Final mock draft round-up: Who do analysts have Chargers taking in Round 1?
The day has finally come. We are hours away from the 2021 NFL draft, which means that mock drafts are finally being put to bed.
I put out my final seven-round projections yesterday, but who are the other analysts and writers predicting the Chargers to do when they’re on the clock with the No. 13 overall selection?
NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah — WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
“I could see the Chargers trading back and drafting an edge rusher. If they stay put at No. 13, Waddle would be the perfect complement to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.”
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler — Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
“The Chargers will likely explore a trade up for Sewell, but there is also a possibility that Slater falls to them. The Northwestern left tackle would give Los Angeles an upgrade blocking Justin Herbert’s blindside.”
Underdogs Fantasy’s Josh Norris — Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
“Again, the Chargers could move up if the Lions drop their asking price. If not, Darrisaw makes sense as the next option to protect the left side.”
ESPN’s Todd McShay — OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
“With both of the top tackles off the board, I have the Chargers pivoting to the interior here. Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler were both good signings in free agency, but L.A. can’t be done. It has to make protecting quarterback Justin Herbert the top priority. Vera-Tucker is the top guard in the class and an excellent pass protector. Plus, he played tackle this past season and offers versatility.”
USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz — CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
“Much as they might like to finish off their offensive line reclamation project, the Chargers could also be drawn to rebuilding their secondary with one of the top cornerbacks on the board. While it might be a stretch to liken Horn to Jalen Ramsey, new coach Brandon Staley no doubt would relish another well-built cornerback with explosive athleticism and fierce competitiveness after he worked with Ramsey last year as the Rams’ defensive coordinator.”
Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline — OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
“The offensive tackle-needy Chargers take the next best tackle available in Christian Darrisaw. They could move up a few spots for Slater or Sewell if either starts to drop.”
Pro Football Focus’ Cris Collinsworth — OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
“Darrisaw is a physical mauler, a legitimate tough guy, and should create real opportunities in the running game, as well. Darrisaw has an athletic kick step and a death grip when he gets his hands on rushers. He comes off the ball low and powerfully in the run game and has plenty of athleticism in space. My concern is how he’ll fare against speed off the edge; he has such great energy in the running game, but I would just like to see him use that same energy finishing in protection. But make no mistake, he is a bad man.”
Bleacher Report’s Brandon Thorn — OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
“Darrisaw has prototypical size with very good power and solid athletic ability, plus he has demonstrated the necessary toughness to stick as a pro. Adding him here would give the team tremendous upside while ensuring Herbert’s blind side is protected by a player that could grow alongside their franchise signal-caller. Darrisaw has some questions about his focus and concentration on a snap-to-snap basis, but he has all the tools and traits needed to develop into a high-end starter if he can dial it in consistently.”