Chargers Mock Draft

Los Angeles Chargers 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

  • 2021 NFL Mock Draft
  • LA Chargers
By Zac Alfers March 9, 2021 1 Comment
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The Chargers Bulk Up In The Trenches In Our Latest Mock Draft.

The Los Angeles Chargers’ biggest offseason needs revolve around the OL, CB, and EDGE positions. Through this mock draft, the Bolts address all three areas while landing multiple players that can make an immediate impact.

The Powder Blue already boasts a talented roster with young playmakers at every level, still, a few glaring holes remain. With $24.6 million in cap space, GM Tom Telesco has the money to sign productive free agents to address these deficiencies. Bringing in free agents allows the front office to adopt the “best player available” strategy come draft day. This reduces the chance the Chargers reach for a player simply because they fit a positional need.

This is what I HOPE the team does. Of course, with free agency not beginning until March 17th, it is uncertain what the team will elect to do. For this mock draft, I am going to speculate the Chargers don’t do much, if at all, during free agency. Using Pro Football Focus’s mock draft simulator, I picked the players I thought complimented the Chargers’ current roster the best.

LA hit the draft day lottery last year, selecting Justin Herbert with the No. 6 overall pick. Could the team strike gold again in the 2021 NFL Draft?

1.13 ALIJAH VERA-TUCKER (OT USC)

With the No. 13 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select … Alijah Vera-Tucker, tackle USC. Most mock drafts have the Chargers selecting either Rashawn Slater or Christian Darrisaw in the first. Those are great picks and I’d be happy with both, but I’d be happier with AVT. Personally, I don’t see Slater falling outside of the top ten, and even though I like Darrisaw, I absolutely LOVE Vera-Tucker.

The main reason is AVT’s versatility, who played RG, LG, and LT for the Trojans. The Chargers currently have multiple holes along the offensive line which makes a multitalented player like AVT extremely valuable. He’s an athletic lineman who projects to be solid in the run game and absolutely elite in pass pro. Herbert likes to deliver the big shots downfield and will be able to do exactly that with AVT holding down the blindside.

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2.47 LANDON DICKERSON (C ALABAMA)

With the second pick, the Chargers double down on the OL problem, selecting the mean and nasty Landon Dickerson. Dickerson is a big-bodied bully with imposing physical traits, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 326-lbs. He uses his power to swallow up pass rushers and clear out running lanes with great effectiveness. Dickerson is also a natural leader, an important trait for a center prospect.

Not on the same level as AVT, Dickerson also offers some position flexibility with the ability to play both guard spots as well. He has great mechanics and plays with a grittiness the Chargers haven’t seen since Nick Hardwick. If it weren’t for his injury past, he’d be a late first-round talent. The Chargers should definitely select Dickerson in the second round as long as his medicals check out.

3.77 JORDAN SMITH (EDGE UAB)

The Chargers aren’t in need of a superstar EDGE defender because they already have one on the roster in Joey Bosa. However, with Melvin Ingram most likely leaving in free agency, the team has a hole on the opposite side of the defense. Jordan Smith is a day two selection that can help form the next elite pass rush unit in LA.

Smith is an outstanding athlete who uses his impressive length (6-foot_7, 83” wingspan) to keep his blockers at bay. He’s a fluid pass rusher with good hand usage still, his technique could use some refining. The good news for Smith, he won’t be expected to contribute right away. Bosa and Uchenna Nwosu will handle the bulk of the minutes early in the season. This allows the team to ease Smith into playing time. Eventually, I think he develops into a game-wrecker and the Bolts walk away with a third-round steal.

3.97 ISRAEL MUKUAMU (CB SOUTH CAROLINA)

Cornerback is another position of need for the Chargers. Aging starters Casey Hayward and Chris Harris Jr. enter the last years of their respective contracts while their other starter, Michael Davis, is a free agent. LA needs to get younger at the CB position and Israel Mukuamu is a unique prospect the Bolts should consider.

