7 round mock draft
Everyone and their dog has a mock draft out these days. The Greg One is not one to be left out of the fun, so here it is, people. I’ll be adding one more to the ever growing list of seven-round educated (and not-so educated) guesses called a mock draft. I have been keeping an eye on prospects and listening to the talking heads on tv and radio for some perspective. Mind you, these are the same pundits who predicted the Chargers would finish at the bottom of the AFC West last season while your friend The Greg One correctly predicted the Chargers record within one game (my guess was 10-6) and the Chargers making the playoffs when none of the ‘experts’ would. Sometimes the best information comes from someone close, passionate about their team but also sees their team realistically. Suck on that ESPN!
Also keep in mind that in my 2013 Chargers mock draft I was one pick away from being dead on. I had the Chargers choosing Alabama guard Chance Warmack as the Chargers selection and he was chosen one pick before the Chargers selected, going to Tennessee with the 10th pick right before the Chargers picked at 11. The Chargers took Alabama right tackle DJ Fluker and had a great season. Still, I had the position (offensive line) and even the school (Alabama) correct, which is more than Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay did. Now that I’ve built my pundit resume to impossible, only a dead on pick will do kind of level, here is my Chargers seven round mock draft!
Round One: Louis Nix III, DT Notre Dame. The Chargers have a gaping hole at defensive tackle after the departure of Cam Thomas this offseason. The Chargers are left with Sean Lissemore and the injured Kwame Geathers as the only nose tackles on the roster. There is no one of note left on the free agent market which makes this the biggest priority to fill through the draft, slightly ahead of the secondary. CB’s Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard and Bradley Roby will be long gone as will safeties Ha Ha Clinton Dix and Calvin Pryor. Nix is the best pure nose tackle in the draft and will be reunited with teammate Manti Te’o, easing his transition to the team. Renewing the chemistry they had in college will be an added benefit on the field.
Round Two: Kyle Van Noy DE/OLB BYU. The Chargers are keeping a close eye on Van Noy, who has had a visit with the team and has said he would love to play for the Chargers. Van Noy is a high motor, disruptive force blitzing from the edge. His specialty is rushing the passer but drops into coverage very well and is solid against the run. Van Noy will be a great addition from a depth standpoint and has outstanding veterans around him to learn from. Even with offenses designing plays to go away from him, Van Noy logged 68 tackles with 17.5 for loss, four sacks, two interceptions and seven batted balls.
Round Three: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama. Kouandjio stock is dropping after a sub-par showing at the combine including a failed physical. His surgically repaired knee has received a clean bill of health from the esteemed Dr. James Andrews. The Chargers will most likely trade up, sacrificing a late round pick (6 or 7) to get high enough in the order to make the selection, but taking advantage of another first round grade talent will be too impossible to ignore. The Chargers again reunite teammates as Kouandjio becomes the bookend on the left side to D.J. Fluker on the right side of the offensive line.
Round Four: The Chargers trade their pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the rights to wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The troubled wide receiver was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft after two seasons as an All-American receiver for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Blackmon is currently suspended following his second violation of the league’s substance abuse policy and was recently cited for a one-car incident when he ran his SUV into a guard rail and landed in a ditch last month. Fortunately, there was no alcohol involved which would’ve lengthened his suspension. Blackmon can apply to be reinstated before the start of the 2014 season but chances are the Jaguars may be looking to rid the locker room of his presence.
A change of scenery and a fresh start with a new, contending team can be the perfect scenario for the 24-year old Blackmon. A bona fide deep threat, he will provide the perfect complement to Keenan Allen. Blackmon was only making 1.2 million so a new contract will be easy for GM Tom Telesco to negotiate. If the opportunity is there, Telesco should make the deal.
Round Five: De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon. Telesco wants to improve team speed and you won’t find many in this draft faster than De’Anthony Thomas. At Oregon’s pro day Thomas posted a 4.34 and 4.35 40 yard dash times. Thomas is electric in the return game as he had four return touchdowns for Oregon in his three-year career. Thomas was a standout member of Oregon’s track and field team anchoring the 4×100 relay for the team that made it to the 2012 NCAA Championships. Thomas is a great 10-15 carries per game running back but does not have the body to be an every down back. He can be a specialty back in the vein of Darren Sproles or Danny Woodhead as he is a great receiver out of the backfield and operates best in space. Speaking of whom, Woodhead is on the second year of his two-year contract with the Chargers. Thomas would be a great insurance policy/heir apparent if Woodhead gets injured or leaves in free agency next season.
Round Six: Terrance Mitchell, DB Oregon. Mitchell’s stock dropped at the draft combine when he ran a 4.69 40-yard dash time. Mitchell is a little undersized at 5’11 but makes up for it with impressive ball skills and instincts. Mitchell stared 38 games for the Ducks and played in high-profile games against the best receivers the Pac-12 had to offer. Mitchell had five interceptions last season as a season-long starter. Mitchell’s excels in press coverage and knows how to use his hands and body in coverage. Mitchell is a playmaker who will also be a valuable contributor on special teams.
