There is still about two months before the NFL, so it is mock draft time around the league. NFL Draft Bible released their three-round mock draft and had some interesting takes on whom the Chargers should draft.
They have the Chargers trading up from the 13th slot in the first round, so they have an AFC West trade between the Bolts and the Denver Broncos. The Chargers would send their 13th pick, swap second-rounders, 78th pick, and 142nd pick.
With the ninth pick in the draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select left tackle Rashawn Slater from Northwestern.
NFL Draft Bible’s reason, “The Chargers had one of the worst offensive lines in football last year. This can also be said for numerous years in the past. With Justin Herbert entering his second year in the league, the Chargers need a plan to protect him. Rashawn Slater is one of the most pro-ready offensive linemen in this draft class.”
So, general manager Tom Telesco jumps up to draft his first offensive lineman in the first round since his first draft in 2013 when he selected DJ Fluker out of Alabama. Telesco acknowledged after they fired head coach Anthony Lynn that they needed to fix the offensive line after it was one of, if not the worst, offensive line in football.
Slater adds a much-needed left tackle to the Bolts offensive line, they haven’t had a solid player there since Marcus McNeil. Some draft analysts see him as a better selection over Oregon Ducks left tackle Penei Sewell, but obviously, it won’t be known until they hit the field.
The Chargers desperately need a left tackle especially having to play WFT Chase Young, Chiefs Frank Clark, Broncos Bradley Chubb, and numerous other pass rushers.
The team’s brass must look at the production quarterback Justin Herbert had with one of the worst offensive lines in 2020 and know that if they get him help, he will take that next step.
Jumping to the 47th pick, the Los Angeles Chargers select OL Liam Eichenberg from Notre Dame.
So that is the second offensive lineman off the board for the Chargers. Ryan Roberts from the “Irish Breakdown” compared Eichenberg to current Minnesota Vikings tackle Riley Reiff, which is a positive. Reiff has been one of the most consistent players who might not make the Pro Bowl, but he does his job.
Eichenberg could fill two roles. One of them, as Roberts mentioned, could play multiple positions and consistently do his job, which could help the Bolts in case right tackle Bryan Bulaga continues being hit by the injury bug like last season. He played left tackle for Notre Dame, so expect him to learn and play at other spots because Slater, who was drafted in the first round, would be the left tackle. Number two, Telesco has drafted a Notre Dame player in five of his eight drafts, so he can hit his quota.
The Chargers wouldn’t have a third-round pick because they traded it to Denver, and the compensatory picks have yet to be released but expect the Chargers to have an extra third-rounder because of Philip Rivers playing in Indianapolis.
At this point, the Bolts brass would have already made moves towards fixing the offensive line if they add Slater and Eichenberg in the draft it is just the cherry on top to trying to flip it from one of the worst to one of the best. Especially when they see how Herbert is able to elevate his game with a great offensive line.