With the 2023 NFL Draft drawing closer to the day, various analysts and experts are beginning to unveil their latest mock draft predictions. While we’ve seen various iterations roll out over the past few weeks, these latest releases should be indicative of where each NFL team’s mind is at heading into night one on Thursday, April 27.
Ahead of the first round, several mock draft experts have listed their predictions for the Los Angeles Chargers. We’ll break down what each one is saying in regard to the Chargers’ first and second-round draft selections later this week.
First round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Peter King: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Matt Miller: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Ryan Wilson: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
PFF: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Adam Caplan: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Chad Reuter: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
The Chargers await their first selection at pick No. 21, and the consensus is that they’ll use it to bolster their offense with a young player. Los Angeles clearly has its eyes on the future with this pick, and it makes sense considering the state of the roster.
Drafting either Addison, Flowers, or Johnson would likely mean bringing on the successor to Keenan Allen, who at age 30 was nearly a salary cap casualty this offseason. The injury history of Mike Williams also gives cause to take a wideout in round one. Dalton Kincaid would also give the Chargers a nice boost on offense given the likelihood that Gerald Everett leaves in 2024, and with the future of Austin Ekeler up in the air, drafting Bijan Robinson would be a more than welcome consolation prize.
Second round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
Matt Miller: Tuli Tuipulotu, DE, USC
Ryan Wilson: Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
Chad Reuter: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
The Chargers’ 23rd-ranked scoring defense needs a boost up front and in the middle, because as talented as their offense is, it does nobody any good if your defense can’t stay off the field.
Consistent regular-season injuries to Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack (who is 32 years old) means that Los Angeles would be wise in adding some youth on the edge and in the interior pass rush. The Chargers also ranked 27th in run defense last season (144.2 YPG allowed), which means that the option of adding Henley, who possesses nice speed and can move sideline to sideline, could bolster a much-maligned run defense.