Chargers Draft

2018 NFL Draft: Bolt Beat staff makes its first-round picks for Chargers

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Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

If you took a consensus of all the mock drafts done within the last two weeks, this is the guy that would probably land at No. 17 most often. He was also a popular pick with our writers.

Mike Murray: “If the Chargers are in win-now mode, then they need to fill a need with this pick. They need a day 1 starter who will not only come in and contribute, but also will come in and make an impact. These are the six guys that I would have on top of my board: Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Vita Vea, Da’Ron Payne, Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith. Will Telesco move up to get one of these guys before they’re gone? He does not put a lot of value on late-round picks. He likes to make a splash with his first rounder. He has a history of moving up in the draft to get impact players. I would not be surprised if he moved up to get Vita Vea or Derwin James. If he does not move up by the time No 17 rolls around five of those guys will be gone. Da’Ron Payne will be the one that is left and the guy that the Chargers select. Look for Payne to be the newest member of the Chargers Thursday night”.

Alexander Insdorf: “In my mind, there’s absolutely no chance that the Chargers do not go for a defensive player in the first round. After that, the picture is much less clear. For a while, run stuffing DT’s like Vita Vea or Da’Ron Payne were both consensus mock draft picks for the Chargers. Then it shifted to Derwin James, the dynamic safety from FSU. The team also needs some help at linebacker, so Georgia LB Roquan Smith is an option. I personally still believe the pick will be a DT, and I’m thinking it’ll be Da’Ron Payne, since its likely that Vita Vea’s surge up the draft boards in the last few months will put him in the top 15. However, this feels very similar to the 2016 NFL draft where the Chargers are a wild card that can go in any direction”.

I think the Chargers end up picking Da’Ron Payne, but if there’s one thing we know it’s we know very little about what the board will look like at No. 17

— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 25, 2018

Anthony Totri: “Da’Ron Payne (Alabama DT): Let me preface this with the confidence I have that Derwin James will be a phenomenal player and could be a home-run pick. However, Telesco doesn’t value the safety position and James might not be there at 17. Payne brings a presence to the interior of the defensive line the Chargers haven’t had since Jamal Williams. Payne and Liuget in the interior with Bosa and Ingram coming off the edge gives the Chargers a defensive line built of all first-round picks. The final piece of the Bolts’ puzzle to the playoffs and a division crown is stopping the run. Payne, plus the selection of a linebacker in the mid rounds could push this team over the hump.

Daniel Lang: “Put me down for Da’Ron Payne. The Chargers need a genuine run-stuffing defensive tackle and I think he’ll be the guy on the board when Telesco picks”.