We’ve got a treat for you all before tonight’s festivities begin.
I went around to all of the Chargers beat writers and other who cover the team to get their thoughts on two things:
1.) Who do you THINK the Chargers will take at No. 13?
2.) Who do you believe SHOULD be the pick at No. 13?
I got a lot of good responses here, so I hope you all enjoy.
Let’s get into it.
Fernando Ramirez - Sports Illustrated, Chargers Report
Guessing the pick: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Personal Pick: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
“I feel like this just makes too much sense. The Chargers have a young defense that have shown flashes of being good, but this addition really gives them a star at each position group. Horn could potentially be the Jalen Ramsey of the defense. He knows the business due to his father being a former NFL receiver.”
“What really makes Horn stand out is his grit and chip on his shoulder. He plays angry the way Joey Bosa, Kenneth Murray, and Derwin James all seem to do. The Chargers are in a division with a lot of speed at the receiver spot so adding a corner like Horn helps. The defense is close to being a top ten, so this addition would most certainly do that in a hurry.”
Gilbert Manzano - O.C. Register
Guessing the pick: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Personal pick: OG/T Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, Patrick Surtain II or Jaycee Horn would all be great picks for the Chargers in the first round, but I don’t see any of them being available at No. 13. Call me negative, but this seems like a realistic scenario. A handful of teams ahead of the Chargers need offensive tackles and cornerbacks.
If the Chargers don’t trade up for one of these four players, I see them going with the best available player and addressing another current need. Kwity Paye, edge rusher from Michigan, will be the pick because the Chargers are thin on the defensive line after Joey Bosa. The team is high on Uchenna Nwosu, but he’s been inconsistent his first three seasons.
But I believe the Chargers should pick versatile USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker who has All-Pro potential as an offensive guard. The Chargers currently don’t have a need on the inside, but Vera-Tucker proved last year he’s capable of playing left tackle. He has a safe floor with a high ceiling. The Chargers tend to have injuries on the offensive line. Versatility is vital for them.
Ryan Dyrud - L.A. Football Network
Guessing the pick: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Personal pick: OG/T Alijah Vera-Tucke
“If the first 12 picks go like we all think they will, Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater will be off the board. Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn will most likely be gone as well. So that leaves the Chargers with a big decision. Alijah Vera-Tucker is my favorite player on the board as I love his versatility. But Telesco and Staley have both eluded to wanting size and length at the Tackle position. Christian Darrisaw has those in spades and can develop into a really good blindside blocker for Justin Herbert. Darrisaw is the pick.”
Jeff Miller - Los Angeles Times
Guessing the pick: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Personal pick: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
I’ve been thinking OL the whole way, so I’ll stick with that. I think they’ll take the best LT candidate who’s still there at No. 13, maybe Slater perhaps more likely Darrisaw. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they take a CB. They desperately need another corner. Personally, I’d go with an OL. All of which means they’ll draft a WR.
Daniel Popper - The Athletic
Guessing the pick: OT Christian Darrisaw
Personal pick: OT OT Rashawn Slater
“After much deliberation, I settled on Christian Darrisaw as the pick at 13, for the reasons I outlined in my final mock draft. I do not think Rashawn Slater or Jaycee Horn will fall to that spot. If either of those players ends up falling, then they would be the pick. If both are available, then I think the Chargers would go with Slater over Horn, because they have a massive need a left tackle and on the offensive line in general. If I was running the show, I would be doing everything in my power to go get Penei Sewell if he falls outside the top six. I don’t think the Chargers will be willing to trade a future first-rounder to move up to 7, which is what it will likely end up taking. But if they can move up by giving up, say, 77 and a future second-rounder, I think that is firmly on the table.”
Gavino Borquez - USA Today, Chargers Wire
Guessing the pick: OT Christian Darrisaw
Personal pick: OG/T Alijah Vera-Tucker
“It would be the most ideal scenario for the Chargers to trade up for Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater, but I believe they’re going to find themselves having a quarterback-needy team, which might be too costly. While he needs to develop his true strength & power and more attitude in his game, Darrisaw has the size, athletic ability, body control and most importantly, the experience at the position to fill a glaring need from Day 1.”
“Vera-Tucker put together a solid season as the Trojans’ left tackle this past season and he has plenty of experience at guard, where many project him to play in the NFL due to his lack of arm length. In my opinion, Vera-Tucker comes with the functional athleticism, movement skills and impressive strength to match and stymie pass rushers, and I believe he could be a fine blindside blocker in this league.”
Michael Peterson - SB Nation
Guessing the pick: OG/T Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Personal pick: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
“As of late, I can’t get AVT out of my head as the odds-on favorite to be the pick at No. 13 if the top-two tackles and cornerbacks are off the board. Through his past two press conferences, Tom Telesco has leaned on the theme of “versatility” while preaching that he’s an advocate of taking the best player available, no matter the position. If versatility makes a player more valuable, than I don’t see how he’s not the better player in their eyes compared to Christian Darrisaw, the next top OT on the board. I also believe that the selection of AVT sets them up to be much more flexible along the line going forward, not unlike how the Packers have been using their 2019 first-rounder, Elgton Jenkins.”
“However, if the board lands the way it needs to, I think Slater needs to be the pick. I’d love a trade up to grab Penei Sewell and reunite him with Justin Herbert, but I believe Slater falling is more likely than TT making a trade up to where he likely has to in order to snag Sewell. Slater is just the better version of AVT. True five-position versatility that is unmatched in this draft class. Heck, the Bolts may still need to trade up, but it’s likely several spaces behind where Sewell ends up going.”