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 28th pick in the draft.
We’re still very, very early in the process as there is just under three months to go until the NFL Draft kicks off in Nashville. Nonetheless, with the Senior Bowl now in the books, more and more experts are putting out their initial projections. Thus, now is as good a time as ever to post the first of many Mock Draft Trackers leading up to the first round of the draft on April 25.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: DT Christian Wilkins – Clemson
What he says: “The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Wilkins would be an improvement. He could plug the nose for L.A. and also bump outside to end. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and always showed up on tape; he had 15 tackles for loss in 2018. Derwin James was one of the stars of the Class of 2018, and the Chargers have a solid roster. Let's get them past the divisional round.”
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: LB Mack Wilson – Alabama
What he says: “The Chargers need to get better at the linebacker position and Wilson is a true three-down player.”
NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks: DT Dre’Mont Jones – Ohio State
What he says: “Beefing up the interior is a priority for the Bolts, with age and free agency creeping up on their starters at the position. Jones has the size and athleticism to create chaos in the middle.”
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: DT Dexter Lawrence – Clemson
What he says: “The Chargers have a strong front seven, but with Brandon Mebane’s situation up in the air, Lawrence would be a nice fit to slide in and anchor Los Angeles’ run defense. His college career didn’t go quite as planned due to injuries and a suspension that sidelined him for Clemson’s two playoff wins, but he will benefit from the planet theory: There are only so many humans on this earth with his size (6-4, 340) and ability.”
CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson: OT Jawaan Taylor – Florida
What he says: “Philip Rivers just might play forever. And just in case that happens, the Chargers will need to protect him. Taylor has quietly gotten scouts' attention in recent months and it's because of his ability to (manhandle edge rushers).”
CBSSports.com’s Chris Trapasso: DT Dexter Lawrence – Clemson
What he says: “Lawrence is the key cog in the middle, and the Chargers need to round out what's become one of the best defenses in the AFC. He's not solely a block-eater at the nose tackle spot. He can generate pressure.”
CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson: LB Mack Wilson – Alabama
What he says: “The Chargers played a lot of defensive backs on the field and it got tons of hype until the Patriots destroyed it. They did so because it worked but also because of necessity. They could use depth and talent at the linebacker position to slow down the run.”
Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo: DT Jerry Tillery – Notre Dame
What he says: “The Chargers have made great strides on the defensive side of the ball in recent years but they still have issues on the defensive interior. Tillery posted the top pass-rushing grade of any interior defensive lineman last season at 92.5 and he has a long 6-foot-7 frame to help out in the run game.”
SBNation’s Draft Editor Dan Kader: DT Dexter Lawrence – Clemson
What he says: “Lawrence has almost mythical size at a listed 6’4 and 350 pounds, and he plays up to his monstrous physique. Lawrence is primarily a run stuffer who occupies multiple gaps and shoves linemen around with ease. He also has some pass rush in his game as a bull rusher. With the Chargers entering the offseason needing defensive linemen, they should target a player like Lawrence or even Jerry Tillery of Notre Dame.”
WalterFootball’s Walter Cherepinsky: LB Mack Wilson – Alabama
What he says: “Denzel Perryman is an impending free agent. He'll be missed if he departs, so a replacement will be needed if that happens. Mack Wilson has good coverage skills, so he'll generate interest from teams in the second half of Round 1.”
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.