After a year that ended in a familiar heartbreaking fashion, the Chargers now find themselves in a very favorable situation heading into the 2022 season. They will not only have a projected 11 picks in the upcoming draft, but also the second-most cap space in the NFL. This should allow them the ability to re-sign their own upcoming in-house free agents, and potentially bring in some quality new pieces to help build out a roster that should be in win-now mode.
Trades and free agency acquisitions will obviously impact draft selections, but most Chargers fans would be hesitant to expect anything too box office from Tom Telesco. This is a franchise that has built mostly through the draft in his tenure as GM, with a near opposite approach to the crosstown rival Rams.
Fortunately for the Chargers, some of the strongest positional groups in this year's draft seem to match up with their biggest positions of need. Fans are quick to point out the glaring hole at right tackle, the question marks surrounding Mike Williams, and all the help required on the defensive side of the ball. Knowing what we know right now prior to the NFL Combine, let’s take a look ahead at some prospects the Chargers could realistically target in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Prospects are not listed in any particular order.
LA Chargers pick 17 scenarios:
Jameson Williams, WR - Alabama
With the Mike Williams Contract situation looming, we could potentially see a key piece of the offense moving on in 2022. Should the Chargers and Mike Williams not come to terms on an extension, a first-round wide receiver selection would be no surprise. This is an offense that lacks explosive speed, and Jameson Williams can most definitely provide that in abundance.
He is a player that can stretch the field and is always a scoring threat, capable of providing yards after the catch and creating on his own. That would hold significant importance in the new offense brought over by Joe Lombardi. Jameson Williams has “big play” written all over him, and delivered 15 touchdowns this past season. Should his medicals check out coming off the ACL injury he sustained in the National Championship game, this could be the home run pick Chargers fans are hoping for.
Chris Olave, WR - Ohio State
Judging by some old tweets that surfaced recently, it looks as though Chris Olave might be a Chargers fan, so we could see a feel-good storyline if he returns to his home state of California to play for the Bolts. Olave is a speedy vertical threat, and one of the more refined route runners of this year's wide receiver class. He has been consistently special for the Buckeyes over the past few seasons, and the fact he surprisingly returned to Ohio State for his senior year in 2021 could end up benefitting the Chargers. It is easy to get excited watching the top-end receivers of this class and imagining what could be if they were to be paired up with Justin Herbert.
Treylon Burks, WR - Arkansas
Burks is a great athlete with true X receiver size. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he is a physically imposing player that has experience playing both out wide, and also in the slot. This is a player with traits that are highly sought after early in the draft, and despite his size, he possesses legitimate speed. Playing in the SEC holds weight, and he performed. This past season he posted 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Let's dive into some cornerbacks who the LA Chargers could target.