Final Seven Round 2022 Chargers Mock Draft
By the time you are reading this, we will be just over 24 hours away from the commencement of the 2022 NFL Draft. All of the excitement will then culminate in the Chargers (potentially) adding 10 new players to the roster. At the end of the day, we have to trust that Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley will continue to do what’s best for the team’s roster needs. That being said, let’s dive into my final mock draft which will be run through NFL Mock Draft Database’s simulation.
Round One – Pick 17
Zion Johnson – Boston College
The Chargers consider themselves to be in win-now mode. “Complete team” has become the buzz phrase of the offseason, and for the most part the Chargers are on track to accomplishing that goal. This process indicates that they MUST draft a prospect tomorrow night who can hit the ground running and make an immediate impact. Johnson checks that box, fills a position of need (guard), and would offer the Chargers positional and draft flexibility as they continue to bolster the offensive line. In this scenario, I would be kicking Matt Feiler out to right tackle, where he was a solid player for the Steelers, to fill that need.
I believe the Chargers’ decision will ultimately come down to Johnson, Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie, or Ohio State receiver Chris Olave. All three would fit the mold of prospects capable of hitting the ground running. I would also not completely rule out Michigan defensive back Daxton Hill or Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd (yes I would be absolutely stoked) depending how the board pans out before the Chargers. I’d also keeping an eye on McDuffie’s teammate, Kyler Gordon, who arguably has a higher ceiling than McDuffie does. Johnson is a top five player in the class for me and is absolutely deserving of the 17th overall selection.
Round Three – Pick 79
Myjai Sanders – Cincinnati
Tom Telesco talked about the edge rusher group behind Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack in his pre-draft press conference and it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for anyone behind their two stars. I would like to see the Chargers be aggressive on day two of the draft in order to land one of the third tier pass rushers like Sanders. Drake Jackson, Nik Bonitto, or DeAngelo Malone would also be good fits in my opinion. They need to add a player into that room that can be an immediate contributor, and I was able to land Sanders here without trading. I wrote about him on my All-Underrated team.
Round Four – Pick 123
Braxton Jones – Southern Utah
With Feiler kicking to right tackle in this scenario, I’d be on the lookout for a potential long term solution and Jones would be my ideal choice to fit that bill. He is a fantastic run blocker and shined in that regard at the Senior Bowl, and has a highly intriguing physical profile. At 6’5 and 310 pounds, with 35-inch arms he fits what the Chargers have historically liked at the position to a tee. His RAS compares favorably to Rams offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom, who Staley is obviously familiar with. This would be an ideal landing spot for Jones as he could come in and earn his stripes while learning behind Feiler and Rashawn Slater.
Round Five – Pick 160
Tariq Castro-Fields – Penn State
I would guess the Chargers ultimately take a cornerback before this selection, but I didn’t like the way the board played out in this simulation at each selection and trust Staley, Renaldo Hill, and Derrick Ansley to develop later round picks into potential starters. In this instance, they land Castro-Fields who has some fantastic coverage and athletic traits but needs work as a tackler. He would challenge for the fourth cornerback spot on the roster and then potentially replace Michael Davis in the starting lineup next year.
Round Six Pick – 195
Jaquarii Roberson – Wake Forest
Another player from my All-Underrated team makes my mock draft. Roberson is exactly what I’m looking to add to the Chargers offense as a vertical threat who can also give you some yards after catch ability. He’s not the cleanest separator but his release package off the line proves that he can improve in that aspect of the position. Roberson could challenge Jalen Guyton for the deep threat role but he’d likely serve in a backup role as a rookie and then take over for Guyton after he leaves in free agency next spring.
Round Six Pick – 214
Tyler Goodson – Iowa
The Chargers need to find a quality complement to Austin Ekeler who can take some pressure off of his shoulders. I think that room needs to get more dynamic outside of Ekeler and Goodson would be a fantastic fit. He tested in the elite or great range in every category except size. He currently has the 8th highest RAS of any running back in the class. I think he’s got some Tarik Cohen (obvious Staley connection point) vibes about him and would really add a lot of versatility to the Chargers offense. Not to mention this would reunite running backs coach Derrick Foster with his former star pupil.
Round Seven Pick – 236
Daron Bland – Fresno State
Daniel Jeremiah is as plugged into the draft as anyone out there, especially when it comes to the Chargers and their needs. So when he was tweeting about Bland the other day my ears perked up, then I saw that DJ even put him in his top 150 players. After doing some digging, I was able to verify that the Chargers are interested in him and attended the Fresno State pro day to meet with him. Bland brings a physical presence that projects best as a developmental slot/safety hybrid player.
Round Seven Pick – 254
Jordan Jackson – Air Force
Telesco said this draft is going to be rather unique with the amount of late day three picks in their possession so there are bound to be some surprises. I wanted to address the defensive line position earlier than this and ideally add some pass rush. Jackson has some elite athletic traits and racked up 122 total pressures and 17 sacks over the last three seasons in the Mountain West.
Round Seven – Pick 255
Chase Allen – Iowa State
Stephen Anderson was one of the more underrated players on the Chargers last year. The Chargers need to replace that skill set since they opted not to bring him back and I don’t think they believe in Gabe Nabers to fill that role. At the very least they need to add some competition into the room and Allen could be that guy. He filled a very similar role for the Cyclones over the last few seasons while his teammate Charlie Kolar soaked up all the targets.
Round Seven – Pick 260
Ryan Stonehouse – Colorado State
Tom Telesco said they will add competition for J.K. Scott in some way in the draft or after it. I would be completely shocked if that player were fan favorite Matt Araiza, who has a draft over/under of 117.5. Four punters, including Araiza, had already gone off the board at this point of the simulation so I opted to choose Stonehouse with the Chargers’ last pick in the draft. The former Mater Dei standout had the second best yards per attempt mark in the class last year along with the fourth best hang time average. He also had an 81 yard punt attempt at Vanderbilt last season.