Saturday, August 29, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 2.0

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:

Rotoworld - Thor Nystrom (8/21)

12. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Speaking of protecting young quarterbacks, the Chargers priority for next offseason will be fixing the offensive line tasked with keeping face-of-the-franchise QB Justin Herbert upright. Leatherwood has played big in big spots – notably left tackle for the second half and OT as a true frosh in the 2017 title game against Georgia after Jonah Williams got knocked out. Leatherwood proved adept pass-blocking over the course of a season in his first full campaign at left tackle in 2019, a strong athlete who plays with balance and understanding of angles. Once Tua went down, Leatherwood had blind-side duties protecting newbie starter Mac Jones, and looked good doing it, out-grading teammate Jedrick Wills in pass-pro by PFF's numbers.

PFF - Mike Renner (8/19)

12. Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

While the Chargers just locked up Joey Bosa long-term, they have Melvin Ingram III's expiring contract to now worry about, as he's already been holding out of Chargers camp. Basham has racked up pressures at Wake Forest, with 112 over the past two seasons. He's a twitched-up 275 pounds and could continue the Chargers' recent dominance on the edge.

The Draft Network - Kyle Crabbs (8/19)

13. Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State

Regardless of whether Wyatt Davis or newly acquired Trai Turner flips to play on the left side of the line, the Chargers simply need to get their offensive line fit for 2020 first-round pick Justin Herbert. Davis is a mauler up front who should pair with Turner to give the Chargers two stout anchors at each guard spot.

Pro Football Network - Oliver Hodgkinson (8/16)

11. Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

With the future face of the franchise secured in Justin Herbert, the Los Angeles Chargers would be wise to invest in the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft, especially as a high number of the current unit will be out of contracts next year. However, with two starting cornerbacks in their thirties, defense could be the first-round direction for the second consecutive season.

Shaun Wade could have followed teammate Jeff Okudah into last year's draft and been a late first-round pick. He returned to improve his stock, and for my money is the best cornerback available in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Wade has prototypical size for the position and flashes excellent playmaking skills in coverage, but he can also impact the game as a blitzer.

ESPN - Todd McShay (8/12)

11. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Keenan Allen is a free agent in 2021 (one of many on this Chargers roster who could demand big money), Mike Williams will follow in 2022, and the depth behind that duo is lackluster. Quarterback of the future Justin Herbert is going to need weapons, and Waddle does a little bit of everything. He is the most elusive receiver in the country and can be dynamic as a kick/punt returner. In 2019, he averaged 17.0 yards per catch, 24.4 per punt return and 35.0 per kickoff return -- and scored at least once on each.

The 2020 draft marked the fifth time two receivers from the same school went in the first round (Alabama's Ruggs and Jeudy). If Smith and Waddle come off the board on Day 1, it'd be the first time a school has done it twice, let alone in back-to-back years.

The Draft Network - Jordan Reid (8/10)

12. Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

With so many injuries happening to the Chargers' offensive front a season ago, it ultimately derailed their season. Shipping left tackle Russell Okung to the Panthers in exchange for Trai Turner and signing Bryan Bulaga after the Packers decided to go in a different direction could help the team provide more stability up front. With Bulaga manning one tackle spot, there are massive question marks opposite of him.

Cosmi's a long and lean offensive tackle prospect that is an ideal fit in the Chargers' vertical attacking offense. An above-average athlete, he already has a solid foundation to build upon, but he's the next in line of athletic offensive tackles in hopes of being selected early on.

Pro Football Network - Matthew Valdovinos (8/9)

11. Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

Jackson Carman is a bit of a raw prospect right now, but his tools are obvious and his flashes are brilliant. He's a nasty run mauler, and his massive frame is a dominant tool. Even more impressive, he can play with nimble feet. His down to down consistency needs to improve, but his upside is palpable. Expect a Mekhi Becton like rise in draft stock throughout the season and pre-draft process.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (8/3)

12. Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

The Chargers made a smart decision to sign Bryan Bulaga to lock down one of the starting offensive tackle spots, but somehow Sam Tevi continues to find work as a starter in Los Angeles. He must be replaced and Cosmi has an exciting physical skill set to become a fixture up front for the Chargers.

Cosmi has terrific movement skills and length that will help him match up with speed off the edge, and he has terrific range which will be an asset to the Chargers' overall offensive scheme.

Previous update: Los Angeles Chargers Mock Draft Roundup 1.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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