Kyle Van Noy
Despite what many of us would consider to be a difficult time – waiting this long for the draft to occur, that is – we are less than a week from the NFL’s premiere offseason activity. The cattle call that is the NFL draft will be taking place before you know it. I’ll be in New York City in the blink of an eye. I’m on a plane as we speak, heading to Charlotte to see my amazing children. Then it’s time to take over NYC and the NFL draft. ( Editor’s Note: I began writing this on 5/3)
This is a big year for the Chargers and Tom Telesco. After having what many of us consider to be a solid 2013 draft class, the hope is to replicate last year’s success. Telesco nailed three potential first rounders in the first three rounds of the draft in his first go-around as an NFL GM. Perhaps, the expectation level increases knowing that a player like Stevie Williams, a fifth-round selection, has yet to play in a regular season game. Tourek Williams made the occasional play as well, despite being a sixth round pick. Additionally, Brad Sorensen managed to stay on the ’13 roster as the third quarterback. That could say a lot about what the team has in mind for the former Southern Utah signal caller.
I find it safe to say that the 2013 draft was a success. And, I think that most people in here would agree. But does that put even more pressure on Telesco to trump his rookie attempt at building the team through the draft? Sure, I can get behind that kind of thinking.
Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Marcus Martin, C, USC
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The NFL did a great job, in my opinion, of mixing up the prospects. So, the question remains, and I’ll leave it to you, is the next Charger going to be an invitee to Radio City Music Hall? Popular mock draft choices landing in America’s finest city such as Louis Nix III and Kyle Van Noy were not invited ( That is according to the above list which is credited to NFL.com).
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
After a few broken promises, and some seriously busy times, it is now time for me to release this year’s third edition of my Chargers 7-round mock draft. At this point of the year with, literally, thousands of mock drafts out there, many fans will not even click on the link to this post. And I can’t say that I blame them.
That being said, the draft is fast approaching and I’ll have my final edition coming out the day before the draft. For those of you that have read the other two versions, you’ll recognize a name or two in this article.
Let’s just get right to. Enjoy and be sure to tear it apart in the comment section below. Don’t worry, I can take it.
The San Diego Chargers trade the 25th pick in the 1st round to San Francisco and obtain the 30th pick and the 77th pick.
Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU
To honestly convince myself that the Chargers taking another OLB in the first round was the right way to go was difficult. But Kyle Van Noy is my favorite “football player” in this draft. He’s neither overly fast, nor is he the most athletic player in this draft class. But the guy just makes plays and is always around the football. My opinion is that he is the perfect complement to Melvin Ingram on the other side. Despite having Dwight Freeney surging toward a healthy 2014, he’s no spring chicken. Van Noy’s selection will upset fans due to the fact that he will not see the playing time that most folks would like out of a first round pick. I do NOT want to watch this guy in a jersey that doesn’t have lightning bolts. Therefore, he’s the pick in the first round after trading down.
Marcus Martin C/G USC
There’s a strong chance that Martin will not be available when the Bolts are on the clock with the 57th pick in this year’s draft. But stranger things can and do happen at an alarming rate during the NFL draft. Martin could immediately come in and start at guard for San Diego. Although the word on the street is claiming that Jeromey Clary isn’t going anywhere this year, Martin being on the board makes this pick quite simple, in my opinion. His future with San Diego would have him replacing one of my favorite Chargers of all-time, Nick Hardwick, when the man in the middle of our offensive line decides to hang them up. Getting Martin here is another move that would bolster the roster to ensure that the future is where this team is focused.
Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt
The need for a quality wideout to take away some of what will be the inevitable bracketing of Keenan Allen is a real problem to solve for the Charger offense. Matthews has the size and speed that make for a solid package at wide receiver. His play at Vandy shows that he needs some work but he has all of the ability to be a solid number two at the next level. Pairing him with Allen gives the Bolts a bright future when looking at the wide receiving corps.
Justin Ellis NT Louisiana Tech
I had the pleasure of watching Ellis live from the press box in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior bowl. The quickness a man his size plays with is certainly something to be seen. Although his bull-rush is his best move, he needs to develop a more varied repertoire to be highly successful at the next level. Choosing Ellis here is a wise move and the team would be lucky to add him to its defensive line.
