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Mock Draft Tracker 4.0: Post-Combine Edition
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In order to serve all Chargers fans, Chargers.com has compiled a list of who some top draft pundits are projecting the Bolts will select with the 17th pick in the draft.
With the annual Scouting Combine in the books, it’s time to take the latest look at who top pundits and expert predict the Bolts to select in the first round of the draft on Apr. 26.
ESPN’s Todd McShay: LB Rashaan Evans – Alabama
What he says: “Los Angeles' defense is strong but needs an upgrade at linebacker, and Evans is a thumper in the running game. He plays with tremendous effort and has sneaky pass-rush ability as well.”
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: DT Vita Vea – Washington
What he says: “Vea is a top-10 talent and he would be too good for the Chargers to pass up.... NFL-worthy size with thick hips and powerful upper body. Can be very intimidating at point of attack. Able to overpower lighter guards and usually pummels centers when isolated on them. Has power to press blockers off of his frame and the hip rotation and flexibility to dislodge them. Also utilizes booming hump move that can topple blockers off their base as a pass rush counter. Able to grow roots and own his grass when pad level is right.”
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: LB Roquan Smith – Georgia
What he says: “Undersized ILBs typically fall into the middle of the first round. Smith's hustle to the ball will help him overcome his lack of bulk, though, giving him a long, successful career…Smith is an ascending linebacker prospect with elite athletic ability, plus intelligence and an ability to be an effective cover linebacker on passing downs. While he's a little undersized, he does have the quickness and speed to keep himself from being mauled. He was good in 2016, but great in 2017 and projects as a player who hasn't tapped his full potential. Smith has Pro Bowl traits and talent and will come off the board in the first round.”
Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo : LB Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech
What he says: “One of the most unique body types in the draft, Edmunds is an oversized linebacker at 6-foot-5, 254 pounds, but he has traditional linebacker skills. He adds range to the middle of the Chargers defense that will only get better with an added playmaker at the linebacker level. Edmunds will be only 20 years old on opening day and he’s just scratching the surface on his potential after posting an 87.2 overall grade last season.”
CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson: DT Maurice Hurst – Michigan
What he says: “They go for one more shot at beefing up the current roster and trying to give Philip Rivers a run here. Adding Hurst only makes the defensive line more dangerous.”
CBSSports.com’s Chris Trapasso: S Derwin James – Florida State ** TRADE UP TO 13 **
What he says: “As the Chargers see James fall, they want to make sure they get him, so they send their third-and fourth-round picks to Washington. James is a hyper-versatile gifted athlete who'll instantly be a playmaker in the Chargers secondary, especially playing behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram up front.”
CBSSports.com’s Jared Dubin: DT Da’Ron Payne – Alabama
What he says: “Can you even imagine Payne playing with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram up front? It would almost be unfair to opposing offensive linemen. A blocker-occupying force up the middle would free things up for the rushmen to get after the QB as quickly as possible.”
CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson: S Derwin James – Florida State
What he says: “Yes, the Chargers drafted two defensive backs a year ago; they were late-rounders and not nearly the talent that James is. Plus, in today's NFL you can never have too many competent defensive backs. James is solid against both the run and the pass and will make an already good defense better.”
SBNation’s Draft Editor Dan Kadar: OT Orlando Brown - Oklahoma
What he says: “The best comparison for Brown has always been King Dunlap because of his sheer size and ability to use it to take up space. Brown had a bad combine, there’s no mistaking that fact. But in game, he’s a mountainous blocker who can be the Chargers’ right tackle for years to come. “When are you ever going to watch Orlando Brown run 40 yards down the field, you can watch last year’s tape and see he allowed zero sacks,” Brown’s Oklahoma teammate Baker Mayfield said at the combine. “I’d say that’s pretty important for a left tackle.”
USA Today’s Nate Davis: S Derwin James – Florida State
What he says: “The Bolts are probably about to lose S Tre Boston in free agency. And GM Tom Telesco admitted the team needs more production at linebacker, a spot James could man on passing downs (unless he's playing deep or in the slot). Also, the value is too good. James swore at the combine he won't fall outside the top 10 and might be right.”
NFLDraftScout’s Dane Brugler: OT Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame
What he says: “The Chargers focused on the interior offensive line in last year’s draft and could look to add youth at tackle this spring. McGlinchey has experience at both left and right tackle and is ready for NFL snaps as a rookie.”
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above represent those of individual authors and do not represent the opinions or policies of the Chargers' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives.