Pro Football Focus' Mike Renner was a guest on the latest episode of Chargers Weekly powered by YouTube TV.
Renner, who was in Indianapolis for the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, discussed a variety of topics relating to the 2022 NFL Draft. He also shared his thoughts on the rookie season of Pro Bowl offensive tackle Rashawn Slater. Download and subscribe to the Chargers Podcast Network wherever you listen to podcasts. A few highlights are below.
Renner on the strengths of this draft class
"I think the edge rusher class is very strong, and is deep. It has the top-end talent, guys like Aiden Hutchinson from Michigan, who might be the No. 1 overall pick. Kayvon Thibodeaux is probably somewhere in the top 10. And then it has just depth. There's 12 guys in this edge class in the top 50 players on PFF's board. So, there's a lot to like there.
"I'd also add that I really like this linebacker class as well. I think it's one of the deeper linebacking classes -- maybe the deepest -- since we started grading at PFF where there's probably going to be two or three first-rounders, but I think there's going to be about half-dozen more in the second round come off the board. I really like the versatility and sort of body types in this linebacking class."
On what the Chargers should do at No. 17 overall
"I think the board's going to set up nice for them, and everyone's plugging [Georgia defensive tackle] Jordan Davis in there, and he's a safe pick. He's going to be a good run stuffer, but there's run stuffers in free agency. There's run stuffers in the third and fourth round that you can find who may [not] be as good as him, but I don't think they need a world beater there necessarily where as you can get a real deal difference maker in this class at the receiver position.
"I think that's one where I would highlight that if they can get someone like a Jameson Williams [from Alabama] or a Chris Olave [from Ohio State], someone with some speed in there that can get open deep. You see what happened with the Bengals this past year and how high that offense could push because of the playmakers they had. Just imagine Justin Herbert with a similar caliber of explosive playmakers. That's where my head's at if I'm [the] Chargers GM looking at this draft thinking, 'Man, how do we take the next step?' That's where I'm looking."
The top-tier running backs in this draft class
Probably the only two guys I'd really even consider in the second round in this class, and that's Kenneth Walker from Michigan State. ... He carried that offense and carried them to wins over Michigan and stuff like that. He wasn't supposed to do what he did behind that Michigan State offensive line. This running back class has kind of gotten poo poo'd as not great. To me, he's right up there with guys from last year's class, whether it was [Denver's] Javonte Williams, [Jacksonville's] Travis Etienne or [Pittsburgh's] Najee Harris in terms of his ability. So, I'm a big fan of his.
"And Breece Hall from Iowa State, three years [with] massive production. Touchdown machine. He can be your goal-line guy, short-yardage guy. [The Chargers] obviously love to go for those sort of situations. He'd probably be a little bit more built for that type of a role than Austin Ekeler is."
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