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NFL Draft Spotlight: San Diego Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mock Draft

RD 1 Pick 3: DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon

RD 2 Pick 4: WR Michael Thomas, Ohio State

RD 3 Pick 3: OLB Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

 Draft Analysis

The Chargers had a very disappointing season on both sides of the ball as they limped to a 4-12 finish in the basement of the AFC West. Now they have to try and put together a winning team before the window closes on Phillip Rivers' career. In this draft, they will look to try to upgrade the defense while adding a dynamic playmaker on offense. In round one they will likely grab Buckner or Joey Bosa. Buckner fits the scheme and need better as he can be plugged right in at the left 5 technique and be an immediate vast upgrade. Buckner also has the size and speed to play anywhere in the front seven to help make the defense more flexible. Buckner has a great motor that allows him to chase down the ball on every play. He also uses his arms well to keep blockers at bay. He will immediately help in both the pass rush and run defense.

Then in the second round the Chargers should look to grab a dynamic playmaker at wide receiver with the retirement of Malcolm Floyd and the disappearance of Stevie Johnson. That playmaker should be the explosive Michael Thomas. Thomas can come in and add size and speed to the slot position, or play on the outside depending on what they need. Thomas has a similar skill set to Keenan Allen, but possesses the true game changing speed that the Chargers have lacked on offense. Thomas will bring strong hands and playmaking ability to a receiver corps that is generally lacking besides Allen. With Dontrelle Inman starting to grow into a starter, the Charger can add a third receiver to truly help Phillip Rivers.

Then in the third round, with a player like Shilique Calhoun still on the board, the Chargers have to go defense again. Some may say that the Chargers need offensive linemen, but the new players should be given one more year to try and stay healthy while DJ Fluker deserves one more year at guard to develop. Shilique Calhoun can come in and immediately be thrown into the pass rusher rotation. Melvin Ingram has not been able to stay healthy and needs more depth behind him. With Jeremiah Attauchou and Kyle Emmanuel developing, the Chargers can grab one more to replace Melvin Ingram when they most likely refuse to resign him after next season. Shilique Calhoun has the tools to be better than Ingram ever was and would be an absolute steal in the third round. Calhoun has great speed and bend around the corner. He is able to hold the edge against the run and has an endless motor to get to the ball. If this was how the draft played out, the Chargers would come away with three players that can come in and be immidiate contributors.

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