Mock Draft Tracker 5.0: Free Agency Edition

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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.

With the first week of free agency in the books, it’s time to take the latest look at who the Chargers are projected to take in the first round of the draft on Apr. 25 in Nashville:

ESPN’s Todd McShay: DT Dexter Lawrence – Clemson

What he says: “L.A. already has Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on this defensive line. Now drop in a 342-pound run-stopper with 5.05 speed and high-end athleticism. With multiple members of this unit heading toward free agency, Lawrence would be a great get.”

NFL.com’s Charles Davis: S Taylor Rapp – Washington

What he says: “Terrific range sideline to sideline and in the alleys. A sure, excellent tackler, Rapp will plug nicely into defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's attacking unit.”

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter: OT Kaleb McGary – Washington

What he says: “Despite McGary's lack of length, he's a powerful and athletic player who will help the Chargers secure the right side of the line the way Braden Smith did for the Colts in 2018.”

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: DT Dexter Lawrence – Clemson

What he says: “There are only so many humans on this planet who have Lawrence’s unique blend of size, power and movement skills, which could see him come off the board earlier than this.”

Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo: S Nasir Adderley – Delaware

What he says: “Adderley’s downfield ball skills are a good fit at free safety in the Chargers’ scheme, as he allowed a passer rating of only 9.4 on passes into his coverage a year ago while posting an 88.5 coverage grade.”

SBNation’s Dan Kadar: OT Cody Ford – Oklahoma

What he says: “If I handed draft grades for my own picks, this would be the easiest A+ to hand out. Ford is exactly what the Chargers need at right tackle. For such a powerful player, Ford is an easy mover and will get out on the second level and just destroy defenders. He’s plenty good at holding his spot on the line as well, using his strength to bully linemen in the run game.”

The Draft Networks’ Benjamin Solak: DT Jerry Tillery – Notre Dame

What he says: “Pretty quiet on the Chargers' front in free agency, though their addition of Tyrod Taylor does make the Round 1 developmental QB a less likely selection. They did bring Brandon Mebane back on a two-year deal, but he isn't the pass-rushing type. Enter Tillery, who enjoyed spurts of dominance in his senior season that his profile always promised across his Notre Dame career. Tillery will benefit from a rotation in Year 1, as he may need to add some mass (and recover from labrum surgery) -- but his athleticism and flashes illustrate a Pro Bowl talent at defensive tackle, if it all pans out.”

The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer: DT Jerry Tillery – Notre Dame

What he says: “At 6-6, 295 pounds, Tillery was a beast as a three-technique in college, and he backed that up with a stellar Combine. He matured with his play and temperament to unleash his pass-rush skills in his final season with the Irish.”

MMQB’s Kalyn Kahler: DT Dexter Lawrence – Clemson

What he says: “Lawrence is primarily an early-down run-stuffer, but he has a rare combination of size and athleticism and has flashed upside in the pass-rush. His gargantuan body type is really hard to find (6' 4", 350 lbs.), and he will help a Chargers team greatly in need of help on the interior.”

CBSSports.com’s R.J. White: DT Jeffery Simmons – Mississippi State

What he says: “Simmons might be a top-10 talent in this draft, but off-field issues in his past coupled with a torn ACL could drive him out of the first round altogether. With the Chargers needing to find talent up the middle of their defense, they'll take the plunge and hope Simmons is ready for the stretch run.”

CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco: DT Jerry Tillery – Notre Dame

What he says: “They have to get better up front and have some free agents there. Tillery would be able to come in and maybe start right away.”

CBSSports.com’s Chris Trapasso: DT Christian Wilkins – Clemson

What he says: “Wilkins is the logical fit between Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram in Los Angeles. He can do anything you ask of him on the line.”

CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson: OT Andre Dillard – Washington State

What he says: “Dillard is the best pass-blocking tackle in this draft and with Philip Rivers expected to play indefinitely, protecting his blindside is a priority.”

CBSSports.com’s Jared Dubin: DT Jeffery Simmons – Mississippi State

What he says: “The Chargers could lose some or all of their interior defensive line talent in free agency. They already added needed depth at linebacker by signing Thomas Davis, so they swing for Simmons here, a very talented player with some question marks.”

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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