Chargers Draft

LA Chargers take Ja’Marr Chase in December mock draft

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the LSU Tigers reacts after a catch against the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the LSU Tigers reacts after a catch against the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
2 of 4
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

With the 37th pick, the LA Chargers select…

829. . Offensive Tackle. Alex Leatherwood. 37

While there’s a big change in the first round, the second round stays the same as last month’s mock. If the Chargers don’t grab an offensive lineman on day one of the draft, they have to go for at least one in day two.

When I wrote last month’s mock, the offensive line was playing better than it is now. Forrest Lamp was certainly playing better along with Dan Feeney. Now, neither is playing well in addition to Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga being in and out of the lineup.

The role Leatherwood takes can ultimately be dictated by what the Chargers need. He can play tackle on the outside and guard on the inside.

Draft analysts do have some disagreement on whether he’s more of a tackle or guard at the NFL level, but hey, the Chargers really need both.

As I wrote last month, very few linemen in this draft match his aggressiveness and strength. There will need to be some refinement in technique, but there’s no doubt in my mind that an Alabama lineman like Leatherwood can make the jump.

With the 69th pick, the LA Chargers select…

817. . Cornerback. Kary Vincent Jr.. 69

I pinky promise that I’m not an SEC fan with these picks. My college team is actually Rutgers, so you don’t have to worry about draft biases.

Unlike the Surtain mock, the Chargers have to go for a corner on day two or three of the draft. If on day three, it would have to be at the very beginning.

Like with Chase, Kary Vincent opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID and the NFL Draft. At the next level, he projects as a slot corner or safety, but does have the ability to play the outside.

When it comes to the slot cornerbacks, there have been a lot of changes for the Chargers and there could be more incoming. Desmond King was traded to Tennessee and Chris Harris carries an $11 million dollar cap hit next season if kept on his current contract. Should the Chargers move on from Harris or renegotiate his final contract year, Vincent would be a good fit in the draft.

His speed as a former LSU track star is off the charts. He also plays the ball particularly well and can tackle with ease.

The concern for Vincent is his size at 5’10” 190, but that’s bigger than King was size-wise and not too much smaller than Harris. His anticipation could use some work on plays, but that will come with time in an NFL system.

With the 97th pick, the LA Chargers select…

97. 871. . Offensive Tackle. Walker Little

The Chargers really do need to double or even triple up on offensive line picks in this draft. It might be a different scenario if we saw someone like Pipkins take a step forward this year, but we didn’t.

There’s some risk involved here with Walker Little. Little suffered a knee injury near the beginning of the 2019 season and hasn’t played since. At the time, he was regarded by many as a potential first-round pick in the future.

Even back in May, Little was still a lock for the first round. Opting out of the 2020 season has knocked him down the draft though. By the time Little is drafted, it will have been a year and a half since he played.

To me, Little is a risk worth taking. He earned All Pac 12 honors in 2018 and can be a dominant run blocker. His pass blocking needs a little refinement, but some analysts are a little too hard on him for a poor game against Notre Dame where he allowed two sacks. That was the only game that season where he did that.

With Leatherwood in the bag here, the Chargers can take a shot on a tackle with high risk, high reward tackle with Little. He’s certainly not a project.

facebooktwitterreddit