San Diego Chargers Mock Draft: Instant Contributors Team Can Find in Every Round

Marcelo VillaCorrespondent IIFebruary 1, 2013

San Diego Chargers Mock Draft: Instant Contributors Team Can Find in Every Round

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    April is quickly approaching and it is the prime season for mock drafts in the NFL world. San Diego is just months away from officially going on the clock, leaving just enough time to find instant contributors in every round.

    The offensive line has been a huge topic of discussion and rightfully so, but there are other spots that could use a fresh face. A few veterans are free agents this year, leaving the door wide open for a rookie to come in and solidify himself as a starter for the Chargers.

    With some help from Bleacher Report NFL Draft lead writer Matt Miller, here are instant contributors San Diego can find in every round.

Round 1

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    Rank                  Name Position             School
       1            Eric Fisher                       OT     Central Michigan    
       2            Lane Johnson        OT          Oklahoma         
       3            Xavier Rhodes     CB        Florida State
       3             Chance Warmack        OG           Alabama              
       4         Johnathan Hankins     DT          Ohio State
       5              D.J. Fluker     OT           Alabama

            ** Click on player names for video breakdown by Matt Miller**

    Analysis: The offensive line is priority No. 1 for the Chargers in the first round, specifically offensive tackle, but the top three players at that position could come off the board before San Diego goes on the clock with the 11th pick.

    About 90 percent of the mock drafts out there have Central Michigan's Eric Fisher landing with the Bolts, but his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl has his stock going through the roof. There's an outside shot at Fisher's being the first offensive lineman off the board before Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel.

    Lane Johnson out of Oklahoma is looking like a realistic pick for San Diego at No. 11, and scouts are falling in love with his athletic background. The former high school and JUCO QB played TE and DE for the Sooners before making the transition to OT in 2011. The only real knocks on his skills thus far have been regarding his lack of experience at the position.

    If all three players escape San Diego's grasp, it's possible the Chargers go defense or take a look at some of the lower-ranked offensive line prospects. 

Round 2

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    Rank Name Position School
       1        Desmond Trufant          CB      Washington     
       2        Alex Okafor     DE          Texas
       3        Larry Warford     OG       Kentucky   
       4        Barrett Jones     OG        Alabama
       5       Terrance Williams     WR          Baylor

     ** Click on player names for video breakdown by Matt Miller **

    Analysis: In Round 2, the Chargers have a little more freedom as to what side of the ball they'll address. The offensive line isn't a one-pick fix and there's some definite value here for an offensive lineman.

    With Louis Vasquez and Tyronne Green scheduled to be free agents this year, the need for more depth at guard has significantly increased. Larry Warford and Barrett Jones are some of the top ranked prospects at guard, and there's a good chance they'll still be here in Round 2.

    If San Diego decides to bolster its pass rush, then a guy like Alex Okafor out of Texas could give John Pagano more firepower on his already much-improved defense from last year.

    Don't forget about the need for more receiver help as well. Malcom Floyd proved he has No. 1 potential, but he needs a complement on the other side of the field. Baylor's Terrance Williams helped former teammate Robert Griffin win a Heisman in 2011 and he managed to have another productive season (97 catches for 1,832 yards) even without RG III throwing him the ball.

Round 3

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    Rank              Name Position               School
       1           Kyle Long        OT              Oregon    
       2     Brennan Williams         OT          North Carolina    
       3     Leon McFadden      CB         San Diego State
       4        Jamie Collins     OLB      Southern Mississippi    
       5    Johnathan Franklin         RB               UCLA

          ** Click on player names for video breakdown by Matt Miller **

    Analysis: As the Chargers begin to approach the middle rounds they'll gradually gain more and more freedom to select the best players rather than needs.

    If San Diego fails to grab a second offensive lineman in the second round, there's still value for a raw but talented offensive tackle. Jeromey Clary has struggled often to fend off some of the league's better pass-rushers on the right side and his struggles could cost him his job should the Chargers grab another prospect to come in and compete for a spot.

    A sleeper pick for San Diego here is So Cal native Johnathan Franklin out of UCLA. With Ryan Mathews dealing with clavicle injuries, it's best to invest in an insurance policy at some point during the draft.

Round 4

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    Rank              Name Position        School
       1    Cornellius Carradine        DE     Florida State    
       2       Jonathan Bostic     ILB     Florida
       3       Brandon Jenkins     OLB     Florida State
       4        Mike Gillislee     RB     Florida
       5        Joseph Fauria     TE     UCLA

     ** Click on player names for video breakdown by Matt Miller **

    Analysis: Heading into the fourth round, the Chargers should have already addressed their offensive-line woes by now. Finding defensive talent in these later rounds is difficult, but there are still players capable of making an impact.

    Two Florida State products stand out here as potential contributors on defense, but both have dealt with recent injuries. Cornellius Carradine was ranked one of the top five defensive line prospects in the nation before he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in 2012 and his stock has since dropped because of the injury. Brandon Jenkins was also a star for the Seminoles before he suffered a foot injury.

    Linebacker was not a need last season for the Chargers as that unit greatly excelled, but there's a possibility that San Diego could lose two of its veteran starters through free agency. Shaun Phillips and Takeo Spikes, both in their mid 30's, are scheduled to be free agents in 2013.

Round 5

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    Rank          Name Position             School
       1    Ray Graham        RB     Pittsburgh    
       2    Joe Kruger     DE     Utah
       3    Keenan Davis        WR     Iowa
       4    Jordan Hill     DT     Penn State   
       5    J.J. Wilcox     SS     Georgia Southern    

     

    Analysis: In Round 5, the Chargers should continue to look at areas they still need depth due to injury or poor play. RB is still an issue considering Ryan Mathews' injury history, so a potential fit might be a Ray Graham out of Pittsburgh.

    There is also still room for improvement on the defensive line, especially up the middle. Aubrayo Franklin was brought in last year to help plug the hole in the 3-4 scheme, but he did little to make a difference.

    There's also concern at SS despite the nice job done by Atari Bigby. Brandon Taylor, who was drafted last year, suffered a pretty severe knee injury in one of San Diego's few remaining games and, while he's scheduled to rehab and be ready for 2013, you can't be too careful with adding more depth.

Round 6

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    Rank            Name Position          School
       1    Zeke Motta        SS     Notre Dame    
       2    Duke Williams        FS       Nevada
       3    Terron Armstead        OT     Arkansas-Pine Bluff   
       4    Le'Veon Bell     RB     Michigan State    
       5    Knile Davis     RB        Arkansas

     

    Analysis: As the the final two rounds come to a close, the Chargers still have options for a No. 2 in the backfield behind Ryan Mathews. There is also depth at the safety position.

    Terron Armstead, who may go higher than listed here, was turning heads at the East-West Shrine game and, despite being from a smaller school, he has shown that he has NFL potential. The Chargers should really watch his progress through the draft and figure if he has value in the later rounds.

Round 7

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    Rank             Name Position        School
       1    Ricky Wagner        OT     Wisconsin    
       2    Matt Summers-Gavin        OG     California
       3    Jordan Matthews     WR     Vanderbilt
       4    Robbie Rouse     RB     Fresno State    
       5    Devin Smith     CB     Wisconsin

     

    Analysis: As the 2013 draft wraps up, San Diego will likely select the best player left on the board. By now, the Chargers should feel as though they got what they wanted in terms of the offensive line and other areas of need.

    Jordan Matthews out of Vanderbilt piques my interest with his 6'4" stature at the wide receiver position. He needs a little more time to develop, but that size could translate into a weapon for a gunslinger like Philip Rivers.