First Round, Pick No. 17 overall: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Pick in first mock draft: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
In my first mock. I had the Chargers select Da’Ron Payne out of Alabama. This time, I’ll go with a guy on the same side of the ball from the same school.
As I looked into things more, it became clear that the defensive tackle position is deeper than the linebacker position in this draft, as I detailed here.
Both players would represent an upgrade to the Chargers’ defense, but I think finding a guy to pair with Denzel Perryman should be the team’s primary focus in the draft. I’ve heard from several fans who would love to see the team select Jackson here, but I don’t see that as a productive pick if your goal is to win this year.
Evans can do a little bit of everything, even offering something in pass coverage. He is a tremendous tackler who can also rush the passer and become a primary blitzer in certain packages.
When your other linebackers not including Perryman are guys like Kyle Emanuel and Hayes Pullard (the jury is still out on Jatavis Brown), I think that is the position that must first be addressed in this draft. Evans would be a dynamic player for a defense that got better by the week last season.
Take the linebacker now and you can address the defensive tackle position, which has many more viable options, in a later round.