The Los Angeles Chargers finished 7-9 this past season. Now, with the Super Bowl over with, it’s officially time for the Chargers mock draft season.
While the team has ample questions when it comes to free agency, some cuts will likely be on the way. With that said, let’s take a look at an early Chargers mock draft as they gear up for a run at the playoffs.
2021 Chargers Mock Draft Selections
Round 1 – OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
The Chargers need an offensive line more than any other position, and regardless if it’s Christian Darrisaw, Rashawn Slater, or Alijah Vera-Tucker, protecting Herbert needs to be the utmost priority going forward. Either way, taking an offensive lineman makes the most sense for this Chargers mock draft.
The offensive line in LA has been a revolving door in the past few years, and while it might not be the most attractive pick, everybody knows how important the trenches are.
Darrisaw started as a true freshman at Virginia Tech and has flown up draft boards throughout 2020, and being the future left tackle to protect Herbert would be a huge boost for new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.
Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner, two linemen acquired last offseason, spent the majority of the year injured. Mike Pouncey didn’t play at all and his status is up in the air. This means adding a lineman here has to be the way for the Chargers to go.
Darrisaw is a tremendous run blocker, and his pass protection will be beneficial and give Herbert more time in the pocket to find the open man. Herbert has been impressive already, but just imagine what he can do with better pass protection.
Tom Telesco’s track record for drafting lineman hasn’t been the best, but it’s going to be hard to miss on this pick with so many players worthy of this selection.
Round 2 – IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
Two linemen with the first two picks makes a statement to the league. Landon Dickerson is an absolute stud that is worthy of a first-round selection. So selecting him in the second round would be ideal for Los Angeles.
Dickerson was a starter for this year’s NCAA Champions and tore his ACL in the SEC title game. If it weren’t for his knee injury, he might have ended up in the first round. For this reason, he could fall in the draft, which is why this pick makes sense for the Chargers mock draft.
Dickerson can play all five spots on the line, which is necessary, especially given the Chargers’ track record of injuries on the O-line. Most importantly, Dickerson can step in at center and replace Pouncey and help develop right next to Herbert for years to come.
Adding two extremely talented linemen in Darrisaw and Dickerson will give Herbert confidence going forward. This will help solve the Chargers offensive line problems they have had for the last half dozen years.
Round 3 – CB Elijah Molden, Washington & EDGE Shaka Toney, Penn State
Both of these picks are huge needs for the Chargers, especially with Melvin Ingram hitting free agency and Casey Hayward being a potential cut candidate. Either way, adding Elijah Molden and Shaka Toney would help Staley in his attempt to shore up the defense.
Molden’s size figures to be a concern, and that’s the only reason he drops to the third round in the Chargers mock draft. His versatility to play both the corner and safety position is something Coach Staley would love, and the pairing of James and Molden in the secondary can cause nightmares for opposing teams.
Micheal Davis was the team’s best corner, and Chris Harris Jr. battled injuries throughout the year. LA definitely needs to bring in a corner or two, whether in the draft or free agency.
Shaka Toney will step right in and replace Ingram, as the writing is on the wall for King Mel to play elsewhere for the first time in his career.
Toney had five sacks in 2020 and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. Additionally, his athleticism and speed are a terrific pairing to this Chargers defense.
The packages Staley could run with Toney and Bosa are going to give opposing quarterbacks headaches for years to come. Again, Staley will find creative ways to use these defenders, and while Toney’s length has been questioned, his explosiveness is through the roof.
Round 4 – WR Marlon Williams, UCF
This is where it starts to get fun. The Chargers get their most pressing needs on the offensive line, secondary, and on the edge. Now it’s time to take to a leisure pick by selecting Marlon Williams for the Chargers mock draft.
Yes, another wide receiver sporting the last name Williams, but hold on. He had the best season of his college career in 2020, finishing with 71 catches for 1,037 yards and 10 scores in only eight games.
He has terrific hands and his physicality is what the Chargers need. While his route-running could use some work, he has the benefit of Allen, one of the best route-runners in the NFL. Slayer could surely teach him a thing or two.
Mike Williams’ whereabouts are up in the air for 2021, and Herbert had to throw to Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton quite often this year. Neither of those two are terrible options, but a bonafide WR2 to pair with Allen would make this offense that much more explosive.
Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
Brady Christensen, OT, BYU
Jaret Patterson, RB , Buffalo
Tony Fields, LB, West Virginia
The Chargers double down on corners and find a hidden talent in the fifth round in Graham. The more the merrier in the secondary, especially with the number of injuries the Chargers have had in recent years. In this Chargers mock draft, adding depth in the secondary opens up LA’s defensive playbook.
Christensen and Fields will provide depth on both sides of the ball, and Patterson is simply too talented to pass on, especially in the sixth round. Joshua Kelley needs to improve on what looks like a huge miss in last year’s draft, and Justin Jackson spends more time on the injured reserve than on the field. I love this pick in the Chargers mock draft, as Patterson is a monster in the backfield.
The Chargers free-agency will be telling of their path in the draft, but shoring up the offensive line and adding a corner and an edge rusher needs to be addressed in the draft.
The new regime in Los Angeles has Chargers fans buzzing with excitement, and for good reason. Telesco has one last shot to nail the draft and set them up for success, so the next few months should be very interesting for the Chargers.
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