With one day until the 2022 NFL Draft, Matt "Money" Smith and Chris Hayre hosted a special draft week episode of Chargers Weekly with The Athletic's Dane Brugler. Brugler answered fan questions about the draft, including a potential surprise pick at 17, evaluating Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave, the potential of trading the 17th overall pick and more.
Download and subscribe to the Chargers Podcast Network wherever you listen to podcasts. Some of the questions and answers from the latest edition of Chargers Weekly are below.
If there was a "surprise" pick for the Chargers at 17, who do you think that would be? -@Boltup15
Brugler: "I think it would be interesting if let's just say the Chargers have 17 first-round grades in this draft and 16 of them are off the board and their one first-round grade left is maybe a position they already have. So, would they stay true to their board in that scenario if they can't trade out? Say it's a pass rusher, obviously pass rusher is not number one need on this need, it's probably not a top three or four or maybe five need, but do you stay true to your board in that scenario where you know you're an injury away. You can certainly bring three edge rushers on the field at the same time, kicking [OLB Joey] Bosa or [OLB Khalil] Mack or whoever inside to get a NASCAR package out there and just getting guys going after the quarterback especially on passing downs, so you just can't rule that out if the right player is there…"
What's more likely this year? Chargers trading up, or Chargers trading down? -@ChargersHomer
Brugler: "Without having that [second-round pick] it does make it tough, and I know this is a team that doesn't do a lot of trading back in the first-round, but if they have an opportunity to do it with say the Chiefs, I think that's the perfect team. But again it's in your division, there's some red tape there that you know, you never know, but they have multiple picks in the first four rounds so you feel like they have the most ammo, like they aren't drafting eight players in the first four rounds I'd be shocked if the Chiefs did that…even though I know a lot of Chargers fans want a wide receiver, maybe a run on receivers isn't the worst thing because that means that maybe the Chiefs or maybe the Packers or maybe one of these other teams that really want one of those receivers, they are going to be looking to move up and the Chargers' [pick] could be a prime landing spot for them to get [Ohio State wide receiver] Chris Olave or [Alabama wide receiver] Jameson Williams if he falls a little bit or [USC wide receiver] Drake London..."
When will the run on quarterbacks happen?
Brugler: "Talking to these teams they just don't have a good feel for how these quarterbacks [will be drafted]. If they are going to go top half of round one and if they do where and what teams? I don't think Carolina is taking a quarterback, Atlanta is a little bit of a wild card, but I would lean not a quarterback. Seattle is very much a wild card, they do what they want it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, they always do what they want, and could it be a quarterback? It's possible, everything is wide open for them now with Russell Wilson no longer in town, so Seattle becomes very interesting. If quarterbacks get past those spots unless the Steelers trade up there's a good chance no quarterbacks are off the board in the top half of round one…"
How would Chris Olave complement the Chargers offense?
Brugler: "…You mention Chris Olave and he's such an easy player to appreciate, you just enjoy watching him. I'm an Ohio guy, so watching Ohio State week in, week out Chris Olave, he was a three-star recruit, the third-lowest recruit in Ohio State's class [in 2018] and you know he's making these plays as a freshman and it's like ok, who is this guy? And why is he scoring touchdowns against Michigan when these other highly touted receivers aren't doing it. I think Ohio State fans have just been spoiled with Chris Olave because he's been so smooth, so consistent the last four years, it's easy to appreciate his game…you want to draft someone that everyone else in your division goes 'oh, crap.' And Olave could be one of those guys where other teams in your division are like ok, 'how many corners do we have now because we got to cover all these guys' and Chris Olave could be one of those 'oh crap' guys for the rest of the teams in the AFC West."
Is there a potential of trading back a running back?
Brugler: "You add that to the offense, you add that to the recipe here, he can do a lot of things. To think about a guy like Breece Hall and Austin Ekeler on the field at the same time, Austin Ekeler could motion out to the slot or keep him in the backfield. Whatever you want to do with them, if you have the offensive coordinator, If you believe that [Chargers offensive coordinator Joe] Lombardi has the creativity to use all of these guys then he should absolutely be apart of your thought process…"
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