The NFL Combine is here, which means it is the arrival of mock draft season in NFL coverage. Every year, every pundit (including ourselves) puts together their best mock drafts to try and be the most accurate mock drafter in the industry. Full first-round mock drafts might not be so common here on Bolt Beat, but seven-round LA Chargers mock drafts are.
Laying claim to being the most accurate mock drafter in the industry right now is none other than Brendan Donahue of Sharp Football Analysis. The Huddle Report tracks the top mock drafters every year and Donahue has the best overall score of the last five years.
With the added title, there is a bit more weight to Donahue's mock draft than the typical first-round mock draft at this time of year. Donahue officially dropped his first mock draft of the season, and of course, we have to talk about who the LA Chargers select.
LA Chargers select OT Trevor Penning in 'most accurate' mock draft.
With the 17th overall pick, the LA Chargers selected Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning in Donahue's mock draft. Penning has quickly moved up the draft board, going from a fringe first-round prospect to being someone who could even be picked before the Chargers are on the board with the 17th overall force.
If the Bolts are looking for a menacing, physical force on the right side of the offensive line then they should look no further than Penning. He may not have the technical prowess of the higher-ranked tackles, such as Charles Cross, but he will still be successful early on in his career because of his sheer strength and size on the right side of the offensive line.
Tom Telesco spoke to reporters at the combine on Tuesday and he may have laid some foreshadowing out about what the Chargers may target first in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Of course, there are a myriad of directions that the Bolts can go with several different needs to be filled. That being said, the team already has a 1,000-yard receiver it can re-sign, has a deeper tight end market to target, and may look to add depth in numbers at cornerback instead of a first-round pick.
With a pretty thin right tackle market, and someone as physically imposing as Penning on the board, the Chargers could be preparing to head into the 2022 NFL Draft without signing a starting right tackle, making the position the most obvious first-round need for the team.
What the team does in free agency is going to be incredibly telling in what they plan to do in the 2022 NFL Draft. If the Bolts don't indeed sign a starting right tackle then Donahue may continue to be the most accurate mock drafter as Penning would be the most realistic pick.