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Chargers land 2 new starters in ESPN’s latest 2-round mock draft

The Chargers got much-needed help on both sides of the ball in Matt Miller’s new two-round NFL mock draft.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Texas A&M Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch closer to this year’s NFL draft, the mock drafts that the experts are putting out will slowly start getting longer and longer until they’re publishing full seven-round mocks only days before the big event.

This week, ESPN’s Matt Miller put out his first two-round mock of the offseason. With the Chargers owning two top-40 picks, Miller has them landing an immediate starter on either side of the ball, both of which exude elite athleticism for their positions.

First up at No. 5 overall, the Chargers once again select a wide receiver in LSU’s Malik Nabers. Miller believes the uber-productive and explosive athlete would be an excellent fit for the Bolts offense as not only a deep threat but as a threat to score from just about anywhere he touches the ball. If the Chargers believed Quentin Johnston was going to be the answer to their YAC woes, Nabers is arguably a much better player in that facet, in my opinion.

Here’s what Miller had to say about the pick:

“The explosive Nabers shouldn’t be considered a mere consolation prize for whatever team misses out on Harrison. In fact, three NFL scouts I spoke to at the Senior Bowl told me they actually have Nabers ranked ahead of Harrison on their initial draft boards. Nabers’ speed, ability to make defenders miss and consistent hands throughout contact and traffic are why some teams are falling in love with his game. He would be a great fit with Justin Herbert — especially with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams exiting their peak years and struggling to stay healthy. Nabers is coming off an 89-catch, 1,569-yard, 14-TD season.”

With the 37th pick, Miller has the Chargers switching to the other side of the ball and selecting Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper, another uber-athletic player that wins with his elite skillset.

The 6’3, 230-pound off-ball linebacker has sure-fire three-down ability with his length, range, and speed that allow him to be a menace anywhere near the line of scrimmage. Cooper was named a consensus First-Team All-American following the 2023 season with nods to the first team by the Associated Press, Walter Camp, and the AFCA.

Here’s Miller’s thoughts behind the pick:

“The middle of the field has long been an issue for the Chargers’ defense, and linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. hits free agency this offseason. Cooper, a top-25 player on my board who is here only because of positional value, could upgrade the defense with his three-down ability. He posted 14 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three pass breakups in 2023.”

Knowing how Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Jesse Minter like to construct their defense, Cooper seems like a perfect fit. They want a combination of tough, stout, and athletic in the front seven with speed and athleticism on the back end. Cooper’s explosive and play-making ability will allow him to wreak his own havoc on blitzes or sift through the traffic caused by his down lineman en route to minimizing gains on the ground.

So how would you all feel about this pair of picks? Yay or nay? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments below!