Now that the combine has concluded, I have created my first mock draft of the offseason. This mock is slightly more geared to who I want while who San Diego needs takes a backseat. With that being said, I still believe it to be a good draft for the Chargers but my later mocks will be slightly more realistic as far as round destination is concerned. Let’s get to the good stuff!
Ra’Shede Hageman DT, Minnesota
Hageman possess a great frame at 6’6” and 310 pounds. At Minnesota Hageman showed his durability by starting all 13 games in his senior season and played in all 12 during his sophomore campaign. This guy is athletic as they come and his strength serves him well. Great redirection skills and tackling ability will make him an immediate contributor along our defensive line.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB, Nebraska
Jean-Baptiste was not on my radar until a couple of Chargers “tweeps” raved about him. As a guy who is extremely hesitant to jump on bandwagons, it says something that I leaped onto this one. “SJB” is a 6’3” 190 lbs corner who can/will be coached up to be as physical as they come. The same season Nebraska led the nation in opponent completion percentage, Jean-Baptiste led his team in pass breakups with 9. He went on to earn 2nd team All-Big Ten honors after his 2013 season. There is no doubt he will be a huge addition to our secondary.
Jeremiah Attaochu OLB, Georgia Tech
Attaochu is one of my favorite players in this year’s draft. He has one of the best motors of and LB I have watched. The 6’2” 252 pound Yellow Jacket did not participate in the combine but will work out at GA Tech’s combine. The Senior Bowl was the last time we saw Attaochu in action. In the third round I think this is a good value and will help our edge rush.
Devin Street WR, Pittsburgh
Street is a nice target at 6’3” and a notch under 200 pounds. He is known for catching just about anything in his radius (which is fairly wide). With Tommy Savage at QB there was definitely a pro-potential QB distributing the pigskin. Street is the type of receiver the Chargers need to place opposite of Keenan Allen. While he is not as tall as some WRs that San Diego has targeted in the past, he plays like one of them.
Russell Bodine OG/C, North Carolina
This 6’3” 310 pound Tar Heel made Honorable mention All-ACC starting at center all 13 games for UNC. Has some experience at guard as a fill-in for injured players. Bodine may be the strongest offensive lineman in the draft, throwing up 42 reps of 225 at the combine. With Hardwick on his way out sometime soon, we will need a guy to become the starting center sooner rather than later.
Storm Johnson RB, Central Florida
Johnson runs exceptionally well between the tackles and has the speed to still thrive on the outside. Johnson only had one year as the feature back, but in the case he goes to San Diego that works perfectly because he would come into a committee where I think he would be best suited anyway. Johnson may not end up being an every down back and in San Diego that would not be a problem and could end up developing him into just that. The 6’ and 209 lb back would be great value in the sixth round.
Max Bullough ILB, Michigan State
3rd Team AP All-American, First team All-Big Ten. This 6’3” 250 pound linebacker was a part of what was arguably the nation’s top defense in 2013. His stock is dropping due to being suspended from the Rose Bowl for reasons he still will not talk about.
In the seventh round, there is no way we can pass up on this Butkus semifinalist. A chance is all he needs to prove himself and I am sure he will take all advantages.
This concludes my first mock draft of 2014. Be on the lookout for draft profiles of potential Chargers, as well as overall intriguing draftees.
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!!