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Mock Draft 9.0: Draft Day Edition

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 draft kicking off tonight, it's time to take one last look at who top pundits and experts predict the Bolts to select in a matter of hours:

ESPN's Todd McShay:  DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "Brandon Mebane is 33 and Corey Liuget will start the season with a four-game suspension. The Chargers have a strong defense but need help inside on the defensive line. Payne would help immediately."

ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr.:  DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "The Chargers have a glaring hole at nose tackle."

MMQB's Peter King:  OT Kolton Miller - UCLA

What he says: "Boom or bust guy for a lot of people in this draft. Need pick for the Chargers. Strange that with such a good back, Melvin Gordon, the Chargers struggled so much on the ground last year; they were 32nd  in the league in rushing. More importantly, the Chargers need some long-term answers on what's been a patchwork unit for a few years. They may have to be patient with this one-year starter."

NFL.com's Mike Mayock: DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "Up there with Vita Vea as the best run stopper in this draft. He's got a little more twitch for a big guy than people think. He also has some potential pass rush upside."

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:  DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "Payne would be a perfect complement to the edge rushers for the Chargers."

NFL.com's Charles Davis:  S Minkah Fitzpatrick – Alabama

What he says: "This is a surprising fall for a player who was projected as a top-five pick when we started this evaluation process. He slides a bit in part due to the early run on QBs. Despite a big need at defensive tackle, the Chargers cannot afford to pass on this versatile playmaker, as they have a need at safety, too."

**NFL.com's Lance Zierlein:  QB Josh Rosen – UCLA *TRADE UP TO 13

What he says: "Rosen could be 'Chosen' in this spot if he begins to slide and the Chargers make a move up the board for this perfect fit."

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks: DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "The Chargers need a rugged run stopper in the pipeline to take over when Brandon Mebane calls it quits."

NFL.com's Pete Schrager:  OT Kolton Miller - UCLA

What he says: "The Chargers add some talent to their offensive line in the form of Miller, the 6-foot-7 beast who protected Josh Rosen's blind side at UCLA. He started 13 games at the left tackle spot last season, has had impressive workouts with teams, and can likely play left or right tackle at the next level."

NFL.com's Rhett Lewis: OT Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame

What he says: "There seem to be a ton of options for the Chargers at this spot, and yes, I know they went heavy on the offensive line last year with Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. While those players should solidify the interior, let's get a tackle who might be able to plug in ahead of Joe Barksdale right away and eventually take over for Russell Okung at LT. This scenario provides a solid O-line core for the foreseeable future."

NFL.com's Charley Casserly: LB Leighton Vander Esch – Boise State

What he says: "Athletic linebacker who can cover, blitz and play the run."

NFL.com's Curtis Conway: DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "I really like Payne, who could step in and make an immediate impact in Los Angeles. The Chargers don't necessarily have any glaring needs, but Payne could be part of a rotation that could do a lot of damage up front."

NFLDraftScout's Dane Brugler: LB Leighton Vander Esch – Boise State

What he says: "A versatile, every-down linebacker is arguably the most important need on the Chargers' roster. Vander Esch has the tape, traits and production to come off the board in the top 20 picks and should continue and get better with more reps."

NFLDraftScout's Rob Rang: DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "The Chargers are likely to address the front seven after ranking last in the league in 2017, allowing 4.9 yards per carry. Payne is one of the more aptly-named players in the draft, offering the power and consistency to make an immediate impact."

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco: DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "The Chargers had some issues up front last season, and Payne would help fix that. He's a physical player who can really help their run defense."

CBSSports.com's Chris Trapasso:  DT Vita Vea – Washington

What he says: "A mammoth, super-talented nose tackle who moves like a one-gap penetrator, Vea is the ideal prospect to play between Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram."

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson:  LB Leighton Vander Esch – Boise State

What he says: "Also a team that could go quarterback, instead we're going to give them more defensive help, especially with the injuries they battled at linebacker last year."

CBSSports.com's R.J. White: DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

What he says: "The Chargers use No. 17 on a player that will immediately help their pass rush and could also be a tough player to handle in pass-rushing situations, especially considering the talent the defense has on the ends. Corey Liuget is suspended to open the year, so Payne should be in for all the work he can handle early."

SBNation's Draft Editor Dan Kadar: LB Rashaan Evans – Alabama

What he says: "The Chargers had one of the NFL's worst run defenses in the NFL, and Evans could help fix it. Evans a three-down linebacker who can play on the inside and outside."

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.

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