You know draft season is officially underway when ESPN’s Mel Kiper drops his first official mock draft for the 2022 class. As one of the oldest draft analysts in the business, it’s always worth hearing his thoughts on players and team fits.
In his first mock of the new year, Kiper paired the Chargers with a player who you’ll likely hear about constantly over the next few months, and that is Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis.
“The Chargers again struggled against the run in 2021, an issue that has plagued them for years,” says Kiper. “Just go back to their 2018 divisional-round playoff game against the Patriots, when they were dominated up front. They allowed 4.8 yards per carry this season, which ranked 28th in the NFL. With Linval Joseph hitting free agency, there is a massive hole in the middle of their defensive line.
At 6’6 and 340+ pounds, there aren’t many better one-for-one replacements for some like Joseph. His sheer mass is an elite, uncoachable trait that would immediately make the jobs of his linebackers easier in that he simply eats up space and/or blockers at the point of attack. He’s certainly not the type of player an offense can leave one man to block, so the immediate impact he can have for this defensive front is painfully obvious.
Per Kiper, Davis isn’t just a two-down player in the way many see him. He can push the pocket up the middle which is the most-direct route to the quarterback that there is. He also notes that Davis is a perfect fit for a 3-4 front, which obviously is even more music to the ears of Chargers fans.
Davis finished his senior season with the Bulldogs with 32 total tackles, five tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks en route to helping Georgia win this year’s national championship. He also batted down a pass at the line and even punched in a short touchdown on offense as a fullback. In all, Davis recorded 90 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, and seven sacks during his collegiate career.