The Los Angeles Chargers were big spenders during free agency due to their massive amount of cap space. With additions of Austin Johnson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and J.C. Jackson, plus the acquisition of Khalil Mack via trade from Chicago for a discount, Los Angeles could go many different directions with their draft selections. The Chargers cut Bryan Bulaga, opening a massive hole for their right tackle spot. While they added two defensive linemen, they could still elect to take another one to continue fixing their run defense. One of the most underrated needs for the Chargers is linebacker due to Kyzir White signing with the Eagles a few days ago. With that said, there is plenty of work and strategies to use for this mock draft.
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Round 1, Pick 17: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
With Bulaga being cut, the right side of the offensive line desperately needs work. For the second year in a row, the Chargers use their first-round selection on a tackle. Penning is a bully along the offensive line, and the Chargers need to add a starting-caliber tackle to protect Justin Herbert. Penning could come in immediately and start for Los Angeles.
Round 3, Pick 79: Troy Anderson, LB, Montana State
With White gone, the Chargers need to address their linebacker position early in the draft. While they could do so by taking one of Devin Lloyd or Nakobe Dean in the first round, the offensive tackle depth significantly drops off following the first round. There are plenty of viable options in the third round, including Anderson, who would immediately battle with Kenneth Murray for starting snaps. Since being drafted in the first round in 2020, Murray hasn’t done as well as Tom Telesco and company would’ve hoped.
Round 4, Pick 123: Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
Even though they signed Jackson to pair with Asante Samuel, the Chargers should continue to add depth to their secondary. Adding an athletic player like Emerson, who has plenty of starting experience at Mississippi State, would be a great addition for the Chargers. With Los Angeles playing five defensive backs a ton, the depth in the room needs to be better, and a player like Emerson would greatly improve the depth.
Round 5, Pick 160: Matt Henningsen, DL, Wisconsin
Speaking of depth, that’s what Henningsen would provide for the Chargers. The Wisconsin standout had an excellent 2021 campaign capped off by an impressive week at the Shrine Bowl. The Las Vegas Raiders decimated the Los Angeles run defense in Week 18 on the way to the win. Adding more players to the fold that can stop the run like Henningsen is desperately needed in a division with Josh Jacobs and Javonte Williams.
Round 6, Pick 195: Chris Paul, OL, Tulsa
It was mentioned earlier that the Chargers need help along the right side of their offensive line. In fact, as of now, there isn’t a starting-caliber option for the right guard spot. Paul has gotten a lot of love as a day three option that can come in and start day one along the offensive line. While that may not be the case for Los Angeles, taking him in the sixth round is an excellent value pick.
Round 6, Pick 214: Markquese Bell, SAF, Florida A&M
Another player that has gotten a lot of love as a day three selection is Bell. He was once a four-star recruit and was committed to Maryland before being suspended for violation of student code of conduct. After going to a community college, Bell found a home at Florida A&M and made the most of it. He has a chance to make an impact for the team that selects him on the third day of the draft and will factor in on special teams and as a backup strong safety.
Round 7, Pick 236: Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami
Speaking of transferring, Rambo transferred from Oklahoma to Miami and immediately produced for the Hurricanes. There has plenty of love for the Chargers to select Jameson Williams in the first round, and while he may be long gone, there are plenty of deep threat options later in the draft, including Rambo. The Miami receiver may not make the 53-man roster but will likely stick around on the practice squad to develop in his role as a speedy receiver.
Round 7, Pick 254: Jaylyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
An Alabama cornerback still on the board this late? The Chargers take advantage of a lengthy cornerback coached by Nick Saban that can develop into a potential contributor in the next few years. Armour-Davis has elite athleticism, and that, paired with the fact he went to Alabama, is more than enough to warrant a selection in the final picks of the class.
Round 7, Pick 255: Jeremiah Moon, EDGE, Florida
With the addition of Mack, the Chargers don’t need to spend an early selection on an edge-rusher. Instead, they can take a late-round prospect like Moon, who was once a four-star recruit out of Alabama. Unfortunately, injuries have derailed his career, but the Chargers need to bring in some depth in this room in case of an injury.