E.J. Gaines CB Missouri
The fans clamoring for a cornerback have now had their hunger sufficed. Or have they? Gaines is a solid, yet underrated, corner in this draft. He has above average ability in coverage and he’s very physical versus the run for a cornerback. Gaines displays a fundamental ability in his footwork that should excite all defensive back coaches. His ability to read and react reminds me of Jason Verrett. But Gaines can be had here in round four as opposed to Verrett’s likely first-round selection.
Taylor Hart DE Oregon
When looking at the rookie season for San Diego’s Kendall Reyes, one might have thought that we were set at defensive end for quite sometime. Coupling Reyes with Corey Liuget seemed like a recipe for success. Reyes looked a bit sluggish at times in 2013 and might be better used in pass-rushing situations as opposed to a starter in the team’s base defense. The need for a solid NT will obviously aid in his hopeful return to his rookie year numbers. Hart is a great football player that has the skillset to get after the quarterback from the defensive end position in John Pagano’s 3-4 alignment. His play against the run would apply the necessary pressure to Reyes to have him step it up, or take a seat in the base defense. If Hart is here in round 5, it would be a no-brainer for Tom Telesco to pull the trigger.
Brandon Thomas G Clemson
When it was announced that Thomas suffered a torn ACL while training, the draft world was sharing a serious entiment of pain for the young man from Clemson. Thomas was looked at as a player that could be drafted as early as the second round. His injury will, unfortunately, force him to drop significantly. Considering the scenario of him dropping, the gamble of taking a player like Thomas this late in the draft makes perfect sense. His long arms and great functional strength make him a guy that fits perfectly at guard. Thomas plays through the whistle and he keeps the motor revving at all times.
Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma
Like Thomas, Colvin tearing his ACL – his injury occurring at the Senior bowl – guaranteed that his selection in the 2014 draft will not be one that shows his true ability. Colvin had the opportunity to go much sooner, even as early as the mid to late second round. Despite a slight frame, he has a solid knowledge of the game and is not afraid to gamble. He anticipates routes well and has very nice ball skills. Many 6th and 7th round picks are forgotten about in due time. That will not be the case for either Thomas or Colvin.
And there you have it. Now that you have it….. RELEASE THE HOUNDS!!!!! Leave your comments below and tell me what you think. Thanks a lot for reading and commenting.
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
Alright, I tried to get this done and out before the combine started, better late than never I guess. As some of you know I am in Afghanistan right now and with the war winding down they are closing over half my base so we have had to move our sleeping tents and are moving our flightline. Due to this, I will be a little slow putting stuff up over the next month. Good news is, in 35 days…I will be back in AMERICA!!
But enough about me, lets get to the reason you are really here…football.
When putting this together I was trying to keep a few things in mind. First, all the holes we need to fill. Second, I ignored any potential free agents we might bring in for now. Third, what I think is important to bring to this team in a player.
I did throw one trade in here, I had us trading out of the 3rd round with the Browns. The Browns have a TON of picks this year which makes it easy for them to move up if the mood strikes them. There is no real basis for this trade, other than there were more players in the 4th that I wanted rather than settling for one in the 3rd.
To keep it semi-realistic I used Walterfootball.com’s Pick Value Chart so neither team was getting “ripped-off.” Our 3rd round pick (89) is worth 145 “points.” Their 2 4th round picks (102 + 129) are worth a combined 141 “points” which is close enough to work. I also used walterfootball.com’s mock drafts and player rankings to guesstimate where a player might be available.
So after all of that blabbing up there, on to the picks!
Round 1, Pick 25:
Ra’shede Hageman 6’6″ 310lbs (NT, Minnesota) / Kyle Van Noy 6’3″ 243lbs (OLB, BYU)
The pick here is Hageman, but Van Noy is my back up as Hageman may not be available. Hageman is a mountain of a man who is extremely athletic, plays with aggression, and forces opposing offenses to double team him. He is predicted by many to be the 2nd NT off the board after Louis Nix from Notre Dame. He is very long at 6’6 with 34 1/4″ arms and uses his length well, keeping offensive linemen from being able to engage and control him.
He has everything you want in a NT that can’t be coached such as size, power, and speed. Hageman will need coaching to reach his potential though, which is very high by the way. He does take plays off occasionally when he gets tired and he will need to learn to stay lower. Hageman would help end the drought of talented NT’s we have had since Jamal Williams and bring another athletic body to our defensive line between Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes.
