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It’s almost time for Roger Goodell to address NFL fans worldwide from Las Vegas to open the 2022 NFL Draft. So here’s one last look at a possible Chargers haul across all seven rounds from our Alex Katson.
1.17: Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College
Johnson has been my preference for this selection for a few weeks now, especially with rumors that other Chargers targets like WR Chris Olave or CB Trent McDuffie may not tumble to 17. The former Davidson and Boston College lineman gives LA the flexibility to move Matt Feiler to right tackle, where he played well as a starter on the Steelers. It also retains the nasty run-blocking combo on the left side, where standout Rashawn Slater and Johnson would be combining to open gaping holes for Austin Ekeler and co.
3.79: DeAngelo Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky
As much as fans want to see Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack on the field as much as possible, there are going to be times when one or both of them are on the sideline for breathers. When that occurs, the Chargers’ best option right now is 2021 fourth-rounder Chris Rumph, who may not be ready to take on that role on his own. Malone is a touch undeveloped as a standup rusher after mainly playing defensive end as a Hilltopper, but deploying him in designated pass rush situations while Bosa and Mack coach him up could result in a diamond in the rough.
4.123: Danny Gray, WR, SMU
Gray has been a popular prospect to mock to the Chargers as a downfield speed threat with the potential to warp opposing defenses. He also has a bit of returner experience and could be the primary backup to DeAndre Carter. If the first three rounds don’t result in LA drafting a receiver, Gray will be an excellent selection early on Day 3.
5.160: Eyioma Uwazurike, IDL, Iowa State
Uwazurike has been heavily linked to the Chargers for a few months now, ever since the staff spent ample time working him out following Iowa State’s pro day in March. The defensive line is complete mainly after adding Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson, but a Day 3 pick to groom behind those players and Jerry Tillery could still be in order. It could also give us a clue on whether or not the Chargers plan to pick up Tillery’s fifth-year option.
6.195: Zamir White, RB, Georgia
I do believe Chargers fans are in for another Day 3 pick at running back after the struggles of Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree III a year ago. White has experience in a rotation after splitting time with James Cook at Georgia. He was also the more bruising back of the two, which could take some pressure and wear and tear off of Ekeler, who’d be freer to utilize his receiving talents.
6.214: Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas
A former four-star recruit, Brown is an instinctual zone corner who plays longer than he is. While his testing numbers aren’t the most inspiring, I think he could be worth a flier pick this late as a potential developmental depth piece at corner.
7.236: Chance Campbell, LB, Mississippi
Brandon Staley’s defense doesn’t value linebackers very highly, so I think an addition to the current room won’t come until late in the draft. The coaching staff is apparently high on 2021 rookies Amen Ogbongbemiga and Nick Niemann, but adding depth behind them will be necessary.
7.254: Jean Delance, OT, Florida
Delance is another player the Chargers have been linked to extensively after pre-draft meetings with him. While Trey Pipkins has substantially improved this offseason, according to trainer Duke Manyweather, adding a fourth tackle as quality depth never hurts.
7.255: Armani Rogers, TE, Ohio
Rogers might be a touch too similar to Donald Parham Jr. to justify this selection, but I can’t shake the feeling that LA could be the ones to take a shot on his athletic gifts. Rogers has never played tight end outside of an all-star environment at the Shrine Bowl, but the LA native has shown ample potential.
7.260: Joey Blount, S, Virginia
Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reported Wednesday that Blount visited the Chargers. While he’s mostly been talked about as a UDFA, interest from other teams has also ramped up in recent days. LA could need to spend a late pick on him to add depth to the safety corps if they’ve fallen in love.