Los Angeles Chargers 4-Round Mock Draft

After a flurry of offseason moves, the Los Angeles Chargers suddenly became a Super Bowl contender. They re-signed Mike Williams, traded for Khalil Mack, and landed J.C. Jackson on a massive contract.

On top of that, they brought in Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson to help the defensive front and still have money to spend.

The 2021 NFL Draft went well for the Chargers, as both Asante Samuel Jr. and Rashawn Slater played well, with Slater earning a Pro Bowl bid.

The 2022 NFL Draft will be important for the Chargers, who need to fill a couple more positions on the roster. Here is a four-round mock draft since the Chargers don’t have a second-round selection due to the Mack trade.

Round 1, No. 17 overall: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The Chargers can go in several directions with this choice. Jordan Davis out of Georgia was a popular pick, but the Chargers added a pair of defensive tackles in free agency.

The Chargers could elect to grab a top-end wide receiver, such as Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, or Chris Olave. However, the Chargers need to find a way to protect Justin Herbert to the best of their ability.

Slater was a home run pick by LA last season, and they cut Bryan Bulaga in a cost-saving move and have a hole on the offensive line. Enter Penning, who comes in and starts right away. Storm Norton is not the answer for the Chargers, so Penning has to be the pick if he lasts that long.

Penning is physical, and although he played left tackle in college, he should be able to move to the right side rather seamlessly. The idea of Wilson or Olave is intriguing, but the Chargers can’t pass up a chance to land one of the best offensive line prospects in the class and give Herbert a stellar offensive line.

Round 3, No. 79 overall: Darian Kinnard, IOL, Kentucky

Darian Kinnard made a name for himself at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. In the clip above, he lined up against Jermaine Johnson, one of the top pass-rushers in the 2022 NFL Draft and held his own.

The Chargers always seem to have injuries on the offensive line and their depth has been tested repeatedly. Kinnard provides depth and versatility.

He played tackle at Kentucky but can easily make the transition to guard in the NFL and the Chargers could have the luxury of playing him in either position, depending on how things work out upfront.

Just a few weeks ago, it looked like the Chargers needed to address the defensive line and cornerback positions. Well, the additions of Joseph-Day, Johnson, and Jackson make that not as necessary anymore. Plus, Mack joining Joey Bosa on the edge can allow the Chargers to address the offensive line and give Herbert the luxury of one of the most well-rounded groups in the NFL.

Protection is critical; just look at what happened to Joe Burrow down the stretch.

Round 4, No. 123 overall: Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee

Do you want speed in LA? Here you go.

Velus Jones Jr. stunned everybody at the NFL Combine with an unreal 40-yard dash time. The Chargers have been projected to take Jameson Williams at No. 17 because of his speed. Yet, here they are in the fourth round with a chance to take one of the fastest players in the entire class.

Jones can stretch the field and plays a lot in the slot. Jones can also return kicks, which he made a name for himself doing during the beginning of his college career at USC.

The one knock on Jones is that he will be 25 by the time the season starts, which is old for a rookie, especially in today’s NFL. But at the end of the fourth round, he could be a steal. After all, the Chargers appear focused on now more than the future.

Oh, and the Chargers drafted Josh Palmer out of Tennessee a year ago, so it wouldn’t be new to take a Volunteers wide receiver.

Stats Courtesy of Sports Reference

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