The Chargers have much more than one positional need that could be addressed in the first round of this year’s draft.
A wide receiver with speed, another edge rusher, a well-rounded tight end, and a potential new starter at right tackle. These all fit the bill for what we could see in the first round.
In a new mock draft from CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson, the Chargers are paired with Ohio State right tackle and standout from this year’s Senior Bowl, Dawand Jones.
At 6’8 and 375 pounds, is a monolithic presence, even by NFL standards. He allowed just four sacks over his college career and that’s not surprising given his 89 1/2” wingspan. For reference, that’s roughly the wingspan of someone who is 7’5”. Just by sheer size alone, he’ll be one heck of a task to get around in pass protection.
“We’ll see if Jones ultimately finds his way into the first round, but it’s hard to overlook just how dominant he was in one day of practice at the Senior Bowl,” says Wilson. “Yes, his footwork needs some fine-tuning but his huge frame, long arms and enormous wingspan more than make up for what he lacks in quickness. He’s block-out-the-sun big, even when standing next to his offensive linemates.”
Every year there are players who parlay a notable performance at the Senior Bowl into a fast-rising jump up draft boards. Jones is right there with players of the past, such as edge rusher Jermaine Johnson (Jets) in 2022 and running back Antonio Gibson (Washington) in 2020.
This past season, Trey Pipkins looked like a legitimate starting tackle in this league. The offseason of work he put in next to Rashawn Slater with offensive line guru Duke Manyweather truly paid off and it’s not out of the question to believe he’ll earn another contract with the Chargers. Two years ago, suggesting Pipkins deserves more time with the Chargers would have been unheard of, but that’s where we stand in the year of our Lord 2023.
If the Bolts do end up inking Pipkins for a few more years, this mock draft becomes irrelevant. However, it’s tough not to get excited about a potential tackle duo of Slater and Jones protecting Justin Herbert into the prime of his career.
Monstrous Ohio State OL Dawand Jones 6'8 375lbs measured a 89 1/2 wingspan @ Senior Bowl. If he measures that at the NFL Combine, it will be the longest wingspan ever recorded in NFL Draft history.— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) February 2, 2023
For context, he has the wingspan of someone who is 7'5pic.twitter.com/6BNgWWTZkG