With the 88th pick in this Chargers mock draft, the Bolts select Phidarian Mathis, IDL, Alabama
If you have read any of my Chargers mock drafts in the past then you know that I am very high on Phidarian Mathis as a mid-round selection for the Bolts. PFF ranks Mathis a bit higher than The Draft Network, meaning the Chargers had to spend a third-round pick to get him in this simulation. That is probably more realistic than Mathis falling to the fourth but you never know.
The Chargers have rebuilt the defensive line this offseason to better accomplish Brandon Staley's defensive vision of emptying the box with a defensive line that can hold its own and a secondary that is deep and versatile.
Khalil Mack was the first addition to recognize that vision and then the team went and added two run-stuffers in Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson. While LA did also re-sign Breiden Fehoko and Christian Covington, they are still one interior defensive lineman short and taking one in the 2022 NFL Draft is key.
Mathis would be a great addition to the Chargers as he is perfect to play defensive end in a 3-4 defense. That is part of the problem in why Jordan Davis may not make sense for the team as he is a traditional nose tackle. The Chargers need a 3-4 defensive end.
Mathis does not have the high ceiling that Davis has as an elite run-stuffing nose tackle but he is better against the pass and is still more than capable of providing quality snaps against the run. He is legitimately someone who could play all three downs at the next level, which is exactly what the Chargers need.
He may not have the All-Pro ceiling of someone like Davis or even Devonte Wyatt but for what the Chargers need, at his draft position, Mathis would be a perfect selection.