The Los Angeles Chargers have a variety of needs to be addressed during the offseason and in the upcoming NFL Draft. Their first round (No. 7) pick could be used to improve at tackle, wide receiver, or safety.
General manager Tom Telesco is entering his fifth NFL Draft with the organization but first with new head coach Anthony Lynn. Telesco has had some success through the draft with his most notable contributions coming from last season’s rookie class.
First-round pick Joey Bosa was awarded the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year while linebackers Joshua Perry and Jatavis Brown also contributed and are expected to be a big part of new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s defense. On offense, second-round pick tight end Hunter Henry excelled as well.
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Media outlets around the country are busy playing general manager and predicting when prospects will hear their name called on draft day. Telesco’s current pattern involves alternating from offense to defense with each year’s first round selection.
A more clear picture of possible selections has become available with the completion of the NFL Combine and beginning of free agency. Following are the latest prognostications as to who will be the newest member of the Chargers very soon.
NFL.com – Ryan Ramczyk – Offensive Tackle – Wisconsin
Philip Rivers doesn’t have many seasons left; the team must protect him while it still can. Ramczyk will also help pave the way for fellow Badger Melvin Gordon.
CBS – Malik Hooker – Safety – Ohio State
Scouts are concerned some about his tackling, but he is a rangy player who can cover a lot of ground. There is great value in that.
ESPN – Malik Hooker – Safety – Ohio State
A rangy safety with elite ball skills, Hooker is a perfect fit for Gus Bradley’s defense, which features a lot of Cover 3 and zone coverage. Hooker is one of the five best prospects in this class, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to work out for teams prior to the draft after having offseason surgery on his labrum.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED – Jonathan Allen – Defensive Tackle – Alabama
Allen’s arthritic shoulders could drive him down just enough for a team in this range (maybe even a touch lower) to pounce. Allen could line up opposite Joey Bosa in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s 4–3 scheme, then drop inside to pass rush.