The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is done, but what a show this class put on. There were historic performances across the board.
Between the performances on the field, and some rumors that surfaced, we have a slightly clearer picture of what teams might do.
For this mock draft I’ll be using the mock draft sim over at The Draft Network again. Let’s get into it.
Jordan Davis - DT - Georgia
There were a few WRs here that were tempting; Treylon Burks, Drake London, Garrett Wilson. All the OTs worth taking here are gone already. The only other tempting names here are Zion Johnson at IOL and George Karlaftis at Edge. However, with the Chargers need at IDL, especially with Brandon Staley’s preference to play with a light box, combined with the absolutely insane performance Davis put on at the Combine, Jordan Davis has to be the pick here.
Skyy Moore - WR - Western Michigan
After going DT in round 1, my options in round 2 were interesting. It was tempting to double down and select Travis Jones as well, since he’s available here, and give the Chargers what would likely be a top 3 defensive line. There are a few other guys I like here that would likely be a bit of a reach but ultimately I went with Skyy Moore. The Chargers need a WR that can create after the play and win on a consistent basis and that is Moore. He had a really good combine between his weigh in and testing and I have no doubts about him being a borderline 1st round talent.
Marcus Jones - CB/KR/PR/WR(?) - Houston
Things got really interesting here in the 3rd. There were a few players I liked that would have been reaches, and post combine there were some new names floating around the top of the 3rd that I hadn’t previously considered, such as Montana LB Troy Andersen, Ole Miss Edge Sam Williams, and the guy I ultimately chose, Marcus Jones. To me, Jones seems like a fit for this team. The biggest knock on him is size. He’s pretty tiny by NFL standards at 5’8 174. He didn’t do any testing at the combine as he is recovering from shoulder surgery, however, his tape is pretty insane. Jones plays corner with a feisty intensity and had 31 passes defended and 9 interceptions in his career. But he’s more than just a corner. He had 9 return touchdowns for his career, 6 kickoff and 3 punt returns. He has a 28.4 yard kick return average for his career and a 14 yard punt return average. On top of all of that, he also had 10 receptions on offense this season for 109 yards and a TD. If the team is willing to look past his size, and his medicals check out, Jones could be a real weapon for the Chargers.
Chigoziem Okonkwo - TE - Maryland
The Chargers TE situation is a big question mark right now. The only TE under contract for this season is Tre’ McKitty. Chig comes in as a bit raw and his size puts him as a bit of a tweener at 6’2 1/2” and 238 pounds. However he ran the fastest time of all the TEs at the combine at 4.52 and had an impressive jump at 35.5”. The Chargers met with him at the Combine and it apparently went well. He would give Justin Herbert and Joe Lombardi another dangerous weapon to help this offense continue to improve.
Zach Tom - OL - Wake Forest
Zach Tom is the kind of developmental OL prospect you want on your team. He has rare quickness at his size and has positional versatility, playing both OC and LT over his career. He had elite performances at every testing metric according to his Relative Athletic Score (RAS) and it shows on tape. He is almost a clone of Rashawn Slater from a measurable standpoint:
Based on the measurables combined with his tape, he’s well worth the early day 3 pick and the Chargers could even give him some reps at RT to see how that shakes out.
Pierre Strong Jr - RB - South Dakota State
Pierre Strong Jr brings some juice to the Chargers RB room. He tied for the fastest 40 among the RB group at the combine this year with a 4.37 at 5’11 207 pounds. He was extremely productive at South Dakota State, with 40 rushing TDs as well as averaging over 7 yards per carry in 3 of his 4 years. He also has 10 rushing touchdowns of 50+ yards in his career.
Matt Araiza - P - San Diego State University
Note- the TDN draft sim doesn’t have ST players so this pick is a bit of a cheat.
Araiza might already be gone at this point. He is such a weapon as a punter that I’ve even seen some talk that it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go at the end of day 2. He has a cannon for a leg and can regularly boot the ball 70+ yards. He can also handle kickoffs and has made multiple field goals filling in at kicker.
Zyon McCollum - CB - Sam Houston State
McCollum had an EPIC Combine performance. He measured in at 6’2 and 199 pounds, then proceeded to blow away every testing event. He ran a 4.33 40 yard dash, had a 39.5” vertical, an 11’ broad jump, and an absolutely INSANE 6.48 3-cone.
He’s not just an athlete though. In his 5 seasons he has 13 interceptions, 54 passes defended, 6 forced fumbles, and 205 tackles. He is well worth a shot on day 3.
Amare Barno - EDGE - Virginia Tech
Barno has drawn a lot of attention after blowing up the combine with his 40 time. At 6’5 and 246 pounds, he ran an official 4.36 40. He is raw as a pass rusher and doesn’t hold up that well in the run game, however, with his athleticism you spend a late pick on him because he has the size and speed to be a stud on special teams while you develop him as a defender.
Tanner Conner - WR - Idaho State
Tanner Conner is a surprisingly athletic, big bodied WR. He measured in at 6’3, 233 pounds at the Shrine Bowl. He needs some work on his footwork and more consistently catching with his hands, but the athleticism for his size is something you want to believe in, as he won the Big Sky Championship in the 60m hurdles. There are reports that in training he has recorded a 40.5” vertical, 11’ broad, and has been touching the high 4.3’s in the 40.
Smoke Monday - S - Auburn
Monday is a big hitting box type safety that the Chargers should bring in for depth and possibly find some special teams magic with his big hitter mentality and ability. This deep in the draft you’re looking for special teams and developmental traits and Monday’s energy and mentality give him a leg up in both areas.