With the 2021 NFL Draft just a little over two months away, it’s time to mock again. In my January mock, the LA Chargers selected Rashawn Slater with the 13th pick. Unfortunately, Slater’s stock has gone up by a significant enough margin to the point where he’s not often available there. The Northwestern tackle was off the board at 10 to Dallas in this simulation.
Corner Jaycee Horn was on the board for me to select, but I’m still of the mindset that the pick has to be offensive line in round one. It’s too risky to assume that top-tier offensive line talent will still be there in round two.
There also weren’t any offensive skill options that could’ve changed my mind here. Florida’s Kyle Pitts is the player a lot of people point to when it comes to possibly going talent over need, but he wasn’t available at 13.
With the 13th pick, the LA Chargers select…
If Slater isn’t available, the Chargers should go for the next best thing. Slater and Penei Sewell are in their own tier of offensive linemen when it comes to this class. He may be my third-ranked tackle prospect, but Christian Darrisaw is still dominant himself.
On 293 2020 pass-blocking snaps, Darrisaw allowed just six pressures and zero sacks. His competition level is important to point out too. Darrisaw had to go against the likes of Quincy Roche, Patrick Jones, and Carlos Basham last season. All of those guys are top draft talents that could be off the board before day three. Oh yeah, Clemson’s defensive line too.
Darrisaw is versatile enough to play in any number of schemes, be it pass-heavy or run-heavy. He gets to the second level with no problems as a run blocker and has consistently improved as a pass blocker every year.
The effort he shows is also remarkable on every play. Some college OTs have a tendency to quit on plays when they feel the ball has moved past them, but Darrisaw keeps chugging along.
USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker is also a possibility here. I do like his versatility in playing both guard and tackle. For me, it’s just a matter of preference. Getting a tackle that will be around for a decade-plus is what the Chargers should value here.