If Hageman is gone, my pick would be Van Noy. Van Noy is a hyper athletic OLB. He has a a variety of pass rush moves and combines a very quick first step with a good anticipation of snap count to burst past the offensive line. Van Noy makes impact plays all over the field shown by his 26 sacks, 61.5 tackles for loss, 7 INT, 11 forced fumbles, 21 passes defended and 5 TD’s during his 4 years playing at BYU.
Van Noy would bring to the Chargers some much needed pass rush help, but also a defender in the pass game that the Bolts have not had since Donnie Edwards. With division opponents having a TE like Julius Thomas, and scrambling QB’s like Alex Smith and Terrelle Pryor an intelligent, fast LB like Van Noy would be invaluable.
Round 2, Pick 57:
Ja’Wuan James 6’6″ 311lbs* (OT, Tennessee)
James played RT at Tennessee, however his skill set would actually benefit him more at LT in the NFL. He is not a driving run blocker like D.J. Fluker, what he is is a great kick and slide mirroring pass blocker. James uses his long (35″) arms well, keeping pass rushers at bay. He does not have problems with speed rushers like almost all of our tackles have had recently, and is also big and strong enough to keep the bull rush at bay. Durability is very important to the Chargers going forward, especially with the recent run of injuries on the O-line, and James has that, starting all 49 of his college games.
Here is what walterfootball.com had to say about James’ day at the combine today:
“Tennessee right tackle Ja’Wuan James had a mixed day. He ran some slow times of 5.25 in the 40 with a 1.82 10-yard split. However, James really performed well in the field drills. He showed nice hip flexibility with great feet. He was relaxed and fluid in the mirror drills. James is an interesting prospect that could be steal on Day 2.”
He also received a good review from nfl.com:
“Big, strong, heavy pass protector with good balance, anchor strength and hand use to handle power and speed. Does not affect the run game the same way and almost appears more destined for the left side in the pros. Has instant-starter potential.”
Round 4, Pick 102:
Rashaad Reynolds 5’11” 191lbs (CB, Oregon State)
Reynolds is a gritty, scrappy CB. He is aggressive on the line in the press and has good speed to stick with WR’s downfield. Oregon State had him play a good mix of man coverage up on the line and in the zone lined up pretty far off the line like the Chargers often do. One of my favorite things about him is that if we picked him, he would show up to camp the best tackler in our secondary, he is that good. He shows good awareness and timing when turning to look for the ball. Reynolds is not afraid going up against bigger WR’s and sticks to everyone like velcro. While he doesn’t have elite speed, his instincts and football IQ keep him in good position to make plays on the ball. One thing that may hurt him in the NFL is that he is pretty “handsy” with WR’s and makes a little too much contact passed the 5 yard mark. Reynolds managed 10 interceptions and 29 passes defended during his time at Oregon State. He went out with a bang, returning 2 fumbles for TD’s in the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl against Boise State. Reynolds is also very durable, starting 38 consecutive games to end his career in college, something the Chargers desperately need.
Here is what nfl.com had to say about him:
“Good functional football player who capped his college career with a game-changing MVP performance in the Hawaii Bowl, where he returned two fumble recoveries for touchdowns. Has starter-quality physical traits and the positional skill to contribute readily in the pros. An underrated clingy cover man with a natural feel for the game.”
Round 4, Pick 121:
Michael Sam 6’2″ 261lbs (OLB, Missouri)
Ok, before anyone says anything, he is a football player and that is all I care about. The Chargers can always use more pass rushers especially with the injury history the Bolts have had lately. In the 4th round you can afford to take a player based on one spectacular season like Sam had and he would be one of the best pass rushers available at this point in the draft. This season Sam 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. He was always in the backfield. He has some drop back ability but he is mostly a situational pass rusher. Yes he would be somewhat of a media circus, but I think we have a positive enough locker room to deal with this, and I know Manti Te’o would be happy to have the spotlight on someone else.
Round 4, Pick 123:
Cody Hoffman 6’4″ 223lbs (WR, BYU)
I was looking for a big WR to pick up in the middle rounds and it was between Hoffman and Martavis Bryant from Clemson. I ended up going with Hoffman due to his much better hands, his kick return experience, and better body control. Hoffman goes up and attacks the ball at its highest point well and uses his big strong hands to secure the ball. He has great body control and can twist and turn in the air and on the run to go back for the ball. Watching him reminds me a lot of Malcom Floyd and would give us a big red zone target on the edge that Rivers missed this season. His negatives are his overall speed and his run blocking on the edge. He won’t break any speed records in the 40, but anything less than a 4.65 I would consider good for him especially after showing up to the combine 13 lbs over his listed playing weight from college. He finished college with 260 receptions for 3612 yards (13.9 YPC avg) and 33 TD’s. Hoffman also had 53 kick returns with a 25.1 yard per return avg.
