Be The GM is a weekly feature that allows BOLTHYPE readers the opportunity to put the Chargers first-round draft pick into proper context. It’s nearly impossible to accurately predict who the Chargers will select in the first round (especially if your GM is AJ Smith) without first accurately predicting who each team before them will pick. Each week we will present you with a different mock draft scenario and then ask you to Be The GM and make your best pick for the Chargers based on the available players at #18 in the first round.
In this week’s Be The GM feature, we bring you what may be the best-case scenario if you are focused on drafting an outside linebacker, and what may be the worst-case scenario if instead you planned to strengthen the offensive line in the draft.
This mock draft from the popular Ourlads Scouting Service is a good example of how even the best laid draft plans can go awry because of a run on players at a key position from the teams drafting before you.
Here are the first 17-selections from Ourlads (and be sure to check out the full mock draft scenario at Ourlads.com):
- Colts: Andrew Luck/QB
- Redskins: Robert Griffin/QB (trade)
- Vikings: Matt Khalil/OT
- Browns: Trent Richardson/RB
- Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne/CB
- Rams: Justin Blackmon/WR (trade)
- Jaguars: Quinton Coples/DE
- Dolphins: Riley Reiff/OT
- Panthers: Fletcher Cox/DT
- Bills: Jonathan Martin/OT
- Chiefs: Cordy Glenn/OG
- Seahawks: Nick Perry/DE
- Cardinals: Andre Branch/DE
- Cowboys: David DeCastro/OG
- Eagles: Luke Kuechly/IB
- Jets: Mark Barron/SS
- Bengals: Janoris Jenkins/CB
- Chargers: ???
Now if you think the Chargers’ greatest need is defense, and more specifically outside linebacker, you have a number of solid choices to choose from.
OLB/DE Courtney Upshaw was an early favorite to be selected by the Chargers in the first round, and of the players remaining in this scenario he may still be the obvious choice. If Upshaw is the favorite, OLB Melvin Ingram is a close 2nd. Both Upshaw and Ingram look like they could make a solid contribution as pass rushers, pass defenders, and run stuffers.
OLB/DE Whitney Mercilus is still in the mix as well. Mercilus is extremely athletic, but had only one stellar at Illinois. Is he just a one-year wonder who dominated inferior competition?
If the available offensive linemen don’t do it for you, and you aren’t sold on adding a pass rusher in the first round, other options could include WR Michael Floyd, one of the available NT’s in Dontari Poe (who could be a great pick with the right free agent moves around him) or Alameda Ta’amu, or ILB Don’t’a Hightower (probably even less likely now with the signing of Demorrio Williams).
When it comes down to that 18th pick, based on this draft scenario, I don’t see how you could pass on Upshaw. He’s enormous but not slow, he has great technique and already knows how to use his size and speed to his advantage as he proved numerous times against top-level talent in the SEC last year.
That's my pick- what's yours? Sound off in the comments section now and Be The GM!
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