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Mock Draft Tracker 7.0

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 exactly three weeks to go until the team is on the clock, it's time to take the latest look at who top pundits and experts predict the Bolts to select in the first round of the draft on Apr. 26.

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

What he says: "The Chargers have a stellar edge-rushing duo in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, but they need better players on the interior."

ESPN's Todd McShay:  DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama
What he says: "Los Angeles could go with an offensive tackle here, but Brandon Mebane is 33, and the Chargers need to improve the interior of their defensive line. Payne is an immediate upgrade."

NFL.com's Charley Casserly:  S Derwin James – Florida State

What he says: "James is the best player available here, and he fills a need. The former FSU star could easily be a top-10 pick this year, but in this scenario, he's still on the board at No. 17."

NFL.com's Chad Reuter: LB  Leighton Vander Esch– Boise State

What he says: "With the top two safeties off the board, the Chargers improve another part of their defense with the athletic and instinctive Vander Esch."

Pro Football Focus'  Steve Palazzolo: OT Mike McClinchey – Notre Dame

What he says: "While the Chargers used some draft capital on the offensive line last season, there's still work to be done, and McGlinchey can start immediately on the right side with an eye toward playing left tackle in the future (though both positions are of equal value and it doesn't matter which side he plays). McGlinchey is a powerful run-blocker, leading all tackles with a 95.0 run-blocking grade last year while allowing only 16 pressures."

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco: LB Rashaan Evans – Alabama

What he says: "They need to get better inside against the run and Evans is that type of player."

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

What he says: "Picks No. 16 and No. 17 are sweet spots for a quarterback to be selected to sit behind either Joe Flacco or Philip Rivers, but the Chargers try to capitalize on the final few years of Rivers' career by adding more talent to their rising defense."

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson:  QB Lamar Jackson – Louisville

What he says: "Bad news for both Geno Smith and Cardale Jones, but Jackson's the type of quarterback who could be the long-term answer in post-Philip Rivers life. The only hangup here is the Chargers could see themselves in win-now mode."

NFLDraftScout'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."

SBNation's Draft Editor Dan Kadar: DT Vita Vea - Washington

What he says: "The duo of Pro Bowl pass rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram made the Chargers' defensive front dangerous and the Los Angeles' defense tough to score against. But it wasn't difficult to run on and gave up a league-worst 4.9 yards per carry. Vea is a 6'4, 347-pound tackle who could instantly improve that aspect of the Chargers' defense."

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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