Round 2, Pick 37: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The second biggest need for the Chargers gets answered in the second round. The initial power that Austin Jackson provides is fierce, and it’s one of the reasons the offensive line class in this draft is so deep that a tackle might not be needed in the first round.
The run game is where Jackson excels, but he’s no slouch when it comes to point of attack on pass protections either.
The Chargers also recently hired James Campen, acclaimed offensive line coach from Cleveland and Green Bay. It doesn’t inherently mean that the team will go big into the offensive line this offseason, but getting to work with a prepared physical talent like Jackson would probably be something Campen would be interested in.
The biggest test for Campen will be developing a talent like Trey Pipkins, who did look better at the end of last season.
USC OT Austin Jackson is a bit raw, but I like him as a 2nd-round target for OT-needy teams. He reminds me a lot of another former Trojans tackle in Winston Justice. pic.twitter.com/QVJqytierF
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) February 12, 2020
Round 3, Pick 71: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Denzel Mims is one of the most athletic receivers in the draft. When people hear “athletic” in reference to a receiver, they might think of burners like John Ross. But Mims is different. His best qualities influenced by his athleticism are his body control, catching ability, and propulsion as opposed to necessarily being the fastest off the line.
This catch vs. Texas demonstrates some of those qualities:
— Elite College Football (@EliteCollege_FB) November 23, 2019
Another reason to love Mims is his red-zone ability. He was graded the highest-graded receiver in the red zone in the Big 12 in 2018. Keep in mind, that’s a ranking that includes another highly touted draft prospect in Jalen Reagor at second.
The Chargers were 23rd in red-zone conversions for touchdowns in 2019. Getting another weapon to go at opposing defenses is a good idea, especially considering the offensive juggernaut in the Kansas City Chiefs the team will have to contend with. A better conversion rate in the red zone is necessary for a playoff run in 2020.
Another big reason for a receiver on day two of the draft is to help out Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. The Chargers can’t be putting a past-his-prime Travis Benjamin on the field as the third receiver in 2020 like they did at times this year.
The same is true for the practice squad guys the team threw out there because of injury in 2019. True third and fourth options are necessary now.