Jan 2, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) stiff arms Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Sojourn Shelton (8) in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. The Badgers won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay put out his very own three-round mock draft. Here are his selections for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Todd McShay played general manager for all 32 teams (no trades), trying to fill major needs for each team while basing his selections more so on the value left on his board. Who does he see going to the L.A. Chargers? Let’s take a look.
- No. 7 overall: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
- No. 38 overall: Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
- No. 71 overall: Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh
Here’s McShay’s analysis for the Chargers:
“The Chargers’ No. 7 overall pick was the first time I ran into a hitch in Round 1. There’s no O-lineman worth taking that high, and my three top DBs all came off the board in the first six picks. Since I’m prohibited from trading down in this exercise, I’ll grab another weapon. Keenan Allen is supremely talented, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Davis is the most advanced route runner in the 2017 WR class and has an excellent combination of size (6-2¾, 209), speed and toughness. With Philip Rivers now 35, it makes sense for the Chargers to grab a developmental QB like Mahomes at some point. This isn’t a great draft to need O-line help; it’ll be tough for Los Angeles to find reinforcements up front without reaching.”
Davis was the first receiver off the board. Clemson’s Mike Williams, the next top available WR, went nine picks later (No. 16 overall) to the Baltimore Ravens. Davis may be a small-school prospect, but the FBS all-time receiving leader is one of the best route-runners in this class and is very dangerous after the catch.
Many voted against taking a receiver with the first pick in last week’s poll, but with DE Myles Garrett, DL Solomon Thomas, S Jamal Adams, DL Jonathan Allen, CB Marshon Lattimore and FS Malik Hooker all taken in that respective order, the Chargers really had no choice but to add a playmaker on offense for Rivers. Like McShay and several other experts have stated, no offensive lineman in this draft is worth a top-10 pick, despite tackle being a big need for the Bolts.
I wouldn’t be completely upset with the selection of Davis, who I believe could help make the Chargers’ offense become dominant, but the team is pretty deep at receiver with Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman. The addition of Davis makes sense if you’re factoring in the unlucky health issues that has constantly plagued this position, but if I were general manager in this situation where there’s no trading back, I’d select Tennessee edge rusher Derek Barnett at No. 7. Barnett, who broke Reggie White’s sack record, went ninth overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a pass during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
As for the Chargers’ second selection, I’m all for adding a QB like Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is a gunslinger whose stock has been rising, and I can see him being one heck of a player if he works on his mechanics. Sitting behind Rivers for two or three years and learning from one of the best in the game is a smart move for both parties. In case you were wondering, there were four quarterbacks taken in the second round: UNC’s Mitchell Trubisky was the first pick in the second round (No. 33 overall to the Browns), with Clemson’s Deshaun Watson going the following pick to the San Francisco 49ers; Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer was selected right after Mahomes.
If the Chargers believe they can wait one more year to find Rivers’ successor, perhaps a safety could have been the pick here. Washington’s Budda Baker, Connecticut’s Obi Melifonwu, Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, Utah’s Marcus Williams and Florida’s Marcus Maye were all available.
In the third round, the Chargers finally get some help on the offensive line with the selection of Dorian Johnson. Johnson is one of the top guard prospects in this draft (he’s the fifth-best guard on Mike Mayock’s latest position rankings). Like Mahomes, Johnson could have gone higher, but if he’s there in the third round, the Chargers will be stoked to land him.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) March 19, 2017
According to his draft profile on NFL.com, Johnson is a durable player who started 39 straight games at left guard for the Panthers and won second-team All-ACC honors as a junior and multiple All-American awards in his final year at Pittsburgh. Not only that, but he’s a powerful player who has the length (6-foot-5 with 35 1/4-inch arms and 10 7/8-inch hands) and athleticism (top performer in both the broad jump and vertical jump at the NFL Scouting Combine) that new HC Anthony Lynn will love. Per draft analyst Lance Zierlein, Johnson can be a starter at guard right away (bye bye, Orlando Franklin).
While the offensive line needed to be upgraded, there were a few players left on the board that I would have considered taking over Johnson. Star pass-rusher Tim Williams, cornerback Sidney Jones and outside linebacker/defensive end Derek Rivers were all available, as was safety Justin Evans, who was one of the few safeties left after Adams, Hooker, Melifonwu, Baker, Peppers, Maye, Williams and Josh Jones were taken in Rounds 1 and 2, respectively.
If the Chargers drafted Davis, Mahomes and Johnson with their first three picks, would you be happy or disappointed?