With the 2017 NFL Draft completed, how did the Chargers Draft address team needs? Here is a breakdown and grade for each draft pick made by Los Angeles.
Round 1: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Since Keenan Allen has finished the last two seasons on injured reserve and Philip Rivers needs more receiving targets as he ages, the Chargers were a candidate to take a receiver in the early rounds. They landed Mike Williams, who was arguably the best receiver in the entire NFL Draft. There were some questions about his speed, but he answered those at the NFL Combine.
Williams is a big receiver with a good route running and range. He also won a National Championship last season, which proves that he is a winner. Ultimately, Williams is a playmaker who will challenge for targets on the outside as a rookie.
Round 2: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Some experts had Forrest Lamp as the best offensive linemen in the entire NFL Draft, despite his small school pedigree. The Chargers were lucky to get him in the second round. Lamp has experience as a guard and tackle. He gives Los Angeles the depth they need at offensive line to keep Philip Rivers’ career going.
Lamp should challenge for a starting job immediately. He has the size and athleticism to be a valuable pass blocker at the right tackle position. Lamp should also help open lanes for Melvin Gordon. He is a great second round value, especially since this was a weak offensive tackle class.
Round 3: Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
Again, the Chargers needed to add offensive line help as Rivers was sacked too many times last season. Feeney fell to the third round due to his limitations as a pure guard. Guard is not a premium position like tackle. However, Feeney was a dominate guard with a ton of experience.
At the end of the day, Feeney should develop into a starting guard on either side of the line. He will probably start at right guard in 2017, while Lamp starts at right tackle.
Round 4: Rayshawn Jenkins, S, Miami
Many mock drafts had the Chargers taking a safety in the first round. Luckily, this class was loaded at the safety position. The Chargers found a solid safety in round four.
Jenkins has experience at corner and safety. He is a strong, explosive and smart player in the back end. Jenkins is the aggressive hitter that fits the Chargers’ new scheme under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He could develop into a starter and Jenkins offers immediate value as a special teams player.
Round 5: Desmond King, S, Iowa
Los Angeles found great value once again. King was expected to go in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. The Chargers were lucky to find a hybrid safety and corner prospect this late.
King does have questions about his size and position in the NFL. However, he is the rangy ball hawk who can develop into a starter at free safety. King also brings value as an immediate slot corner and special teams player. This was a great fifth round find as King was the best player available.
Round 6: Sam Tevi, OT, Utah
This late in the draft, it is important to find quality depth options who can develop into starters. The Chargers found that in Tevi.
Tevi has experience starting at both tackle positions. The converted defensive lineman is relatively new to the offensive line, but he has solid feet. There are some questions about his technique and consistency. However, Tevi offers the size and athleticism which could make him develop into an NFL starter.
Round 7: Isaac Rochell, DT, Notre Dame
Rochell is a strong character player with a ton of experience at a big school. His athletic profile is solid too. Questions about his consistency and position pushed him down draft boards.
Still, Rochell’s ability to play as a five-technique or three-technique interior lineman makes him an ideal fit for the Chargers’ hybrid scheme. He is not a great pass rusher, but he could develop into one with more work on his technique.
Overall Grade: A
Clearly, the Los Angeles Chargers made the offensive line a priority in this year’s draft. Either way, this Chargers draft features players who can challenge for immediate playing time. All seven players bring quality production and athletic profiles which address specific needs. The Chargers walked away as one of the biggest winners of the 2017 NFL Draft.
[Featured Image by Jae C. Hong/AP Images]