We are in the final stretch before the 2023 NFL Draft and the anticipation around what the LA Chargers are going to do is growing. The Chargers have the 21st overall pick in the draft and it is still hard to pinpoint exactly what Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley are planning with the pick.
It will mostly depend on how the first 20 picks in the draft are going and what options are available to the Bolts when they are officially on the clock. A good way to get an idea of who might be available is to read mock drafts from NFL experts. Here is the latest on the Bolts.
Chargers NFL mock draft roundup:
Peter Schrager, NFL Network: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Peter Schrager goes with one of the more common selections for the Bolts at 21 in Notre Dame's Michael Mayer. Mayer is widely considered to be the most well-rounded of the elite tight end class and he would certainly be a welcomed addition to the offense.
If Mayer is on the board at 21 and the Chargers rank him high enough then the team may bite the bullet and take him. It all depends on how the team internally ranks the first-round tight ends.
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Danny Kelly goes with someone who has not been mocked to the Chargers very often in Clemson's Myles Murphy. That is not to say that this would be a bad pick, though, as this would be an excellent selection for the Bolts.
Muprhy is expected to be off the board long before the Chargers are on the clock at 21. If the team can add a dynamic edge rusher like Murphy at pick 21 then they will do so every single time. It may seem unlikely, but if enough teams reach for QBs and WRs then it could happen.
Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL Network: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Speaking of edge rushers falling, Georgia's Nolan Smith is someone who Chargers fans fell in love with early in the draft process. However, Smith's incredible showing at the NFL Combine made him a quick riser on big boards and now it seems unlikely that he will be there at 21.
That being said, it does seem more likely that Smith will be at 21 than Murphy, making him a more realistic faller for the Bolts. Like with Murphy, this could happen if enough teams buy high on quarterbacks and receivers and if Smith is there at 21 he will simply be too good to pass on.
Mel Kiper, ESPN: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Jordan Addison is the only receiver taken by the experts in this NFL mock draft roundup and it is not hard to see why. While Addison does not have the game-breaking speed that most fans want, he does have something that is equally as valuable: a connection to the Chargers' coaching staff.
That could be enough to be a tiebreaker between Addison and another prospect at pick 21. While he might not exactly be what some fans want out of a receiver, Addison would still be an exciting addition to the offense.
Dan Brugler, The Athletic: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
Tight end is one of the most debated potential first-round picks for the Chargers this year. There are several tight ends the Chargers could fall in love with in the first round and adding someone like Kincaid would undoubtedly be a big addition to the passing offense.
However, with a poor history of first-round tight ends and there being more talent later in the draft, there is a case to be made that the Bolts should just wait for a tight end and use a premium first-round pick on a different position.