Chargers Mock Draft: Fresh 7 Round Predictions Post Week 1 of Free Agency
As the dust from Week 1 of free agency begins to settle, preparations for the upcoming draft should be in order for the Chargers.
It was a quiet March for San Diego, which focused more on re-signing its own players rather than anything else. But the draft is what most of the team's focus will center on in the coming months.
The Chargers will have a full slate of draft picks in 2014, including the 25th pick overall.
Here is the latest seven-round mock draft for San Diego.
Round 1, 25th Overall: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Verrett's size (5'9", 189 lbs) makes him a bit of an underdog at the position, but he has full confidence that he'll be able to succeed at the next level and prove the naysayers wrong, which he discussed with Ross Jones of Fox Sports:
At first I didn't worry about it, I just wanted to show up at the Combine and pro day. Now they still have questions about my size, I'm like what else do you want me to prove? My size will not stop me from doing what I have to do.
“If I was 6-1 or 6-2, that doesn't necessarily mean I can cover someone. I always say, don't let the measurables take away from the game of football.”
Don't question the young man's toughness either. Verrett put up 19 reps on the bench press with a torn labrum at TCU's pro day on March 6.
The Chargers know full well that a corner is at the top of their needs list, along with a handful of other teams in the first round.
Round 2, 57th Overall: DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State
Cam Thomas was scooped up by the Pittsburgh Steelers during free agency, leaving an immediate vacancy at defensive tackle for the Chargers.
Penn State's DaQuan Jones is an ideal fit as a run-stuffing nose tackle, as he can plug into a rotation with Sean Lissemore on the defensive line. Jones didn't excel as a pass-rusher in college, but he won't be expected to rack up sacks in San Diego's scheme. The most that could be asked of him is to create pressure in the backfield, which he does well.
Round 3, 89th Overall: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Depth at outside linebacker may seem crowded on San Diego's roster, but that won't stop the team from looking for a pass-rushing specialist. The Chargers tallied just 30 sacks last season, and they clearly need help putting pressure on Peyton Manning in the AFC West.
Attaochu transitioned from a 3-4 linebacker to a 4-3 defensive end last season, and he racked up 10.5 sacks, but he projects better at outside linebacker in the NFL. Georgia Tech's all-time sacks leader should get a strong look from the Chargers.
Round 4, 121st Overall: Zach Fulton, OG, Tennessee
With both Chad Rinehart and Jeromey Clary returning in 2014, the Chargers don't have an immediate need for a starter at guard, but they should plan ahead with a prospect they can develop like Fulton. Clary will be a free agent after next season, so 2014 could be his last year in San Diego.
Fulton started 40 of the 47 games he played in at Tennessee and was a staple at right guard for the Volunteers over the past three seasons.
Round 5, 153rd Overall: Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
San Diego found a stud receiver from the University of Wyoming in Malcom Floyd as an undrafted free agent in 2004, and Herron could be the next former Cowboy to find his niche with the Chargers.
The scouting notebook on Herron has been positive following an appearance at the Senior Bowl, but there were some discrepancies with his 40-yard dash time at the combine. Herron ran a 4.48-second 40 in Indianapolis, per NFL.com, but he was clocked at 4.29 seconds and 4.25 seconds by draft evaluator Benjamin Albright during Wyoming's pro day.
If the times he posted at his pro day are legit, then Herron will be high on a lot of team's draft boards come May—possibly even higher than the fifth round, where he is projected to go by NFL.com.
Round 6, 185th Overall: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Colvin may not be readily available for his rookie season, as he still needs to recover from the torn ACL he suffered during a Senior Bowl practice in February, but that won't stop a team from drafting him in the later rounds. Before his injury, Colvin was in the discussion as one of the better cornerback prospects available in the draft.
Assuming San Diego addresses the need for a starting corner in the earlier rounds, drafting Colvin late would allow the team to patiently await his return. In the meantime, he could sit on the bench and soak in knowledge from secondary coach Ron Milus.
Round 7, 217th Overall: Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State
As far as depth at center is concerned, Nick Hardwick doesn't have too many guys backing him up as of right now. Nick McDonald is the only other center on the roster, and he's not even an active member yet (he signed a futures contract in January).
In the seventh round, San Diego should continue to add depth on the offensive line with either a tackle or a center. Linsley was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2013 and started 14 games at center for the Buckeyes.