Chargers Draft

3 first-round prospects the Chargers should avoid in the 2022 NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
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Tyler Linderbaum
Iowa v Nebraska / Steven Branscombe/GettyImages

1. Tyler Linderbaum, IOL Iowa

Tyler Linderbaum is commonly regarded as the best interior offensive linemen in this draft and is surely the number one center on all teams' draft boards.

After making 33 starts at center in his collegiate career, Linderbaum was named the 2021 Big Ten Offensive Linemen of the Year. His firm posture, balance, and power make the 6'3", 290-pound linemen a dominant run blocker, whilst his patience and initial quickness make him solid as a pass protector.

When looking at Linderbaum's draft projections, he tends to vary in mock drafts. Many fans, scouts coaches, and executives question the value of taking a center high in the draft. As a result of this, lots of talk has speculated around the potential of him playing guard in the NFL given the fact his traits seem to translate well.

Looking at his viability when it comes to being the pick at 17, the pairing doesn't seem in the best interest of either Linderbaum or the Chargers.

After being a center all of his life, drafting the Iowa product and shifting him to guard doesn't make sense for any team. Taking that unnecessary risk on a first-round pick is not smart asset management for an NFL team.

From the Chargers' perspective, Linderbaum doesn't provide optimal value. Obviously, Corey Linsley will continue to be the Bolts starting center for the foreseeable future after a phenomenal year one in powder blue, so center is off the table completely this offseason. At left guard, Matt Feiler will occupy the role again in 2022 after a great first year as a Charger as well. The right guard role is an issue for the Chargers, however, taking Linderbaum at 17 to occupy this role doesn't seem smart. Oday Aboushi could be re-signed after a promising start to last year, whilst 5th round pick in 2021 Brenden Jaimes is also an option.

At the end of the day, Linderbaum is an exceptional talent. However, taking him at 17 to play out of position in a role where the Chargers have options is not an optimal maximation of assets.

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