The 2023 NFL Draft is getting closer and closer and the NFL mock drafts are getting clearer clearer. While there is naturally still going to be surprises in the draft, experts are getting a better idea of what teams are looking to do. One team that is still up in the air is the LA Chargers.
There is not one pressing need for the Bolts with the 21st overall pick, thus creating a multitude of scenarios for the team. Trading down from the 21st pick is not even out of question and is probably the best thing the team can do.
As a result, the selections for the Bolts in recent NFL mock drafts are still all over the place. Experts are yet to agree on one bonafide prospect that makes sense for the Chargers, although there is a trend that is easy to spot.
Chargers NFL mock draft roundup:
Todd McShay, ESPN: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
The notable ESPN draft analyst has the Chargers taking a defensive tackle with the 21st overall pick and it does not seem very likely. While we understand the sentiment here, this is not the type of pick the Chargers are going to make in round one.
Analysts look at the team's run defense and rushing yards allowed per carry and assume that defensive tackle is a first-round need. What they ignore is the fact that this is how Brandon Staley's defense is built to operate and that the team does not value a DT enough to draft one in round one.
Chad Reuter, NFL Network: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
USC's Jordan Addison is arguably the most polished wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft. He does not have the highest ceiling as his athletic traits do not jump off the page like other first-round receivers but he definitely has the lowest floor.
If the Chargers were to go with a receiver in round one, based on how they typically take receivers, Addison is probably a safe bet.,
Garrett Podell, CBS Sports: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
It is a safe enough bet for several draft experts to mock him to the LA Chargers. There is reason to believe that Addison could be LA-bound as well. Addison has a legitimate connection to the Chargers coaching staff and that could be enough to serve as a tiebreaker if the decision is between he or another prospect.
Lance Zierlein, NFL Network: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Lance Zierlein also has the Chargers going with a wide receiver but has the team going with speedster Jalin Hyatt instead. Hyatt is someone who is not as polished as Addison and may have a bigger learning curve in year one but he offers something Addison doesn't: game-breaking speed.
Hyatt would be an instant jolt to the Chargers' offense and would be a rich man's version of Jalen Guyton in year one. The hope would then be that he develops as a receiver and blossoms into a bigger role as Keenan Allen and Mike Williams eventually get phased out.
Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
The trend of the Chargers going with offensive pass-catchers continues and quite frankly, this does seem like the most likely first-round pick for the Bolts. Kellen Moore's offense is built on having two quality tight ends and this would give the Chargers that as well as a starting-level replacement option for Gerald Everett after 2023.
A lot of Chargers fans would prefer receiver in the first round but the team can find someone with speed later in the draft. LA won't be able to land one of the elite tight ends in this class later in the draft.