Sunday, January 17, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 4.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Los Angeles Chargers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Los Angeles Chargers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Chargers:

EDSFootball - Kevin Hanson (1/15)

13. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

While the Chargers have hit a home run with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, the offensive line has been a perennial need for the franchise. While most analysts view Oregon's Penei Sewell as the top offensive line prospect, Daniel Jeremiah, former NFL scout and current Chargers color commentator, ranks Slater as his top offensive line prospect in 2021.

While I have those two swapped in my OL rankings, Slater could be off the board much earlier than this. Even if he lacks ideal length and may eventually kick inside, the way he held his own against Chase Young last year suggests that he can more than hold up at tackle at the next level.

San Diego Union Tribune - Eddie Brown (1/13)

13. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

The Chargers were picking fourth overall before finishing the season with a four-game win streak. Three of their five starters on the offensive line are scheduled to hit free agency -- in addition to injured Pro-Bowler Mike Pouncey. Darrisaw could find his way into the top 15 if he tests as well as I believe he will during the draft process (assuming we are able to have a combine or pro days).

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso (1/13)

13. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Chargers need to get Justin Herbert more weapons, especially those who can stretch the field. Waddle absolutely can do that.

The Athletic - Dane Brugler (1/12)

13. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

The Chargers offensive line was among the worst this season. Imagine what Justin Herbert and the offense could do with more protection up front? Darrisaw is a bully who moves with balance and would give the franchise a long-term answer at left tackle.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (1/7)

13. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

The Chargers have to be elated with the dynamic play of Justin Herbert in his rookie season and nothing is more critical for Los Angeles moving forward than making sure its new franchise quarterback has outstanding pass protection. Darrisaw is a long, fluid, and powerful left tackle that is a wall in pass protection, an exceptional blocker on the move, and a mauler in the run game.

ESPN - Todd McShay (1/7)

13. Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

Los Angeles will deal with a lot of free-agency issues this offseason, with players at key positions on expiring deals. Keep a close eye on what happens in March, because it will determine everything about where the Chargers go with this pick, especially as they hire a new coach. They had one of the stingiest pass defenses in the NFL in 2020, but Casey Hayward Jr. and Chris Harris Jr. will both be turning 32 years old this season. Wade can play inside or outside, and he excels in zone coverage -- which the Chargers use at the 10th-highest rate in the NFL.

USA Today - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (1/5)

13. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Call this the 2021 version of the Cowboys scooping up CeeDee Lamb. With no offensive lineman worthy of this slot, the Chargers can instead score tremendous value in Pitts, a supersized target who can flummox defenses with his speed and keep Herbert's development on track even if Hunter Henry goes elsewhere.

Athlon Sports - Bryan Fisher (1/5)

13. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

The depth of pass catchers could allow more weapons for Justin Herbert to be added later but up first is protecting their young QB in the trenches. Leatherwood could fill either tackle spot and help in the run game early in his career.

Previous update: Los Angeles Chargers Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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