The Super Bowl is over which means it is officially LA Chargers mock draft season for us here at Bolt Beat. The Chargers have the 17th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and have a multitude of directions they can go to fill the various holes that the team has on the roster.
Who the team targets in the first round of the draft is going to widely depend on who the team targets and signs in free agency. While the Bolts are going to have a big board of players, they might not take the best available player if that is a position that was already addressed in free agency, especially if other roster holes still persist.
Regardless of which position the team wants to target in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, one thing is for certain: if the Chargers can trade down then they should. The Bolts are in a prime position to trade down in the 2022 NFL Draft with potential quarterback-hungry teams behind them and a wild-card in the New Orleans Saints picking 18th. Plus, based on the prospects in the areas of need, the Bolts can probably land the same player they would have otherwise taken at 17.
ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay put together his latest first-round mock draft and McShay has the Chargers doing just that. In his mock, the Bolts pull off a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers to move down to the 20th overall pick in the first round. The Steelers subsequently picked Malik Willis from Liberty.
McShay predicts that the Chargers would get a third-round pick and a late-round pick to move down three spots. McShay theorizes that the Chargers could push for a second-round pick, which is possible, but a third is probably enough. If I had to guess, I would predict that the Steelers trade pick 20, pick 84 and pick 137 for pick 17 and pick 215.
Trading down makes selecting Jordan Davis in this LA Chargers mock draft better
A divisive topic among Charger fans is whether or not the team should take Jordan Davis in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Davis was named the best defensive player in college football last season and is one of the best run-stuffing defensive tackles we have seen in quite some time. He is someone who will reset the line of scrimmage for a decade and would help the Chargers run defense problems.
However, defensive tackle is not a premier position and the Bolts could get someone exciting like Travis Jones in the second or third round. Because of that, it is fair to argue that the Bolts would be exercising a bad usage of draft pick value by taking a defensive tackle.
However, if the Chargers move down in the draft and pick up an extra third-round pick then becomes a more palatable selection for those that might be against Davis. The Chargers would be securing another top-85 prospect in the draft and could then pick up a quality cornerback, edge rusher and right tackle in the ensuing three picks, assuming they make the right selection.
There is even the potential to trade the two third-round picks to move up to the early second round and get another impact player. Regardless of what it is, the added value of moving from 17 to 20 does make up some of the value deficiency that exists if the team picks a defensive tackle in the first round.
What do you think about McShay's proposal? To some, this might be an absolute home run for the LA Chargers.