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Chargers nab Alabama WR, Houston DL in latest two-round mock draft

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NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Alabama Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

If the Chargers actually go through with picking a wide receiver in the first round, it MUST be a player who can step on the field day one and make an immediate impact. And then, of course, the Bolts selecting a receiver in the first means that the team has likely moved on from Mike Williams and didn’t re-sign him to a massive deal. They have Joshua Palmer, but that’s far from a 1:1 replacement.

In a new two-round mock draft done by Pro Football Focus, author Austin Gayle went about the exercise as if the Chargers were not expected to retain Williams this offseason. In that case, Gayle has the Chargers taking advantage of another player’s potential drop to #17 with the selection of Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. Once thought to be the top dog in the class, Williams’ torn ACL he sustained in the college football playoff unsurprisingly will scare off teams who were looking at him as a potential top-10 pick.

However, that could end up being the Chargers’ gain in the end.

Williams (6’2, 190) broke out in a big way during the 2021 season after two seasons of minimal opportunities with the Buckeyes. He totaled just 15 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns during his time in Columbus. But in his lone season for the Crimson Tide, Williams exploded for 1,572 yards and 15 scores on 76 receptions (19.9 yards per reception).

“The Ohio State duo will attract a number of suitors in April’s draft, but Williams will be the favorite for every team looking to add freaky high-end speed at the position,” says Gayle. “A finalist for the 2021 Fred Biletnikoff Award, Williams caught 67-of-102 targets for 1,434 yards and 15 touchdowns this (regular) season. He also dropped just six passes all year long while averaging north of 3.1 yards per route run on an absurdly high 15.2-yard average depth of target. He is the class’ premier deep threat and a perfect complement to what Keenan Allen offers in Los Angeles, especially with Mike Williams expected to enter 2022 free agency.

The injury he suffered against Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship will obviously affect his draft stock, but a successful surgery should keep him from falling completely out of the first round barring any unforeseen hiccups with his recovery.

In the second round, Gayle has the Chargers turning towards the position group that many of us could argue is the team’s biggest need, the defensive interior. With the 49th-overall pick, the Bolts were given defensive lineman Logan Hall out of Houston, a massive 6’6, 275 presence that made Bruce Feldman’s Freak List in 2021.

Hall played in a rotational role over the first three seasons of his college career before really coming into his own as a senior. This past season, Hall corralled 13 tackles for loss and six sacks in 12 games for the Cougars. That lone season as a full-time starter was enough to get Hall invited to the 2022 Senior Bowl where he got the chance to compete against the country’s top senior talent. Like former Houston defensive end Payton Turner who went in the first round a year ago to the Saints, many believe Hall is on the rise leading up to this draft, as well. As of now, anytime on day two looks to be good value for this physically-exceptional player.

As always, let me know what you all think of these two selections in the comments below!