2013 Mock Draft: San Diego Chargers
The NFL Draft is hours away, and it is time to reveal the San Diego Chargers seven picks for the 2013 draft. With the firing of the previous front office and coaching staff, new GM Tom Telesco and Head Coach Mick McCoy must have a successful draft in order to win back the fans for the upcoming season. In other words, they must find a way to protect Phillip Rivers.
First Round (11th Overall): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The loss of Pro-Bowlers G Kris Dielman (concussion) and LT Marcus McNeil (neck) left a gaping hole on the left side unsuccessfully filled by Jared Gaither. Phillip Rivers saw little time in the pocket as he was sacked 49 times and saw his YPG drop by 75 yards in 2012. If Lane Johnson is unavailable, Cooper adds the athleticism and blocking skills needed to protect Rivers and create an effective running game. Coach Mike McCoy’s offensive schemes will utilize Cooper’s strengths.
Alternate Pick: Lane Johnson
Second Round (45th Overall): Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Because of the ineffectiveness of the offensive line in 2012, the Chargers will draft O- lineman in back-to-back rounds. Armstead is quick and athletic, he is the perfect fit to protect Rivers blindside against the strong OLB in the AFC West. Although Coach Mike McCoy’s offensive scheme will require additional development. Amstead’s protection is needed for Rivers who has thrown 25 interceptions the last two seasons.
Third Round (76th Overall): Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
The loss of Antonio Garay opens a hole in the middle of the Chargers run defense who ranked 27th in the league in 2012. Jenkins adds depth to a young defensive line that saw DE Corey Luiget improve significantly in his second NFL season. Jenkins’s enormous presence against the run gives the linebackers a chance to shoot the gaps.
Fourth Round (110th Overall): Tharold Simon, CB, LSU
Although Simon was a one year starter at LSU, his numbers were excellent. His height and size is appealing for the Chargers who signed Derrick Cox this offseason to replace the departing Jammer and Cason. With Marcus Gilchrist and Sharecee Wright expected to fill their void, it allows Simon to develop his skills as nickel or dime corner.
Fifth Round (145th Overall): Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
Other than Donald Butler, Johnson can bring physicality and toughness to an inexperienced inside linebacking corps. The loss of Takeo Spikes leaves a void in the middle of the Charger defense, but with Johnson falling to the fifth round, this definitely can bolster the Charger run defense.
Sixth Round (179th Overall): Huge Thorton, OG, Illinois
Thorton adds depth and versatility to an offensive line plagued with injuries in 2012. His size and strength adds a good counter with the addition of Jonathan Cooper on the left side. With GM Tom Telesco bringing veteran players in during the offseason, it gives Thorton the chance to develop those additional skills to be a successful guard in the NFL.
Seventh Round (221st Overall): Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt
With Ryan Mathews inability to hold on to the ball, he becomes an enormous liability on the goaline. In 2012, the Chargers running game was atrocious in the red zone, so Stacy quite possibly can be the one to fill this role because his size and strength enables him to pound the ball in those short yard situations.