2021 NFL free agency is just over a week away. Players will be getting pay raises and subsequently, some may be getting new addresses. This will help provide a better idea of the holes left on team’s rosters. Which of course will make mock drafts a little more accurate. If nothing else, it will negate the early mock drafts. This is especially true for the LA Chargers.
Mock drafts are a treat to view. So many people making their predictions on who teams will draft — basing all their choices off of the current known information of team needs, past draft selections by the GM and deciphering the GM speak of the offseason.
The most famous mock drafter is Mel Kiper Jr. But according to a quick internet search of mock drafts, the most accurate mock draft is The Huddle Report.
The best thing a fan can do is view many mock drafts to get the best idea of who’s most likely to be drafted. With that idea in mind, here at Bolt Beat, we’ve compiled the many mock drafts to see what people are thinking the LA Chargers will do at #13.
The most likely picks by the LA Chargers based on various mock drafts:
Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
He is the most selected player in the mocks. Scouts are stating Slater as the second-best tackle in the draft behind Penei Sewell. Slater opted out of playing in 2020 so the most recent tape of him playing is from 2019.
In 2019, Slater went up against Chase Young, the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Slater blocked Young without any assistance. So, yeah, Slater will do well in the NFL. Slater is drawing comparisons to Trent Williams and Nate Solder. Chargers fans will be happy if Slater turns into either one. Vinnie Iyer of sportingnews.com has Slater going at 13.
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
There appears to be some conflict on who the second-best offensive lineman in the draft. Scouts are torn on who the second-best offensive lineman in the draft is between Slater and Darrisaw. Part of that is because some scouts see Slater as a franchise left tackle, while others think he can move inside to a guard position.
However, unlike Slater, Darrisaw has the prototypical size and athleticism for an NFL lineman. He has been a starter at VT since his freshman year. According to PFF, his 95.6 grade is second in the FBS last year. However, you view Darrisaw, he is a helpful addition to the Chargers line. Matt Johnson of sportsnaut.com has Darrisaw going at 13.
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Truth be told it comes down to Pitts or WR Jaylen Waddle from Alabama. Waddle can be a speedy slot wide receiver. But Pitts’ athleticism from the tight end position is so hard to pass on. Pitts is giving coaches, GMs and scouts dreams of the next George Kittle or Travis Kelce.
Last season, Pitts caught 10 passes thrown 20 yards plus down the field. For a bit of reference, that’s just five less than the Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith.
Combine Pitts’ skillset with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and this becomes an incredibly dynamic and explosive offense. Glynn Morgan of NBCsports.com has Pitts going at 13.
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama, WR, 5’10” 182 pounds
Arguably the #3 wide receiver behind DeVonta Smith and Ja’Marr Chase, Waddle is highly skilled and very fast. Some teams may see him as an explosive slot receiver while other teams may see him as a guy who can be the #1 wide receiver for their team.
Also, some mocks have Waddle as the second receiver off the board behind Chase. Depending on how the LA Chargers attack free agency, specifically if they go after offensive lineman, Waddle could their draft day target. Cynthia Frelund of NFL.com has Waddle going at 13.
There’s the first look at some of the most common names predicted to be selected by the LA Chargers. If any of these names get the call at #13 Charger fans will be excited. As the draft draws closer don’t be surprised if at least one of these most commonly predicted names changes.
With the Chargers history being more on the frugal side, don’t be surprised if #13 is on a lineman that can be with the team for as long as Herbert.