Here is what nfl.com listed as his strenghts:
“Outstanding size with long arms. Extends outside his frame and can snag throws outside his body. Wide catching radius. Deceptively quick coming out of breaks. Has NFL pedigree. Experienced, four-year starter. Played through a shoulder injury during 2011 and ’12 seasons. Is tough and durable.”
Round 5, Pick 153:
Russel Bodine 6’3″ 310lbs (C, UNC)
This will most likely be Nick Hardwick’s last season. Behind Hardwick the Chargers did not have a true center last season, Guard Rich Ohrnberger filled in when he was out. According to chargers.com the bolts have 1 other Center on the roster, Nick McDonald. However according to nfl.com McDonald has 2 years experience in the NFL with 3 starts and time in 16 games overall, but as a Guard not a Center. Enter Russel Bodine. Bodine has already drawn some attention at the combine by putting up a Combine best, so far, of 42 reps on the bench. He has great size and strength and plays with a very nasty demeanor. We need to grab someone to groom behind Hardwick and I think Russel Bodine can be that player.
Here is what nfl.com says about him:
“STRENGTHS: Carries a load in his punch and plays with vinegar. Can seal and turn defenders in the run game to create small creases. Plays with a mean streak and likes to finish blocks. Is aggressive working up to the second level and efficient cutting linebackers. Rugged competitor. Stout anchor in pass protection. Versatile and has seen action at center and guard.
Round 6, Pick 185:
Darrin Reaves 5’10” 210lbs (RB, UAB)The Bolts need someone to replace the aging Ronnie Brown and to step in when Mathews gets hurt or tired. I believe Reaves was snubbed by the league not earning an invite to the combine. He is a solidly built RB who makes good quick cuts. Watching a highlight tape of his best runs he almost looked like he was greased up, arm tackles just fall off him as he runs and he pushes hard for yards. In 3 seasons, 2 as a starter, Reaves amassed 2343 yards on 496 carries (4.7 YPR avg), 27 TD’s (13 and 12 in the last two seasons). Reaves is also a good receiver out of the backfield with a lot of experience doing it hauling in 77 passes for 652 yards (8.5 YPC avg) and 3 TD’s.
Round 7, Pick 217:
Mike Pennel 6’4″ 332lbs (NT, CSU-Pueblo)
The Chargers need as much fresh depth on the defensive line as they can get. Mike Pennel comes from a small school but has perfect size for a NT. He is very strong at the point of attack. He will need coaching to maximize his potential since he is coming from a small school, but as the saying goes “you can’t teach size.”
Here is what nfl.com had to say about his strengths:
“Rare size and body mass. Looks the part with a well-distributed frame and carries his weight well for a 350-pounder. Is seldom moved off a spot. Can lock out and walk back blockers with sheer brute strength. Flashes some violence in his hands. Strong short-yardage/goal-line plugger.”
Well thanks for bearing with me through all that, let me know what you guys think, and feel free to submit your own picks and suggestions in the comments. Remember this is a very early mock draft. After the Combine, pro days, and what the team does in Free-Agency we will all have a better idea of what might happen and what our needs might be.
It is that time of year again and some may even consider me late to the party. It’s mock draft season. Today will be my first attempt at mocking the draft selections by your San Diego Chargers. I actually get a little bit pumped up about the debates that come up due to these mocks. They tend to make for strong conversation pieces.
I have a run of 5 drafts in a row in which, while prepping my final mock, I have prognosticated one player that would be drafted as a Charger. The consecutive streak began in 2009 when I made had the misfortune of jinxing San Diego by mocking Vaughn Martin and Gartrell Johnson to the Bolts. Oops. My bad.
In 2010, I nailed both Ryan Mathews and Cam Thomas as future members in lightning bolts. Obviously I had no clue that the team would have to trade up from 28 to 12 to secure the services of Mathews, but I did have them trading up for him close to the middle of the first round. There was a similar story with Cam Thomas. I had him going to the Bolts in the 3rd round as opposed to the 5th.
