The 2022 NFL Draft is just a few days away and the anticipation is building for who the LA Chargers select with the 17th overall pick. Most of the Chargers' decision will be influenced by the 16 picks before the team is officially on the clock but as the draft has gotten closer, one position has stood out above the rest as the most likely.
If you follow my work here on Bolt Beat then you know that I am convinced that the LA Chargers are going to take a cornerback with the 17th pick. The dream situation would be for Derek Stingley Jr. to fall to 17, however, that seems less and less likely. That leaves Trent McDuffie as the most likely selection, if my cornerback logic holds.
But what if Stingley and McDuffie are both off the board? In that case, will the Chargers end up drafting Trevor Penning, Jordan Davis, or Chris Olave? Maybe. I wouldn't be totally shocked if the Bolts wound up with any of those three players.
However, there is also a player that the Chargers could "reach" for at 17, especially if they want to go with a defensive back. No, it is not Andrew Booth, who has had knee issues in college that the Chargers should stay away from. It is another defensive back.
The most likely prospect the Chargers could "reach" for at 17 is Daxton Hill.
Daxton Hill is ranked as the 29th prospect on the consensus big board, which is where we get the term "reach" from. While Hill may seem to be a late first-round pick, as we see every draft there are guys who go higher than their pre-draft expectations and lower than their pre-draft expectations. It all depends on which teams like the prospect and when they pick in the first round.
Hill has everything that the Chargers would like in a defensive back. As outlined in my cornerback explanation piece, there are still depth issues at corner as well as long-term question marks depending on how this season goes. Hill is someone who would help address that for the Bolts.
Hill is very athletic and has some of the best coverage abilities in the entire draft. While he is a safety, he is a versatile safety that can be moved around the secondary and can play a myriad of roles. Right away Hill can be someone who plays two-high safety or in the slot and with his athletic traits and how Brandon Staley uses defensive backs, he could end up playing snaps on the perimeter as well.
Staley really values defensive backs in his defensive schemes, especially ones that he can utilize in different matchups in different situations. Hill is not someone who will be pigeon-holed in the defense as he can play a myriad of roles in the secondary depending on the situation. He is also pretty good at defending the run as well, making him a candidate to play more snaps in early downs as well.
If the Chargers were on the clock at 17 and they think they can get Hill a few picks later then it makes sense to move back with the intent of taking him. However, if there are no takers and McDuffie is not on the board, it would not be all that surprising if the Chargers fall in love with Hill enough to take him at 17.