PFF identifies perfect early/late-round fits for Chargers in 2021 NFL draft

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Gavino Borquez
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With the 2020 season in the rearview, all attention has shifted to what the Los Angeles Chargers can do to their roster this offseason to be as competitive as possible to dethrone AFC West rivals, Kansas City Chiefs.

The 2021 NFL draft is one of the biggest events where the Bolts can pull out a slew of young talent.

Pro Football Focus recently identified the perfect fits for every team in the early and late-round.

Sitting with the No. 13 overall selection, Los Angeles will have plenty of the top prospects available when they’re on the clock.

Given the huge need to address the offensive line, PFF has former Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater as the perfect fit for the early-round.

Slater is the dream scenario for the Chargers sitting at 13 overall. He’s versatile enough to play all five positions and the most technically advanced lineman in the draft.

Slater has the experience and athleticism to start early as a left tackle for Los Angeles. However, his body type and skill set translate very well to guard or center, and L.A. could certainly believe his more promising future is inside.

If the Chargers were to land Slater, it would be a home run.

The perfect late-round fit for the Chargers that PFF identified is former Tennessee guard Trey Smith.

Smith is more of a boom-or-bust player who, despite his hype, never earned above a 73.1 pass-blocking grade in four seasons at Tennessee.

If it weren’t for an injury history, Smith would be a candidate to go in the first-round. However, I still believe he is going to be a second-round selection.

Regardless, Smith would be a plug-and-play guard for the Bolts. While he is limited as an athlete, he has the measurables, strength in pass protection and run-blocking prowess needed at the next level.

Perfect “late-round” options would include Illinois’ Kendrick Green, East Carolina’s D’Ante Smith, Notre Dame’s Robert Hainsey, BYU’s Brady Christensen, among others.