Chargers Draft

LA Chargers take Justin Herbert with first pick in February 2020 mock draft

By Alexander Insdorf
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates after scoring a four yard touchdown against the Wisconsin Badgers during the first quarter in the Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual at Rose Bowl on January 01, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates after scoring a four yard touchdown against the Wisconsin Badgers during the first quarter in the Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual at Rose Bowl on January 01, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 27: Austin Jackson #73 of the USC Trojans blocks A.J. Epenesa #94 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half of the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium on December 27, 2019, in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 27: Austin Jackson #73 of the USC Trojans blocks A.J. Epenesa #94 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half of the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium on December 27, 2019, in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

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.

Jackson’s roster spot would also ramp up the pressure on struggling tackles Sam Tevi and Trent Scott. If the Chargers decide to beef up the offensive line, one or both of them could be gone.

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:

Denzel Mims is a #grown man pic.twitter.com/6lpQ0CR6gd

— 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.

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