An awful lot of folks are of the belief that the Chargers will be looking to Draft a replacement for PHILIP RIVERS, despite the wave talk by Head Coach ANTHONY LYNN that he is comfortable with TYROD TAYLOR being his starter. Kinda sounds like how the COLTS talked about BRISSETT when ANDREW LUCK retired last year. There seems to be more than a few folks who believe the Chargers will grab JUSTIN HERBERT at Pick 6. I am not quite so sure…
Round 1, Pick 6 TRISTAN WIRFS OT Iowa 6’5/320 (PP#6) The Chargers OL has been their biggest issue for the past 4-5 seasons. Some of their best attempts to fix it have been cursed by injuries to their would-be OL additions. However, this opportunity is too hard to pass up. QB be damned… for now. WIRFS, as I have profiled perviously is a big, strong young man who just cries out Pro Bowl potential. He’s strong and athletic, and plays with an attitude of wanting to dominate his opponents. Iowa still runs a predominantly pro-style Offense, which makes WIRFS more pro ready than many teams. Besides improving the protection for TAYLOR, expect him to be a big favorite with EKELER in the run game. Look at his Combine numbers: 4.85/40!!!!! 10 1/4″ hands, 34″ arms, 80 1/4″ wingspan. Wonder about his power and leg explosion? Then how about his 36 1/2″ vertical jump in Indy, at 320 lbs. WIRFS is a plug and play OT, which is exactly what they need along that front.
Round 2, Pick 37 DENZEL MIMS WR Baylor 6’3/206 (PP#35) This big guy has become a darling in the eyes of pro scouts this post-season. His work at the Senior Bowl venue and Combine were top notch, and his measurements just add to the fascination of his potential. Combine: 9 3/8″ hands, 33 7/8″ arms, 78 1/2″ wingspan, 38.5 Vert, 131″ BJ. In addition, he burned out a 4.38/40, which is outstanding for his overall size. He caught everything thrown his way during Senior Bowl week and stretched the secondary with his smooth striding route running. In his final season at Baylor, he caught 66 balls for 1,020 yards and 12 TD’s. He should make up for some of the quality receivers who have left the Chargers in recent years, mostly thru VFA.
Round 3, Pick 71 JALEN HURTS QB Oklahoma 6’1/222 (PP#93) And now about that QB scenario… Yes, it’s quite a few spots earlier than my rankings indicate, but when it comes to the QB position, all bets are off. A good number of League Personnel People feel like HURTS is the real deal when it comes to pro QB potential. His athleticism is excellent, and his leadership qualities seem to be A+. He ran a 4.59/40 at the Combine, and has 9 3/4″ hands. He certainly has TYROD type mobility, which HC LYNN luvs in a QB. HURTS may not be ready to win the job in Training Camp, but then again TAYLOR has an injury plagued past, which might require some fill-in games after mid-season. Don’t forget folks, that HURTS really came on as a passer under LINCOLN RILEY in Norman. 2019 stats; 69.7 completion percentage, 32 TD’s/8 INT’s with 20 rushing TD’s. This could be a steal by the Chargers if HURTS does indeed become their long term answer at QB.
Round 4, Pick 112 BRYCEN HOPKINS TE Purdue 6’4/241 (PP#111) With ANTONIO GATES really retired and the injury issues in HUNTER HENRY’s young career, this makes a lot of sense. HOPKINS is a top end receiving TE. He may to be asked to play inline as a blocker much for them. With a maxed out body, HOPKINS may spend a lot of his time either in motion, or in the slot. Last season at Purdue, he caught 61 balls for 830 yards and 7 TD’s, without a top notch QB at the helm. Despite having a modest frame, HOPKINS has not hesitated to catch in the middle of the field.
Round 5, Pick 151 ANTHONY McFARLAND RB Maryland 5’8/208 (PP#148) More than a few scouts and Draftniks feel like this guy has just scratched the surface of his ability, having played with a bad blocking Terps team. Don’t let his 4.44/40 time from the Combine fool you. He plays faster than that, and he is even quicker than he is fast. He will make a nice compliment to EKELER in the backfield, and might even get trials in the Return Game. His stats from last season are modest, in good part because of a nagging ankle injury. When healthy, he is a home run threat! Remember, he may be short, but carries some weight that lends a bit of power to his game. Excellent balance!
Round 6, Pick 186 SAAHDIQ CHARLES OL LSU 6’4/321 (PP#184) A talented young player with lots of upside, but is a bit raw right now. He also lacks the height and length to play at OT, most likely, so he’ll be learning to play on the Interior while he backs up multiple spots on game day, probably by mid-season. His 5.05/40 will look elite for an INT OL over 320 lbs. He has 10″ hands and 33″ arms. I like this pick a lot, coming in. Round 6.
Round 7, Pick 220 JOHN HOUSTON LB Southern Cal 6’3/225 (PP#223) Finally a pick for the Defense… well sorta. I believe long term, HOUSTON will find his way onto the field of play with the Defense. He has shown to be a heady player that chases the ball very effectively. He also delivers a blow on most of his tackles. However, for now, I really think he sees most of his action as a Special Teams maven. Getting a guy that can contribute as a Rookie in Round 7 is like a bonus most of the time. The local boy could be a very popular guy if he’s making big plays covering kicks and punts right away.
The Defense gets ignored here, but it was the strength of the team last year until they got buried by bad field position from too many turnovers on Offense. They have already added LINVAL JOSEPH/DT and CHRIS HARRIS/CB thru VFA. They can get by with players like BOSA, INGRAM, JAMES, HAYWARD, etc. for now. It’s the Offense looking for a big boost after bidding adieu to RIVERS, GORDON, and OKUNG.