Chargers Draft

What the Chargers' 2022 draft class would have been without Khalil Mack trade

Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
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Jermaine Johnson II
NFL Combine / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

1. The LA Chargers would have taken Jermaine Johnson with the 17th pick

There is no doubt in my mind that if Khalil Mack was not on the LA Chargers the team would have taken Jermaine Johnson with the 17th overall pick. Heck, Johnson is so talented that even with Mack the team probably could have talked itself into Johnson.

Johnson was many pundits' fourth-best edge rusher in this draft with some even calling him the best natural pass-rusher of the group. There was some speculation that Johnson could go as high as the top-10 with his eventual team, the New York Jets, reportedly being willing to take him in the top 10 if it came to it.

Instead, he slid in the draft order and the Jets moved up to the 26th overall pick to get him. While he went nine picks later than the Chargers, the team would have undoubtedly taken him 17th overall. There would have been no trade downs or any other conversations. Johnson would have been the pick.

This obviously changes the rest of the dynamic of the 2022 NFL Draft. While edge rusher would have been a need that was filled, the team wouldn't have landed Zion Johnson in the first round and offensive line would have still been a need.

Obviously, there is a butterfly effect of the Bolts not taking Zion Johnson 17th overall and it could have really shaken up the order. We will assume that the prospects taken before the Chargers would have been on the clock at 48 stayed exactly the same.

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