2014 NFL Draft: San Diego Chargers’ Seven-Round Mock 1.0
Mocking All Seven Rounds for the San Diego Chargers
This past season was a pleasant surprise in year one under head coach Mike McCoy for the San Diego Chargers, and much of the credit for his instant success has to go to his partner in crime in general manager Tom Telesco. A terrific draft class last spring set the Bolts up with some players ready to step in immediately and contribute at a high level which allowed the team to plug holes on the fly and really make the pieces fit as they went along.
Now the hard part is repeating that draft success and the impressive results on the field after San Diego reached the Divisional Round of the playoffs this past year. Some of the key cogs will be back in Philip Rivers under center and Eric Weddle quarterbacking the defense, but several questions remain in the secondary and in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
This team still needs to get tougher up front and that is more about attitude than anything. Obviously the draft haul of D.J. Fluker, Manti Te’o and Keenan Allen greatly aided that cause last year, but another class with similar impact players will be needed to continue taking positive steps.
Experience will clearly help these players to improve in year two, but GM Telesco will need to address a pass defense that ranked near the bottom of the league a year ago by adding bodies in the secondary and getting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. On the other side of the ball, finding guys to help keep Rivers clean in the pocket as well as potential targets for him in the passing game will be vital.
It’s hard to address every need via the draft, but the Bolts showed they were capable of it last season. There’s no doubt the guys included in this full seven round mock draft will provide much-needed help to this team trying to get over the hump.
Round 1 -- Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
Cam Thomas is a free agent, and it would be a stretch to say the Chargers will even miss him when he’s gone. Louis Nix III would literally be a huge addition at nose tackle with his 6-foot-2, 345-pound frame up the gut. Run defense was an issue for the Bolts last season, but Nix would demand double teams and free up linebackers to make plays right around the line of scrimmage to limit gains. It’s quite possible this Notre Dame run stuffer will be available when San Diego is put on the clock at No. 25 overall, and they would be crazy not to add this space eater to their roster.
Round 2 -- Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
San Diego hasn’t had a hard-hitting safety since Rodney Harrison left town, but that could change if Deone Bucannon arrives via the draft. The Washington State product knows how to levy the boom on receivers, and his mere presence over the middle would serve as a great deterrence for guys looking to over the middle of the field. He would be a terrific partner for Eric Weddle, and the Chargers would have to be thrilled to land him in Round 2.
Round 3 -- Keith McGill, CB, Utah
In the mold of the tall Seattle Seahawks’ secondary, Utah’s Keith McGill was certainly opening up some eyes at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds at the Senior Bowl. The Chargers were one of the teams to show the most interest in this lanky cornerback, and for good reason given the shape of their secondary. Shareece Wright stepped it up in the postseason, but his play was average at best in the regular season. Derek Cox was benched multiple times last year and could be a cap casualty this offseason. Richard Marshall is certainly not the answer, and last year’s rookie Steve Williams missed the entire season with a torn ACL. Needless to say, the Bolts have a need at corner, and McGill would be a great piece to the puzzle of fixing this subpar secondary.
Round 4 -- Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech
At his best when rushing the pass, the 6-foot-3, 252-pound Jeremiah Attaochu would be a terrific addition to a defense severely lacking in the sack department. The team leader was Corey Liuget with just 5.5 last year, and his primary assignment as a defensive end in the 3-4 alignment is to stop to the run. Attaochu has a great burst off the line of scrimmage to explode into the backfield and apply pressure on the quarterback. He could be a great situational pass rusher starting out as he develops into a full-time starter down the line.
Round 5 -- James Hurst, OT, North Carolina
A broken leg suffered in North Carolina’s bowl game will push James Hurst down some draft boards, but at 6-foot-6, 305-pounds he certainly has a high ceiling for development. Despite the injury in the bowl game, Hurst was extremely durable with 49 career starts at North Carolina. He’s not a natural bender which limits his effectiveness at tackle, but some actually believe he could move inside to guard and have a solid professional career there. Regardless of how the Bolts would choose to use him, there’s no doubt Hurst would add some much-needed depth to a thin offensive line.
Round 6 -- Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Injury is the story for quarterback Aaron Murray as well as he suffered a torn ACL near the end of the regular season. That injury may cloud some things heading into the draft fore the seasoned veteran under center, but it won’t detract from his attention to detail and meticulous good habits. Murray has terrific footwork, a prototypical setup and delivery and he throws a very catchable ball for his targets. What he does lack that scouts may not like is ideal size at just 6-foot-1, 202-pounds, but that can be overcome at the next level by guys who have been there, done that in college. See: Drew Brees, Russell Wilson. Murray’s also been compared to Andy Dalton which is a fair comparison minus a little mobility, and what team wouldn’t like to have a player starting for one of the 32 teams in the league as its backup?
Round 7 -- L'Damian Washington, WR, Missouri
There’s a lot to like about L’Damian Washington, but what will push him down draft boards is his poor route running and a tendency to make too many body catches. Both of these habits can be eliminated through coaching, however, and he has an attribute that can’t be coached as well: Size. At 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, the Bolts could really use this big-bodied target out of Missouri in their receiving corps.