Draft prospects Chargers fans must watch closely in National Championship

Nick Spanola
CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia
CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Warren McClendon | UGA OT

Opposite Smith on Georgia's offensive line is RT Warren McClendon. The 6'4 junior is another option on the menu, especially if you can't stomach the idea of another first-round lineman.

McClendon is ranked 175th with PFF but is projected to be an undrafted free agent on the consensus big board. Quite the discrepancy to explore there.

His mock draft ADP has steadily risen over the last couple of months, but things came to a halt after he recorded just 1 snap vs Ohio State. The Bulldog is banged up from injury, but Georgia HC Kirby Smart is hopeful to get McClendon back for the big game.

Snapshot of his run/pass blocking splits at UGA (PFF):

Season

PBLK Grade

RBLK Grade

Snaps

2022

82.6

65.9

721

2021

75.1

72.4

850

2020

71.3

67.5

595

McClendon has been a consistent trench piece in the Stetson Bennett era, and somehow could go undrafted this coming May.

From 2020-21, he was (for our purposes), solely at RT. He got some LT exposure this season, but it wasn't great. In Week 1, McClendon recorded his most snaps ever on that side. He also happened to put up his worst run blocking performance of the season. If you were to ignore that game, his run block grade bumps up to 68.5.

Last season, McClendon allowed 0 pressures in the national title game, and just 1 to #2 pick Aidan Hutchinson when Georgia faced Michigan in the playoff (PFF).

With Rashawn Slater as the cornerstone LT, the bare minimum is matching Trey Pipkens' output if he does depart in free agency. A player familiar with the right side like Warren McClendon could be a no-brainer later in the draft, even if he begins in a utility role.

These are just a few names that could come up from either program. TCU WR Quentin Johnston's availability outside the top-20 is a pipe dream. The fast wideout many pine for (myself included) won't be playing on Monday, but quality players at other positions will be on full display.

MORE: 3 Chargers who have led the defensive turnaround

Thank you for reading and Go Bolts!

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