second level to wall off pursuing linebackers.

Overall I think this is a solid pick for a player with a great pedigree and decent upside. Myers was named a Second-Team All-Big Ten honoree in 2019 and then made the First Team squad following his 2020 campaign.

Round 3, Pick 99 - CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky

Joseph is a former U.S. Army High School All-American who started his career at LSU back in 2018. In that year, he played in 11 games and recorded 12 tackles with a single pass breakup. Prior to the 2019 season, Joseph transferred to Kentucky where he was forced to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules.

Now eligible in 2020, Joseph started nine games for the Wildcats before opting-out for the 2021 draft. He finished with 25 total tackles and four interceptions.

In total, Joseph only played in a total of 20 games in his college career. That’s an extremely limited sample size for a player who thought it best to head to the NFL after his redshirt sophomore season. However, Joseph shows a natural ability to consistently contest pass-catchers at the catch point and drives with great intensity on underneath routes.

With his limited experience, he’s mainly seen as a two or three-year developmental project who could eventually become a starting outside corner in the NFL.

Round 4 Pick 119 - Edge Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State

Rounding out this four-round mock Hamilcar Rashed Jr., the Beavers’ premiere pass rusher over the past three seasons.

Rashed stands at a lean-and-mean 6’4 and 235 pounds. As a standup outside linebacker, Rashed posted 12.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2018. His junior season, however, was something to behold entirely.

In 11 games, Rashed recorded a staggering 22.5 tackles-for-loss and 14 quarterback takedowns. Yes, you read that right. He essentially put together single-season stat line that would have been respectable for any other defensive lineman over the span of multiple seasons.

In 2020, however, Rashed did not see the same type of success during the shortened seven-game season in the Pac-12. He managed to record just two TFLs and zero sacks alongside 23 total tackles.

Rashed’s favorite pass-rushing move has got to be the one arm stab which he uses to catch offensive tackles on their heels before tossing them aside once he reaches the depth of the quarterback. It constantly catches lineman off guard as I don’t think many expect him to have that type of power behind his hands. Either way, it’s successful more often than not.

Rashed is a very similar player to current Chargers Uchenna Nwosu but with a little more height to him. As prospects, I’d say Nwosu had a better overall resume during his time at USC but it’s tough to top Rashed’s peak during that monstrous 2018 season.