Round Seven: Michael Sam, DE Missouri. Sam was the story of the day for about a week when he came out, making him the first openly gay player to take the field in the NFL. However, the story didn’t do anything to his draft stock and he has been forgotten amidst all the draft hoopla. Sam would be a fantastic bargain here as the Chargers are woefully thin all across the defensive line. Like Te’o the year before him, San Diego will provide shelter from the harsh media scrutiny of other NFL cities and allow Sam to thrive.
The Chargers most likely won’t have a seventh round pick. I expect the seventh round pick to be used in a trade up scenario or in the Blackmon trade. Similarly, a team like the Ravens or Steelers will take Sam in an earlier round. However, he will be a late day three pick if he gets chosen at all. If he’s there the Chargers will take him but if he’s gone and the pick is not traded the Chargers will more than likely stash a quarterback like they did last season with Brad Sorensen.
I only took one defensive back because the Chargers will also gain the services of defensive back Stevie Williams, who was chosen with a fifth round pick in last season’s draft. Williams missed all season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The (mostly) unintentional coupling of past teammates will only serve to improve team chemistry and provide a mentor-like relationship in the cases of Fluker and Kouandjio; Te’o and Nix. The team adds valued speed with Blackmon and Thomas and the defense gets much-needed depth with a handful of blue chip prospects.
What do you think Boltfam?
The Greg One
After spending countless hours trying to put together a strong mock draft, I changed it roughly 457 times. At least that many.
I’m going to get right to it. This is the second mock draft I have done for the 2013 NFL draft. Although I was unable to talk myself out of one player, the rest of the selections are new to this mock. Also new to this mock, I do not have the Chargers trading down in the first round despite my firm belief that is the best option for the team. But what do I know?
Quite frankly, I will probably change it at least one more time prior to Greg and I traveling to New York City to watch the draft live at Radio City Music Hall.
Without further ado, the second version of my 7 round mock draft for your San Diego Chargers.
1st Round: Kenny Vaccaro SS Texas – Vaccaro is an elite athlete. His versatility alone provides him with one of the most unique skillsets in the entire draft. To have a strong safety that can drop down and cover the slot is an asset to any defensive coordinator. There are so many things about Vaccaro that you can not coach. Pairing him with Eric Weddle provides for a dream safety tandem in San Diego.
2nd Round: Terron Armstead OT Arkansas-Pine Bluff – The ultra athletic Armstead could end up being a perfect fit for the Chargers in their combo ZBS/power running game. He is, of course, a bit raw due to his playing for such a small school. There is quite the buzz building around him as we inch closer to the draft. He definitely has some things to work on in order to make an impact at the next level. Perhaps playing for new offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris could help speed up that process. ( Thanks Shane )
3rd Round: Jon Bostic ILB Florida – After posting a 4.6 forty yard dash time at his pro day, Bostic is the only repeat player from my last mock. Bostic is a very physical player that is aggressive to take on blocks while shedding them quickly. He would be a perfect pairing next to Donald Butler. Shows above average ball skills for an inside linebacker.
4th Round: Kenjon Barner RB Oregon – I’ve tried to keep him out of my mock draft. I can’t any longer. Yes, he would be the second Duck in this mock draft. Barner had a good college career, especially after stepping out of the shadow of LaMichael James in Eugene. It would seem that this could be Mathews last season as a Charger. Ronnie Brown is certainly not the answer. Barner would be a solid addition to the Bolts’ backfield.
5th Round: Brandon McGee CB Miami – McGee is not a great tackler by any means. But he has good fluidity in his hips to turn and run with receivers. He has good footwork and tends to highpoint the ball very well. Despite his lack of interceptions, McGee could become successful at the next level as a nickel or dime defensive back.
6th Round: Ace Sanders WR/KR South Carolina – Sanders is not much of a wide receiver. But his ability to take a punt to the house is undeniable. He has excellent feet and is good and changing gears. His lateral agility is great. He reminds me of Trindon Holiday in the return game. Selecting Sanders makes Eddie Royal expendable. The release of Royal would save $1.5 million in cap space.
7th Round: TJ Barnes DT/NT Georgia Tech – Barnes has always been a backup nose even in college. That is exactly what the Chargers will bring him in to do in San Diego. He is a gigantic man at 6’6″ 369. A space eater like him could allow for multiple one on ones along the front seven. He looks a bit sluggish at times when you watch him in games. He would provide much needed depth behind Cam Thomas.
Well, there you have it. Feel free to rip it to shreds in the comments section. I like this mock just a little bit better than my last one.
As I mentioned above, I will be releasing one more prior to the draft beginning on April 25th. Don’t forget to tune into BoltBLitz.com on draft weekend. We’ll be doing everything we can to provide you with the same experience that we’re having while attending the draft live.
Thanks a lot for reading.