The Los Angeles Chargers currently own the No. 7 pick of the NFL Draft next month. A season removed from the departure of long-time safety Eric Weddle, many analysts believe that Los Angeles needs to select his heir apparent with the top-10 pick. Ohio State’s Malik Hooker is often mocked to the Chargers but will general manager Tom Telesco make him the first player ever to be drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers?
It doesn’t have to be the case and, if not, Telesco should focus on another area of the defense.
New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will be transitioning the unit from a 3-4 scheme to his more familiar 4-3 approach. Having four down linemen as opposed to three means the addition of a player capable of producing pressure and sealing the edge is inevitable. Due to the depth of the edge position in this year’s class Los Angeles could land a quality piece to their defense early.
Joining last season’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in Joey Bosa and linebacker Melvin Ingram, an additional presence up front could make Bradley’s new unit one of the most feared in the league. Barring injury, Los Angeles will start two quality corners and safety help can be addressed later in the draft.
Prospect Watch: Looking at the latest team to show interest in RB Joe Mixion
Chargers News: Grade Given for Offseason Moves
Chargers News: Targeting Controversial Prospect Joe Mixon
Chargers News: Updated Mock Draft Selections
Possible edge rushers that could be available for the Chargers at No. 7 include: Jonathan Allen (Alabama), Derek Barnett (Tennessee), Taco Charlton (Michigan), or Solomon Thomas (Stanford). All are currently projected as first-round selections and any one would be a welcome addition.
None are likely to remain on the board when Los Angeles is on the clock in Round Two but safeties Budda Baker (Washington) or Obi Melifonwu (Connecticut) could still be in play. Getting a dominant edge presence and capable safety over the first two rounds is more likely when not considering safety first.