There are many different directions that the LA Chargers could go in the 2022 NFL Draft with there also being so much variance with 16 picks before the Bolts. For those reasons, every Chargers mock draft this offseason is unique and compelling and the Bolts will probably still end up surprising us.
NFL insider Peter Schrager put together his first mock draft of the year and his mock is always an interesting one to dissect. Instead of using his analysis and opinion to form the mock, Schrager relies on information that he is hearing from teams to build his mock.
Schrager's mock is a bit different than most of the mainstream mock drafts that we have seen with Kayvon Thibodeaux being the second overall pick and Jameson Williams, who many Charger fans want to see in powder blue, being the first receiver taken 10th overall.
As far as the Chargers are concerned, they do go with a receiver to add a pass-catching option for Justin Herbert but they add the fourth receiver taken in the draft.
The Chargers select Chris Olave with the 17th overall pick.
In Schrager's first mock draft the Chargers miss out on Garrett Wilson by one pick as Wilson lands 16th with the New Orleans Saints. As a consolation prize, the Chargers draft Chris Olave, who is either the last receiver in the top group of receivers in the draft or the first receiver in the next tier of receivers, depending on who you ask.
Olave made 65 receptions for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns for Ohio State last season. The Buckeye ran a 4.39 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine and in theory, could be the speedster/YAC machine that the Chargers are potentially looking to add to the receiver corps.
With the versatility to play both inside and outside, Olave would theoretically get a substanial role in the offense. Personally, I do not project Olave to put up big numbers in year one regardless of his team, but the long-term investment could be worth it to the Bolts.
The question then becomes if the Chargers would rank Olave high enough on their board to rank above the other options at 17. Trent McDuffie notably went one pick later in Schrager's mock and with Brandon Staley's vision, it would not be surprising if they rank McDuffie ahead of Olave on their board.
And if we have learned anything about Tom Telesco as the general manager of the LA Chargers it is that he is going to pick the no. 1 player on his board regardless of fit.