One of the things I loved the most about the Chargers 2020 offseason was that they added a lot of size and strength to their offensive line. Guys like Matt Feiler and Corey Linsley changed the entire makeup of the unit and the offense reaped the benefits as Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and Mike Williams all enjoyed career seasons.
If the Chargers want to take another step forward in 2022, they could use even more size and strength, especially along the front seven of the defense. In Jordan Reid’s massive seven-round mock that just dropped at ESPN, he paired the Chargers with a lot of mass on both sides of the ball.
It’s specifically top-heavy. The first two picks he makes are instant upgrades for their respective and I’m a huge fan of both.
But enough chit chat, let’s dive into this monster where I address every pick and share some quick thoughts.
17.) OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
In recent weeks, Penning has become the clear-cut consensus pick to land with the Chargers in the middle of the first. He’s exactly what the team needs in terms of position and player mentality. The offensive line got much better with the additions of Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, and rookie Rashawn Slater this time last year and being able to solidify the right side with Penning would take this unit up another notch. This selection would also allow the Chargers to “hide” their right guard spot a bit if they aren’t able to/decide not to re-sign Oday Aboushi. If that’s the case, second-year guard Brenden Jaimes may be the guy there.
79.) LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
I love this pick. I recently did a draft profile on Chenal and gushed about his physicality and how that could help transform one of the weaker position groups on the Chargers roster. The guy is an absolute unit at 6’3 and 250 pounds with not much bad weight to be found on him. He posted 22 tackles for loss in his final year at Wisconsin where he thrived causing havoc between the tackles as both a blitzer and run-stopper. I may be in the minority, but after the team moved on from Kyzir White, grabbing a linebacker here should be a priority.
Wisconsin LB Leo Chenal's four sacks against Purdue...— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) April 6, 2022
Two of them are unblocked/scheme but it's hard to deny the burst coming downhill and the ability to get low/skinny and use hands to shed (first play)
He would be an excellent fit in Martindale's defense with the #Giants pic.twitter.com/SaOCzzJzhu
123.) DT Haskell Garrett, Ohio State
A second-team all-american by the Associated Press in 2021, Haskell led the Buckeyes defense with 5.5 sacks while adding seven tackles for loss all while being limited with a lower-body injury. His pedigree and resume speaks for itself, but scouts are worried about his lack of length and notable athleticism. He’ll be a fine rotational piece, but I’d say his ceiling is fairly low at this point. He’ll find more success early on pushing the pocket compared to his ability to clog running lanes.
160.) CB Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State
The 6’1, 197-pound Castro-Fields brings decent size on the outside combined with blazing speed with his 4.38 forty. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein likes his physical traits in a man-heavy defense, but notes that “confidence and consistency” were missing from his 2021 tape. As a tackler, he also leaves a bit left to be desired. Overall, Zierlein believes he can be an adequate backup in a variety of coverage schemes with upside coming from his physical makeup.
195.) DT Noah Eliss, Idaho
The massive Eliss was formerly a four-star recruit that committed to Mississippi State out of high school. He struggled to maintain academic eligibility and landed at Idaho where his adoptive father, Luther Eliss, coaches the defensive line. He’s a tried-and-true nose tackle who will likely find no playing time anywhere but over the center. At 6’4 and 346 pounds, he’ll inherently help clog the A gaps and provide some push up the middle against weaker lineman, but he won’t be pursuing ball-carriers anywhere outside the box.
214.) TE Lucas Krull, Pittsburgh
A one-year starter at Pitt, Krull hauled in 38 passes for 449 yards and six touchdowns in 2021. He possesses great size at 6’6 and 253 pounds and recently showed he’s got the athleticism teams will covet at the next level, as well.
At Pitt’s pro day, Krull ran an excellent forty time of 4.54 while jumping 10 feet in the broad and clocking 4.35 in the short shuttle. All three of those marks would have been among the combine’s top-four performers at the position.
236.) RB Sincere McCormick, UTSA
McCormick was a bonafide workhorse for the Roadrunners over the past two season. The 5’8, 205-pounder won back-to-back Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2020 and 2021, combining to rush for 2,946 yards and 26 total touchdowns across both campaigns. In his final season at UTSA, he helped his team win the CUSA Championship en route to earning Player of the Game honors.
His size and forty time of 4.60 will turn off scouts who prefer a bit more speed when it comes to their shorter backs, but McCormick’s durability and north/south-style of running should allow him to fight for a roster spot as a three-down back.
UTSA RB Sincere McCormick— Conference Commandos (@ConfCommandos) April 7, 2022
Up there with Kyren Williams & Kenneth Walker III in a very small class in terms of ability to churn out yards after contact.
Many have pointed out his patience, but I think his vision is even better.
Also a legitimate receiving threat pic.twitter.com/7RWTJF0Kca
254.) CB Shaun Jolly, App State
Jolly is one of the few draft prospects that has been linked to the Chargers via a top 30 visit. He’s on the smaller side at 5’9 and 175 pounds, but he’s shown a nose for the football with six interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and 25 pass breakups during his three years as a starter for the Mountaineers.
A three-time All-Sun Belt selection, Jolly was invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game following his final season at App State. He’s an active contributor in run defense and offers ideal ball skills. However, scouts wonder if his top-end speed is adequate to
255.) EDGE Adam Anderson, Georgia
Anderson started the 2021 season on fire with 4.5 sacks during the team’s first five games of the season. He cooled off the rest of the way, notching just one total sack over the final three games he played that season.
In late October of this past year, a report was filed by a 21-year old woman accusing Anderson of rape in an incident that occurred one day before the Bulldogs played Florida in their annual rivalry game. On November 2nd, head coach Kirby Smart suspended Anderson for the remainder of the year. As of this month, Anderson has yet to be indicted and was even cleared to perform for NFL scouts in March
260.) CB Montaric Brown, Arkansas
Brown started 34 total games for the Razorbacks over the past four seasons, cumulating in a 2021 campaign that saw him lead the SEC with five interceptions. His performance earned him a nod to the All-SEC First Team, his first postseason honor of his career.
Zierlein isn’t a fan of his 4.55 speed, but he does like his soft hands and great instincts for the football. However, LZ believes Brown is best-suited for a zone scheme where he can jump short and intermediate routes all while avoiding having to carry speedsters deep. Brown is also a willing tackler that may see a transition to safety, but he may have to put on some extra pounds to hold up there.