With the 2020 NFL Draft set to kick off in less than two months, the volume of mocks has increased accordingly. The latest projection from NFL.com's Chad Reuter features the first three rounds of the draft, with all 32 teams selecting multiple players.
For the Chargers, Reuter projects long-term replacements for quarterback Philip Rivers and running back Melvin Gordon, two key pieces of the offense that will hit the free-agent market later this month.
PICK 6 - Jordan Love - QB
School: Utah State | Year: Junior (RS)
Love told reporters that the Chargers were among the teams he met with at the combine, and L.A. may be willing to chalk up Love's high interception total in 2019 (17) to a function of the QB trying to do too much for an average team.
After Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Love likely ranks as the 2020 draft's most polarizing quarterback, albeit for different reasons. During his two and a half seasons as Utah State's starter, Love amassed prodigious numbers: 8,600 passing yards, 60 touchdown passes, and 29 interceptions. He also picked up 403 yards and nine scores as a runner.
However, his play noticeably slipped during his final season in Logan, Utah. The transition to a new coaching staff and offensive system cut his touchdown passes by more than 37 percent from the previous year while his turnover total nearly tripled.
The downturn in his performance might not affect his draft stock too significantly, however. Love remains one of the rookie class's most gifted passers, able to complete difficult throws from a variety of platforms and arm angles. Those abilities, combined with quality coaching at the next level, could turn Love into a franchise quarterback in time.
PICK 37 - Clyde Edwards-Helaire - RB
School: LSU | Year: Junior
While the Chargers have quality options at running back should Melvin Gordon depart in free agency -- Austin Ekeler played a Pro Bowl level in 2019 and Justin Jackson ran efficiency when healthy -- the team could benefit from another reliable ball carrier in the stable. LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire packs a lot of punch for his 5-foot-7 frame and developed greatly as a receiver over the past year. That combination projects well to an offense like the Chargers' which regularly motions players from the backfield to the boundary.
PICK 71 - Josh Uche - Edge
School: Michigan | Year: Senior
On paper, the Chargers don't have a glaring need at edge rusher. Joey Bosa just completed the best season of his career and should eventually land a long-term extension while Melvin Ingram remains a highly effective pass rusher in his own right. Additionally, the team remains high on Uchenna Nwosu, who played well during Ingram's absence early in 2019.
Still, Michigan's Josh Uche offers a similar build to what the Chargers have used at weakside defensive end (or Leo). He also has produced at the college level, registering 14.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. Uche might also have the ability to play off the ball in the NFL, versatility that defensive coordinator Gus Bradley covets.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH