The San Diego Chargers ranked 31st in the NFL yards per rushing attempt because they had major issues in 2012. They were also tied with the Oakland Raiders for last in rushing touchdowns, and ranked fourth in sacks allowed.
Ryan Mathews was horrible last season, but he ranked 10th in the NFL with 1,091 rushing yards in 2011 to go along with 4.9 yards per attempt. It makes more sense for San Diego’s front office to go after an offensive lineman with the 11th pick in round one of the draft than a running back because Mathews could bounce back in 2013.
But who should the team pick in round one? ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said “I project Lane Johnson to go to San Diego. I could see the scenario where he’s gone to the Arizona Cardinals maybe at seven. ”
Kiper continued by saying “Obviously if Luke Joeckel goes No. 1 and Eric Fisher goes top-five, I think teams are going to jump up and get Johnson. They might not be able to stand pat at No. 11 and get him.”
Arizona’s offensive line was awful last season, so it is possible that they will select the former Oklahoma Sooners left tackle with the seventh pick in round one.
San Diego’s front office released LT Jared Gaither last week and signed veteran tackle King Dunlap during the off-season, but they are still looking for help on the offensive line.
If the Chargers select Johnson in round one, he would bring versatility to the offensive line because while Johnson would be the LT, he can play the right tackle position as well.
San Diego’s offensive line was one of their weaknesses last season, but this problem can be solved if Johnson is still available.