While LA Chargers mock draft season typically happens in March, it is never too early to look ahead at what the LA Chargers could be planning for the 2022 NFL Draft. With six games under the Bolts' belt, we have a good idea of what the team will need in next year's draft.
Of course, a lot is subject to change. Players can move way up or way down draft boards depending on the rest of the college football season as well as the pre-draft process. Not only that, but the Chargers' draft position is still way up in the air.
As it stands right now, the highest the Chargers could pick is 19 (if they lost in the wild-card round with the worst record among wild-card round losers). The Chargers should be picking in the 20s at least, and hopefully, picking 32. Prospects in that range are what we are considering.
LA Chargers mock draft: 5 early potential 2022 first-round targets
1. Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
Uchenna Nwosu has not stepped-up as a good complement to Joey Bosa and the Chargers have really struggled to get pressure on the quarterback despite having one of the best edge-rushers in the league.
Bosa is great but teams have been able to put him on an island and double team him without giving too much up to the rest of the defensive line. Adding another dynamic edge rusher would change that and for that reason you will see multiple edge rushers on this list.
Drake Jackson is an intriguing hometown candidate coming from USC. Pro Football Focus ranks Jackson 25th on their big board and seventh among edge rushers in a really heavy edge-rushing class.
Jackson has shown versatility in college, which will without a doubt be valued by Brandon Staley, who really values getting certain matchups on defense. Being able to move him around the defense, playing him both on the line and outside as an outside backer, brings immense value to the Chargers.
While there are probably better edge rushers that could fall to the Bolts, Jackson seems like the most likely pick with his skill set and where the Chargers should be in the draft. Of course, a lot can change.