LA Chargers: 10 sleeper draft prospects that fit the team

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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

He’s not as deep of a sleeper as he was before the combine, but Chase Claypool still projects as a late third or early fourth-rounder. Some mocks have him in the fifth round. His combine helped him a lot, but don’t expect him to go too early. My most recent mock draft on Bolt Beat had Claypool as the fourth-round pick for the Chargers.

The NFL consensus on Claypool prior to the combine was that he would have to convert to tight end. Scouts simply didn’t see a lot of speed on his tape at Notre Dame, and his blocking ability fit the tight end role more.

His combine changed all of that when he ran a 4.42 40 yard dash. Now teams are looking at a freakishly built 6’5″ receiver that can out-muscle defenders and block well.

Claypool’s flaw during his college career was separation, but that’s something he improved on as time went on. Each year in college he boosted his yards per reception total. In 2019 he racked up 1037 receiving yards and averaged 15.7 yards per reception. He’s also great at the 50-50 jump balls, like potential teammate Mike Williams.

With his speed and athleticism, he’s a nice complement to Williams and Allen. The Chargers need a decent speedster who can generate yards after the catch with Allen and Williams, and Claypool could certainly fit that mold. In general, the Chargers need a third receiver to take the burden off of Allen and Williams. Andre Patton isn’t a bad receiver, but he should fourth or fifth on the depth chart while he develops.

Taking Claypool in the third or fourth would give the Chargers more flexibility in the first two rounds of the draft. There’s no reason to take a receiver too high with the depth of the position in the class, even if Henry Ruggs III and Denzel Mims are incredibly tempting.

Just throw it up to Chase Claypool and more often than not he’s hauling it in. This is an element missing in the #Colts offense. Claypool is one of my favorite targets on Day 2 of the draft.

— Locked On Colts Podcast (@LockedOnColts) December 28, 2019