San Diego Chargers Mock Draft: Building the Perfect 7-Round Draft
Another week, another mock.
This one is different. I do not have the Chargers taking a running back for the first time in all of my recent mocks. With the signing of Danny Woodhead, San Diego should not spend a draft pick on a back.
Tom Telesco has signed some players, but lost many. He wants to build through the draft, so we'll see what he does. Although three linemen were signed this free agency period, it's still the biggest need for April. Players like Jeromey Clary, King Dunlap, Tyronne Green and Jared Gaither's health just won't cut it against teams in the AFC West.
It's clear the Chargers are in complete rebuild mode, so don't expect a Super Bowl team to be built this offseason. Hang in there and trust Telesco and McCoy. At least for now, of course.
Round 1: Lane Johnson (LT), Oklahoma
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It's safe to say that Lane Johnson is the consensus first-round selection for the San Diego Chargers, if available. On CBSSports.com, seven of the eight draft experts have Lane Johnson going to the Bolts in their first-round mock draft.
Dane Brugler, the expert that didn't have Johnson getting picked by San Diego, had him going even earlier. In his mock draft, Brugler has the Arizona Cardinals drafting Lane Johnson, with the Chargers taking Chance Warmack.
After starting an undrafted rookie to protect Philip Rivers' blindside last season, it's come to a point where the Chargers must take an offensive lineman. Whether they go tackle or guard is up in the air. They have signed two guards and a tackle this free agency, after losing Louis Vasquez.
Lane Johnson would be the perfect selection for the Chargers in Round 1. Let's just hope he's available for San Diego at the 11th spot.
Round 2: Larry Warford (OG), Kentucky
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Like my first-round prediction, Larry Warford in the second would be ideal.
He is currently rated the third-best guard in his class, according to CBS Sports. Like Lane Johnson, Warford was also an All-American in 2012.
Larry Warford has the ability to start his first season. He would be the Chargers' Kendall Reyes of 2013. Reyes was arguably San Diego's best selection in 2012 according to the season. It wouldn't surprise me if Warford is not available when it's the Chargers turn in the second.
The Chargers could go with a linebacker or cornerback here, but Warford's potential is too good to pass up.
Round 3: JJ Wilcox (SS), Georgia Southern
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San Diego is still searching for its replacement for Rodney Harrison. Yes, Rodney Harrison. Eric Weddle has emerged as one of, if not the, best safeties in the league, but he hasn't been paired with a consistent strong safety over the years.
JJ Wilcox, after playing one season as a strong safety, is making noise in this year's draft. At 6'0'', 213 lbs, Wilcox is an athletic and versatile player who can bring that physicality Mike McCoy is wanting. He would be a much better Atari Bigby by staying healthy, of course.
Wilcox has great hand-eye coordination, by timing his jumps for interceptions and coverage. His speed is his weakest area, but should improve at the pro level.
The Chargers need a new safety, again, and JJ Wilcox should be the guy.
Round 4: Nico Johnson (ILB), Alabama
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This one is a no-brainer. If Nico Johnson is available for the Chargers in the fourth round, without a doubt, they need to draft him.
He isn't the greatest pass rusher and doesn't defend at the level he needs to, but his run-stopping ability is outstanding. Remind you of Takeo Spikes a little?
Well, if the Chargers can replace a player like Takeo Spikes with a young and talented rookie who's drafted in the fourth round, they'll take it. He and Donald Butler could be a powerhouse in the making.
Like the safety position, the linebacker position also has never been the same since the loss of Donnie Edwards and Junior Seau. Nico Johnson can bring that physicality back to San Diego's defense.
Round 5: J.C. Tretter (OG), Cornell
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J.C. Tretter is a player who is getting overlooked in this year's draft. The reason he isn't gaining attention is because of the school he played for. His competition wasn't the best.
Tretter is still a very talented player that the Chargers need to look into. He would be a high quality pick for the fifth round. Tretter is very athletic and is quick off his feet. It may take some time with him, but his upside is tremendous.
Round 6: Eric Martin (OLB), Nebraska
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Most people will probably disagree with this pick. Not based on the player, but most likely because they feel the Chargers should take an outside linebacker earlier than the sixth round.
If they don't, Eric Martin would be a perfect addition to the defense. The losses of Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes hurts, yes, but look for the young players Tom Telesco is trusting to step up. Melvin Ingram can only get better and more disciplined, which he will.
Eric Martin is a speedy pass rusher. He ran a 4.55 at the combine and excels in getting off the line. He applies great pressure off the line of scrimmage, but seems to always find himself getting penalties constantly.
Martin is another work in progress, but he's definitely worth the wait.
Round 7: Mike Purcell (DT), Wyoming
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The defensive tackle position is another area that may be drafted for sooner than the last round. If that happens, I would have no complaints, although Mike Purcell would be an absolute steal in the final round.
John Pagano has faith in Cam Thomas to solidify the middle and they are also trying to re-sign Vaughn Martin. Martin is a defensive end who plays tackle as well.
Purcell would be an addition to add depth to the defensive line; a young defensive line. He's coming from a small school in Wyoming, yet seems to be the type of player ready for any challenge thrown at him. He would also bring that physicality Pagano is searching for.