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2024 NFL mock draft round-up: Experts make final picks for Chargers

The 2024 NFL draft is a little under 24 hours away, and the final predictions have been made.

Here’s one last mock draft roundup as analysts make their picks for the Chargers:

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: OT JC Latham, Alabama

Analysis: “This is where we could potentially see a trade, but I’m going to take the Chargers at their word that they want to be a more physical team and improve their run game. It might be a little bit of a surprise to see Latham go before Joe Alt, but the former Alabama star is ready to rock at right tackle and is a more powerful blocker than his Notre Dame counterpart.”

Yahoo Sports’ Charles McDonald & Nate Tice: OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State & EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State (via trade with Vikings)

Analysis: “Head coach Jim Harbaugh has stressed the importance of offensive linemen and can get his hands on a big-time talent with Fashanu, who is falling down draft boards after an inconsistent senior season, which may have been due to injury. Either way, Fashanu can slide into right tackle while the Chargers figure out a different route for their wide receiver problem.”

“The second Chargers pick goes to the defensive trenches, picking up Verse to solidify their future at defensive end. Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack are still on the roster, but Mack isn’t going to be around that much longer and the Chargers need insurance in case Bosa’s injury history continues. This is a good landing spot for Verse at this point in the draft.”

ESPN’s Matt Miller: OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State & Clemson’s Nate Wiggins (via trade with Vikings)

Analysis: “The Chargers trade back from No. 5 here in my projected deal but still land a powerful right tackle to shore up the offensive line. Fuaga is a massive people-mover at 324 pounds and has also shown excellent agility in space in the Beavers’ zone-run scheme. The Chargers do need wide receiver help, but the depth at that position means addressing it at pick No. 23 (acquired from the Vikings in our projected trade) or in Round 2 is possible.”

“The fastest cornerback in the class goes to the Chargers, where the team has a gigantic need that must be addressed early. Wide receiver can wait a little longer, with the Chargers back on the clock at No. 37 in Round 2 and the cornerback class not as deep. Wiggins’ speed (4.28 in the 40-yard dash), motor and length at 6-2 make him a high-ceiling player with a bright future. The Chargers allowed 7.7 yards per pass attempt last season (28th), but he can help.”

The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov: OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Analysis: “New Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh is all about getting more physical up front. While I could see a receiver going here, there was one quote I picked up from GM Joe Hortiz last week at his pre-draft presser: “I can promise you that wide receiver is going to be a deep position in the draft every year. It’s just the way the game has changed and evolved.”

So yes, the Chargers need to replace Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but they could get a receiver later in the draft. This also could be a trade-down spot because the Chargers covet a few of the top offensive linemen. If they go with Joe Alt, the plan would more than likely be to play him at right tackle.”

Pro Football Focus’ Gordon McGuinness: OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Analysis: “Given their needs at both tackle and receiver, I don’t think the Chargers can go wrong with either Alt or LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers here. Alt earned a 90.7 PFF grade last season, leading all offensive linemen in this class. A phenomenal prospect at tackle, the 6-foot-8, 322-pounder allowed just five pressures from 368 pass-blocking snaps last season.”

Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia & JC Latham, Alabama (via trade with Vikings)

Analysis: “Bowers is a prototypical player for Harbaugh’s offense. Many will argue that this is a prime receiver destination, but Harbaugh has never prioritized the position. It doesn’t mean he hasn’t had good ones, but he prioritizes tight ends because he wants to run offense out of 12 personnel (two tight ends). It creates extra pressure on the defense by either spreading out the offense to pass the ball or getting big to run the ball. Bowers can own the middle of the field in the pass game and block in the run game.”

“There are plenty of quality offensive linemen available here that would allow Harbaugh to run a team in his image. Do we expect him to suddenly deviate from that? He once told me and my announcer partner, Gus Johnson, that his offensive philosophy comes from his dad saying, “When you finally bury me, I want a diagram of a power play on my tombstone.” That’s how deeply they care about the physical nature of how to run the football.”

Draft Wire’s Jeff Risdon: OT JC Latham, Alabama (via trade with Vikings)

Analysis: “The Latham-to-the-Chargers buzz has been building, and he’s the exact type of lineman Jim Harbaugh has loved in his prior stops.”

NBC Sports’ Connor Rogers: OT JC Latham, Alabama

Analysis: “I don’t think there is a “consensus” No. 1 tackle across NFL front offices compared to how the media views Joe Alt. This makes Latham in play for the Chargers at No. 5, where he plugs in at right tackle and fits the mauling style Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz crave.”

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Analysis: “I thought about tackle Joe Alt here, but opted to go for a weapon for Justin Herbert. I could see the Chargers trading down to get more picks, but I think they would be wise to add Harrison.”

The Ringer: OT JC Latham, Alabama & DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

Analysis: “As we approach the draft, I’ve heard nothing but rosy projections for Latham. New head coach Jim Harbaugh saw Latham firsthand in the semifinal of the College Football Playoff this year and certainly has an appreciation for his dominant run-blocking profile. Latham’s experience at right tackle, where the Chargers have their biggest need on the offensive line, is a big boost as well.”

“I’m not really sure what the Chargers will prioritize with a second first-rounder, so I’m just defaulting to the classic Harbaugh trope: the trenches. The Chargers’ defensive tackle position is totally decimated, and Newton is a true three-down player with equal impact against the run and the pass. He reminds me often of Christian Wilkins with his ability to make tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage with penetration and power.”

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire