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Mock Draft Tracker 3.0: Pre-Combine Edition

With the Los Angeles Chargers picking 17th in the 2018 NFL Draft, here are the 28 most recent players selected 17th overall.

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 taking place next week, it's time to take the latest look at who top pundits and expert predict the Bolts will select in the first round of the draft on Apr. 26.

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

What he says: "As I wrote in my Mock Draft 1.0, stopping the run has to be a priority for the Chargers in 2018. Their 4.9 yards per rushing attempt allowed ranked last in the league. Los Angeles has two young star edge rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, but it has to improve on the interior. Payne popped in the College Football Playoff and even had an interception and touchdown catch in the semifinal win over Clemson. The 6-2, 319-pound Payne had only three career sacks, but he consistently beat his man, even if it didn't show up on the stat sheet."

NFL.com's Charles Davis:  S Derwin James – Florida State

What he says: "James is a big hitter, but he has plenty of range in coverage, as well. He might not be exactly like former Charger Eric Weddle, but he could provide a similar impact..."

NFL.com's Chad Reuter:  OT Orlando Brown – Oklahoma

What he says: "Whether Brown plays at left or right tackle doesn't matter. He'll eclipse his opponent with pure size and play with a nasty streak."

MMQB's Albert Breer:  OT Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame

What he says: "Protecting an aging Philip Rivers is paramount, and Russell Okung is 30. That makes McGlinchey a good candidate to come in as a right tackle/eventual successor at left tackle."

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

What he says: "They need to get stouter up front inside and Payne could do that. He would be a nice fit in Gus Bradley's defense."

CBSSports.com's Chris Trapasso: DT Da'Ron Payne – Alabama

What he says: "Payne two-gaps like he has been playing in a traditional 3-4 for a decade, and unleashed in the College Football Playoff, we saw the explosiveness of a quality interior pass-rusher. Look out, AFC West."

CBSSports.com's R.J. White: DT Da'Ron Payne – Alabama TRADE UP TO 15

What he says: "It's possible Payne will be there if the Chargers stay put, but if they settle on one of the top two defensive tackles (Vita Vea being the other) and decide they can't miss out, why not pay a small price to climb a couple spots and lock him in? Arizona is missing two Day 3 picks already, and in this scenario, they're the likely team to have signed Cousins with the Broncos and Jets drafting QBs earlier, so they should be a good trade partner for teams to call if a desired prospect slips a bit during the first round."

Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo: OT Orlando Brown – Oklahoma

What he says: "The Chargers' offensive line rebuild took a step in the right direction last season, but there's still more work to do. Brown brings a physical run-blocker and capable pass-protector to Los Angeles. He finished ninth overall among the nation's tackles at 87.9, and his 88.1 run-blocking grade ranked fourth."

SBNation's Draft Editor Dan Kadar: S Derwin James – Florida State

What he says: "Some teams may view James as a linebacker, and the Chargers could be one of them. With the two best defensive tackles and linebackers gone, James could be the next man up. He makes more sense to the Chargers than someone like Alabama's Rashaan Evans because of his coverage ability."

Sporting News' Eric Galko: S Derwin James – Florida State

What he says: "While they've built a strong secondary, the Chargers adding a playmaking safety to finally replace Eric Weddle should be an objective this offseason. James was more inconsistent than expected in 2017, but his upside is fantastic for the 17th overall pick."

NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang: DT Da'Ron Payne – Alabama

What he says: "The Chargers — who ranked last in the league in 2017 by allowing 4.9 yards per carry — would likely jump at the chance to fortify the middle with the powerful (and aptly named) Payne."

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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