With the LA Chargers officially locked into their 2021 draft position, it’s time for another monthly mock. The four-game win streak to end the season dropped the Chargers down the order by about eight spots. In my November and December mock drafts, the Chargers picked at number five. Now they sit at 13.
Contrary to what some may think, I actually don’t think that’s bad for the Chargers. They probably lose the ability to trade back in the draft to an extent, but the players at 13 just make a lot more sense.
Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, and Micah Parsons are incredible talents. They just don’t really fit what the Chargers need. The offensive line is just such a glaring need in addition to some defensive depth.
With the 13th pick, the LA Chargers select…
Some analysts like Daniel Jeremiah have actually ranked Rashawn Slater higher than Oregon’s Penei Sewell. While I wouldn’t personally go that far, it’s very easy to see why many are in love with him based on the tape.
He is incredible when it comes to getting to the second level and can block very nicely on the outside. In a 2019 game that Northwestern lost 52-3 to Ohio State, his play against Chase Young and the OSU defensive line was the story for many who watched.
There will be some debate as to whether Slater is more suited to play tackle or interior line at the next level. Personally, I think it could go either way. In terms of the Chargers, it doesn’t matter.
The Chargers need help at every spot on the offensive line except maybe right tackle with Bryan Bulaga there. The Draft Network has his ideal role listed as starting center, but also notes that teams could probably move him around.
The Chargers may very well have every offensive lineman other than Sewell available to them at 13. Out of all the available offensive linemen, Slater provides the most versatility and upside. On 355 snaps for Northwestern in 2019, Slater allowed five quarterback pressures and zero sacks.