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Mock Draft Tracker 8.0

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 one week to go, 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 Vita Vea – Washington

What he says: "Get to know Tevita Tuli'aki'ono Tuipulotu Mosese Va'hae Fehoko Faletau Vea. Yes, that's Vea's full name. The 6-4, 347-pound nose tackle is a physical specimen who would help plug the Chargers' biggest hole in the middle of the defense."

ESPN's Todd McShay:  DT Da'Ron Payne – Alabama
What he says: "Payne could step right in (DT Corey Liuget is suspended for first four games) and make an impact. An excellent run-stuffer, he has the ability to pressure QBs as well."

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:  S Derwin James – Florida State

What he says: "This would be a dream pick for the Chargers. James is a top-10 talent in this draft and a perfect scheme fit."

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks: DT Da'Ron Payne – Alabama
What he says: "The Chargers need a rugged run stopper in the pipeline who can eventually take over for Brandon Mebane."

Pro Football Focus' Alejandro Chavez: DT Maurice Hurst – Michigan Projected trade with 49ers.  San Francisco sends their Round 1 pick (No. 9 overall) in exchange for Los Angeles' Round 1 pick (No. 17 overall) and Round 2 pick (No. 48 overall)**

What he says: "Trading up is normally not something I'd try to accomplish, but Hurst's fall from the top of the board was too much to ignore. He's seemingly the most consistently dominant interior defender we've ever graded at the college level, so it was worth swallowing the loss of a second-round pick to grab him. While Hurst should be solid against the run when called upon, the potential of a Bosa, Hurst, Liuget, Ingram nickel defensive line in front of their talented secondary gives the Chargers a massive advantage in pass defense, the most important phase of defense. Hurst finished with the third-highest pass-rushing productivity among draft-eligible interior defenders. Moving up might not be something the Chargers have to do on actual draft day if they want to secure the services of Hurst."

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:  QB Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma State

What he says: "I still like this landing spot for Rudolph, and the Chargers are a team that has clearly done its due diligence on this quarterback class."

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson:  LB Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech

What he says: "The quarterbacks coming off the board present the Chargers with an ideal situation to improve the second level of their defense."

CBSSports.com's Jared Dubin: LB Leighton Vander Esch – Boise State

What he says: "The Chargers already have a ton of talent and athleticism on defense, and Vander Esch would fit right in. Imagining him on the same defense as Melvin Ingram, Joey Bosa, and one of the best secondaries in the AFC almost seems unfair."

CBSSports.com's Ryan Wilson: DT Maurice Hurst – Michigan

What he says: "At 6-foot-2 and 283 pounds, Hurst may be undersized, but his unbelievable quickness more than makes up for it. He'll join a front seven that includes Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram."

CBSSports.com's R.J. White: LB Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech

What he says: "I've been sending Da'Ron Payne to the Chargers, but if Edmunds is available it's hard not to love this match. His measurables jump off the page, and he has the chance to grow into one of the five best linebackers in the game. The Chargers have struggled to find impact players at the position, and Edmunds can be their three-down mainstay at the position."

MMQB's Albert Breer: S Derwin James – Florida State

What he says: "DC Gus Bradley gets a Kam Chancellor clone, with a dice-roll that James can become the player he was pre-injury."

NFLDraftScout's Dane Brugler: OT Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame

What he says: "With Joe Barksdale struggling to stay healthy and Russell Okung's price tag, McGlinchey would give the Chargers insurance relief at offensive tackle."

SBNation's Draft Editor Dan Kadar: LB Leighton Vander Esch – Boise State

What he says: "Offensive or defensive linemen are often the popular choice for the Chargers, but they badly need a middle linebacker. Vander Esch is a stellar athlete that could patrol sideline to sideline as the Chargers' three-man line in front of him eats up blockers."

USA Today's Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz: LB Leighton Vander Esch - Boise State

What he says: "No team gave up more yards per carry (4.9) last season than the Bolts. Vander Esch's lateral speed and battering-ram hits would be a salve, especially if he shows more restraint in his pursuit."

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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