The Athletic’s Dane Brugler breaks down Chargers’ draft targets, sleepers

Gavino Borquez
·2 min read

With the 2020 regular season behind us, figuring out how the Chargers can build their roster this offseason to get back to their winning ways is the main priority.

A big part of the roster-building process is the NFL draft. I’ve been hard at work watching film and doing scouting reports on these prospects, which will eventually start rolling out soon.

To get ahead, I reached out to draft expert Dane Brugler of The Athletic to get his thoughts on what Los Angeles might do come April.

What’s the best-case scenario for the Chargers if they stay at No. 13?

Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater.

I’m focusing on four positions for the Chargers in this draft: offensive tackle, guard, defensive end and cornerback. Of those four, which is the deepest in this draft class and which is the weakest?

Tackle and edge defender look like the deepest of those four positions. Both positions extend into Day 2 and even Day 3. Cornerback is close, as well, making guard the weakest of those four, especially with Kentucky’s Darian Kinnard returning to school.

If the Chargers don’t select a pass rusher in the first two rounds, they could be looking for one in the middle of the draft. What are some possible options that could end up being double-digit sack guys down the road?

I don’t know about double-digit sacks guys, but Pitt’s Rashad Weaver is really intriguing, especially if he’s still around in the third round. Houston’s Payton Turner has a relentless motor. Notre Dame’s Daelin Hayes has yet to play his best football.

The same thing but for offensive tackles?

Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown is very raw and I worry about the power, but he is still developing and could end up being a steal. Cincinnati’s James Hudson is a former defensive lineman with minimal experience, but he plays with outstanding balance, light feet and strong hands. And then Marshall’s Josh Ball, who is a Florida State transfer, is another interesting value. Wish he were better in the run game, but he has pass pro skills.

Who are some late-round cornerbacks that could contribute right away?

Arizona State’s Jack Jones comes with character flags, which is why he will still be available in the late rounds, but his toughness and athleticism are NFL-ready. California’s Cam Bynum doesn’t have NFL speed or twitch, but he is smart, tough, and doesn’t make mental mistakes, which could get him on the field early.

With the Senior Bowl coming up, who are some players to watch for Los Angeles?

Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins, Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg, Michigan CB Ambry Thomas and Oregon State EDGE Hamilcar Rashed. Four talented players in the top-3 round mix who could be fits for the Chargers.