The Chargers had a down year last season, finishing 5-11 and last place in the talented AFC West. It will take a lot for the Chargers to get back to the playoffs with the division most likely going to the Oakland Raiders or Kansas City Chiefs. The Denver Broncos also seem to have a leg up on the Chargers. Unlike the other three teams in the AFC West, the Chargers have a different kind of excitement upcoming this year. They have a new home in Los Angeles and new fan base excitement. Their 2017 Draft was just as exciting and here’s who they drafted.
1st Round, 7th Overall: WR Mike Williams (Clemson)
2nd Round, 38th Overall: G Forrest Lamp (Western Kentucky)
3rd Round, 71st Overall: G Dan Feeney (Indiana)
4th Round, 113th Overall: S Rayshawn Jenkins (Miami)
5th Round, 151st Overall: DB Desmond King (Iowa)
6th Round, 190th Overall: T Sam Tevi, (Utah)
7th Round, 225th Overall: DT Isaac Rochell (Notre Dame)
Chargers 2017 Draft Grade: 9.5/10
Los Angeles Chargers 2017 NFL Draft Review
The Best Player: Mike Williams
This is a very tough choice to make, but Mike Williams just edges out Forrest Lamp for the top spot. Mike Williams was heralded by many experts, scouts, general managers and more to be the best wide receiver in this class. Some have compared him to current and previous NFL greats, one notable being Calvin Johnson Jr.
Regardless if he lives up to that or not, he will immediately make an impact. He was the top wide out on the national champion Clemson Tiger team, leading the team with his size, athleticism, hands and route running. Not only that, he will come to a team with one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks under center in Philip Rivers.
The Chargers leading receiver Keenan Allen has been labored by serious injuries that past couple of seasons and they needed a solid No. 2 to go alongside him. Now, Los Angeles has a player who can become the next No. 1 playmaker on offense and become Rivers’ favorite target.
The Head Scratcher: Sam Tevi
Taking Sam Tevi in the sixth round was a confusing pick, not so much for the player selection but for the type of player they did not select. Tevi was great at Utah and comes from a school that produces good offensive lineman (and they need to against the great Pac-12 defensive lines of Stanford and Oregon). Although, they had already taken two offensive linemen with two of the first three picks they owned, both even rumoured to potentially play some tackle in the future. Another need to address was Rivers’ backup and Brad Kaaya was there for the taking in the sixth round.
The Surprise: Mike Williams
Mike Williams being selected at No. 7 was a huge surprise. The pick was solid and it addresses a big need, however, it was not their most glaring need. Secondary help needed to be addressed and many thought Ohio State’s safety Malik Hooker was the perfect fit for the Chargers. He could have come in and been a better Eric Weddle, immediately raising their defense up. Wide receivers all around went higher than expected, with Corey Davis, Williams and John Ross all going top nine in the first round.
The Steal: Dan Freeney
Snagging Dan Feeney in the third round was a dream situation for the Chargers. If Forrest Lamp in the second round wasn’t good enough, Feeney fell in their lap early in the third. Feeney was a borderline first, high second round draft choice by many executives and draft analysts. He hunkered down a solid offensive line the last couple of seasons for the Hoosiers. Offensive line was arguably the Chargers biggest need coming into the draft, after D.J. Fluker left in free agency and Rivers was sacked early and often last season. Feeney and Lamp should start right away on their line and give Rivers more time to pass and let breakout player Melvin Gordon run wild.
Most Likely to Turn Heads in Training Camp: Tie
This nod should go to both Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King, both for different reasons.
Jenkins was a monster at Miami, where defensive backs are bred for the NFL. Safety was such a glaring need for Los Angeles that Jenkins should come in, learn new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme and become a force in the middle of the field. Jenkins was only a fourth-round pick, but the team and fans will see that he can flat out play and has great football instincts.
King is one of the most interesting stories to come out of this draft. He was a shutdown corner back for Iowa in 2015 and was projected to be a first-round pick. Instead, he decided to play another year for the Hawkeyes and in his 2016 season, he was exposed and his speed and play making ability fell off. Coming into this draft, many thought that the best position for him was at safety and the Chargers are just the team to put him there. This training camp, he should be able to successfully convert to safety and become a solid defensive back again.
Sam Tevi should come in, like Feeney and Lamp, and provide an immediate upgrade on the offensive line, whether he starts or not. Utah has produced good offensive lineman before, notably Garett Bolles in the first-round this year to Denver.
Isaac Rochell was a senior captain for the Irish last season who played with an extremely high motor and gave effort on every play. He can be plugged in next to AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa and learn from one of the best young talents.
The Bottom Line:
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco had a nice draft last season, but this year’s draft was a home run. He addressed the team’s biggest issues of offensive line and safety by drafting not one, but two of each position and each player having high caliber potential. Mike Williams was the cherry on top and will spread the field on offense, even if Keenan Allen isn’t playing. This draft was one of the best Chargers drafts in recent memory and it has already given year one in L.A. a “jolt” of excitement.