We are roughly 85 days from the 2018 NFL draft and after the Super Bowl on Sunday, it will officially be draft season. And for so many crazy NFL fans, it will be mock draft season.
The Los Angeles Chargers didn’t do enough to get into the postseason this year, but I think they are very close and will most likely go into the season with playoff expectations. While the team doesn’t have a lot of holes, free agency, retirement and general regression will show some of the weaker areas on this squad.
I do expect to make a full NFL mock draft, but for now I’m keeping it with the Bolts. I tried to draft similarly to that of Tom Telesco and how he has approached drafts in the past. With that said, the Chargers are on the clock.
Round 1, Pick 17 (17): Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
I can see an inside linebacker here (as that is the team’s biggest weakness, in my opinion), but I don’t think Telesco is ready to call it with Jatavis Brown, Hayes Pullard III and Korey Toomer this soon, at least this early. Some will call for an offensive lineman or even a quarterback if one of the top guys falls, but the team has to shore up the run defense, therefore the pick is a defensive tackle.
Da’Ron Payne didn’t have a successful college career statistically as other defensive lineman from Tuscaloosa, but his energy, drive and technique give him the lowest floor of them all. The Chargers have to do better inside. Brandon Mebane is showing his age and the team doesn’t get much out of Tenny Palepoi and Damion Square. Corey Liuget is a quality player, but I think Payne can step in and be the most effective of the bunch.
A day one starter in the first round is all that teams picking outside the top 15 can ask for and that’s what Telesco is getting here.