The draft in 2011 seemed to be one of the easier drafts to peg a player to be drafted for the Chargers. Leading up to the draft, San Diego was not shy about their love for Vincent Brown. He was another that I was lucky enough to tab ending up in America’s finest city.
In 2012, while writing for BoltBeat.com, I mocked Ladarius Green to the be taken in the 4th round. And last year I mocked cornerback Steve Williams to the Chargers in the 5th round and that is where he was selected.
Now that I have shown that even the sun shines on a draftnik’s butt every now and then, let us get on with the proceedings. Without further ado, the first edition of my Chargers 7 round mock draft.
Louis Nix NT Notre Dame 6’2″ 345 pounds
This pick will probably have people split down the middle. Nix is coming off of a year that ended due to surgery for a torn meniscus. He is a mammoth of a man and can take on multiple blockers. He has the perfect size for a 3-4 NT and is a powerful man. He is not going to put up sack numbers but he will demand double teams. The Chargers are in dire need of a space-eater and Nix is the best that is available. He may not last until the 25th pick in the 1st round but for the sake of this mock he is there and snagged by the Bolts.
Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU 6’3″ 244 pounds
Despite seeing him in person from the press box at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, I wanted to see more of Van Noy. He finished the game with a sack and a couple of tackles. After returning home and watching 4 full games, I have come to the conclusion that he would be a great fit in the Charger defense. The guy is all over the place with a nose for the ball. He has very good instincts and his ability to drop into coverage from the OLB position should be very appealing. Much quicker than fast, he won’t wow you with his 40 yard dash time. Despite not being overly physical, he still makes more than his fair share of plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska 6’2″ 215 pounds
Although his hype is bit “louder” than his ability, Jean-Baptiste would be a solid pick in the late third round. The new craze in the NFL happens to be big cornerbacks and he is just that. But that is NOT why I have him being selected. He finished this season with 12 pass breakups and 4 interceptions. For a player his size he is not incredibly physical. He had a solid week at the Senior bowl in Mobile. He won’t blow you away with his speed but his length helps mask that in coverage. His hip turn was a lot better than I expected for a 6’2″ 215 pound cornerback. He still has some developing to do but he would be a nice 3rd round addition.
Donte Moncrief WR Ole Miss 6’3″ 226 pounds
Moncrief had a better year as a Junior than he did as a Senior. But don’t let that dissuade you. This is a big receiver that can stretch the field vertically. I think he’d be a good complement on the other side of Keenan Allen. One of my favorite aspects of his game is his willingness as a blocker in the running game. He has great hands, decisive cuts in and out of his breaks and the ability to go up and get the ball. It goes without saying that Philip Rivers loves to have jump-ball wideouts that can get up and attack the ball.
James Wilder Jr. RB Florida State 6’2″ 229 pounds
This guy just happens to be a great combination of power and speed. He is not blazing fast but he can run for a guy with his build. He has an NFL pedigree as his father, James Wilder, was a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He keeps his legs churning through the muck showing impressive leg drive. One thing I noticed about Wilder Jr. is that he is always making progress forward at the end of plays, getting positive yards despite some poor blocking at times. Adding him to a backfield of Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead would make for a solid stable of running backs.
Tyler Larsen C Utah State 6’4″ 317 pounds
Despite coming from small Utah State, Larsen received national recognition as a Rimington Award finalist. Larsen has started the last 51 consecutive games and shown that he has what it takes as a physical and cerebral blocker. His consecutive games streak shows his durability and toughness. He has a very fast punch to keep defenders on their heels. With the future of Nick Hardwick up in the air, it is important for the Chargers to have a plan in place. Even if Hardwick returns, drafting Larsen is a wise move for the future.
J.C. Copeland FB LSU 6’1″ 270 pounds ( approximately )
This former defensive lineman is a beast. He opens up holes like an extra offensive linemen with a bit of quickness. He can lay the wood with the best of them at the position and would be a great asset for a team that has trouble deciding to run the ball from inside the 1 yard line on 3 consecutive plays….. * crickets * Sorry for that. I would really like to see this guy in lightning bolts.
And there you have the first edition of my Chargers 7 round mock draft. I am REALLY looking forward to everyone telling me that Van Noy and Jean-Baptiste won’t fall to the respective rounds where I have them going. They might not slip but let us not pretend like any of us know anything at this point in the process.
Let the colorful banter begin!!