Mukuamu is a 6-foot-4, 205-lb defensive back who demonstrates impressive agility for a man his size. He possesses some of the best ball skills in the class and finished the 2019 season with four interceptions and nine pass breakups. Mukuamu will best be utilized as an outside cornerback but he has the versatility to line up in the slot. He will contribute in sub-packages from day one before eventually developing into the Bolts’ next starting cornerback.

4.118 SETH WILLIAMS (WR AUBURN)

One of the biggest strengths of this year’s draft is the depth at the wide receiver position. Given the abundance of talent and more apparent roster needs, I wait until the fourth round before addressing this area of concern. Seth Williams (6-foot-2, 224-lb) is simply too talented to pass on this late in the draft.

Adding Seth as the third receiving option, to a group that already features Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, gives the Bolts one of the best pass-catching units in the league. With Seth’s size, he will most likely be asked to line up wide as a boundary receiver. In turn, Allen can bump inside to the slot where he is the most effective. Here, the Chargers land another young playmaker to pair with Herbert for years to come.

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5.160 CADEN STERNS (S TEXAS)

After addressing the team’s biggest needs in the first five picks, I focused on filling out the rest of the roster in the later rounds. The Chargers selected Nasir Adderley in the second round of the 2019 draft in hopes he would become the future starter at free safety. Adderley is still developing, and last year’s starter Rayshawn Jenkins is a free agent. In the fifth round of my mock draft, I have the Bolts selecting Caden Sterns to help fortify the safety position.

Sterns is an athletic, rangy safety who excels in both man and zone coverage. He has the speed to turn and run with speedy receivers as well as the physicality to man up against tight ends. Sterns plays with an impressive fluidity you don’t often see from a 6-foot-1 player. He would be a tremendous addition to the team if he’s still available in the fifth.

6.200 MUSTAFA JOHNSON (DL COLORADO)

LA has plenty of talented players along the defensive line. The problem is that the majority of those players struggle to create pass rush pressure from the interior. Jerry Tillery and Justin Jones have both flashed potential but neither has been able to fully develop into a consistent threat. Building towards the future, the Chargers select Mustafa Johnson as a developmental DL prospect.

Johnson was a three-year starter for the Buffaloes who brings TONS of experience. He’s seemingly always in the backfield and compiled 26 TFLs and 15 sacks during his collegiate career. Johnson is a positional flexible player who has shown he can rush the passe from the DE or DT position with equal effectiveness.

6.206 RILEY COLE (LB SOUTH ALABAMA)

 This is purely a value pick this late into the mock draft as the Chargers are currently well equipped at linebacker. Still, Riley Cole falling this far was a travesty and I felt I needed to stop the bleeding.

Cole is one of those players with a natural nose for the football who gets by with a high-level motor. He was extremely productive last season, racking up 96 tackles in ten games played. With a sixth-round pick, teams are looking for backups with upside and I think Cole has tremendous potential. He will be a special teams contributor from day one and can work himself into the pass rush rotation with proper coaching.

 7.239 QUINTIN MORRIS (TE BOWLING GREEN)

 Hunter Henry’s future with the team remains uncertain after the team elected not to franchise tag the tight end for the second-straight season. Instead, Henry will hit free agency as the top TE on the market. A reunion with the Chargers remains a possibility, still, the Chargers would be smart to look for an insurance plan. Quintin Morris could be brought in to serve as either Henry’s backup or future replacement.

Morris is a wide receiver/converted tight end with an imposing frame (6-foot-4, 251-lb) and excellent ball skills. He can stretch the field vertically with his speed and can box smaller DB’s out when working across the middle of the field. Morris still needs some refinement at tight end overall but his athleticism leads me to believe he has great potential.

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I cover the Chargers for Chargers Brawl. I'm a huge SD sports fan (Bolts, Padres, Aztecs) I also follow the Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks.

1 Comments

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Bolt

March 9, 2021

Love the Jordan smith pick

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