Which position should the Los Angeles Chargers target in the first round of the draft? It’s early, but ESPN’s Field Yates has an idea.
The Chargers hold the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Chargers.com’s Hayley Elwood met up with ESPN’s Field Yates, and she asked him what he thinks the Chargers should do with their first-round pick. Check out the video below:
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) February 28, 2018
Yates says it wouldn’t hurt for the Chargers–or any team for that matter–to draft an offensive lineman, saying that it’s “good business for any NFL team.” The Chargers made significant upgrades to the line with the acquisition of left tackle Russell Okung in 2017 free agency and the selections of Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney in the 2017 draft, but Yates believes you can’t have enough offensive linemen, especially if one of your top guys were to go down like Lamp did in last year’s training camp.
The offensive line happens to be one of the Chargers’ top positional needs. They should look to replace center Spencer Pulley, who graded out as one of the worst centers last year, via Pro Football Focus standards, and right tackle Joseph Barksdale, who isn’t worth the money he’s currently making. It’d be considered a reach to draft a center with the 17th pick, but drafting a tackle is a different story. They aren’t sexy picks, but Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey and Texas’ Connor Williams are two players who could start right away at right tackle. Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown is a mammoth of a man, but I don’t think he’ll be a quality starter at the next level. McGlinchey, Brown and Williams rank first, second and third, respectively, in NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock’s first position-by-position rankings of 2018. These rankings often change.
Again, free agency hasn’t even taken place yet. However, if a talent like linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Roquan Smith, defensive tackle Vita Vea or safety Derwin James is available when the Chargers are on the clock, I’d take one of those players over an offensive lineman not named Quenton Nelson. The Chargers could wait until Day 2 of the draft and still find a quality lineman.