The Los Angeles Chargers made the playoffs in the 2022 season, but were first rounded by an incredible comeback from the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is still work to be done on weapons given to Justin Herbert, but otherwise, defensive depth can be crucial for the Chargers in this upcoming draft.
Round 1, Pick 21: Wide Receiver, Zay Flowers, Boston College
The Chargers are desperate for a speedy wide receiver, now while doing this mock draft, Zay Flowers was the best wide receiver available and would be a solid pick in the first round. Having ran a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash, Flowers brings a unique speed to the Chargers offense. A wide receiver room that could consist of Flowers, Keenan Allen, and Joshua Palmer could be a unique trio for Justin Herbert, especially with a new offensive coordinator.
Round 2, Pick 53: Linebacker, Daiyan Henley, Washington State
With this pick, I wanted to draft an offensive lineman, but there just wasn’t any available that fit the needs for second round material. It has been rumored that the Chargers are looking at veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner, who could definitely make a difference, but with Justin Herbert looking to be extended, utilizing a draft pick, especially on a solid linebacker from Washington State, could potentially be better for the future. As Wagner is getting older, going for young talent has been a good strategy by the Chargers so far.
Round 3, Pick 85: Cornerback, Garrett Williams, Syracuse
Taking a cornerback in the third round was definitely an interesting case for me, as the Chargers already have pretty decent cornerbacks. In the case that the Chargers do not re-sign Bryce Callahan, I really like taking a cornerback for the Chargers defense. I think drafting depth will be huge for the Chargers moving forward with the later picks, as we saw how badly the roster took a hit with injuries. Williams is a 5’10 cornerback, with a grade of 8.0 for a perfect prospect, and getting this type of talent in the third round is hard to pass on.
Round 4, Pick 124: Tight End, Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
The Chargers are going to be drafting a tight end, it’s just going to happen. When it happens, it could be earlier, but I feel like getting Zack Kuntz in the fourth round seems like a steal. A 6’8 tight end, who ran a 4.55 40-yard dash, with a vertical jump of 40”, he has high athleticism and speed. He is viewed as a day three pick, but I think because of his size and speed, a team could really use that to their advantage.
Round 5, Pick 157: Linebacker, Dorian Williams, Tulane
With the later pickers coming in, picking another linebacker in the fifth round is really just for depth. Through the 2022 season, the Chargers suffered majorly from constant injuries, and not really having quality depth. It seemed to be on the defensive side the injuries were just adding on, which getting depth could be crucial here for the future.
Round 6, Pick 198: Safety, Quindell Johnson, Memphis
The Chargers don’t need another high-quality safety, but what they do need is depth on the defense. There was a point where Derwin James was battling with injuries later in the season, and while the Chargers have JT Woods, Raheem Layne, Alohi Gilman, and Nasir Adderley, just adding possible depth for the future could be worth it.
Round 7, Pick 240: Wide Receiver, Puka Nacua, BYU
As said before, the Chargers really just need depth. Given that they draft a wide receiver in the earlier rounds, this pick is really just a practice squad/depth pick. The Chargers recently reconstructed Keenan Allen’s contract, but I do not see the Chargers getting rid of Allen any time soon, and having practice squad/depth material for now as a precautionary is a safe bet to take.