There is a lot of value to be had in the 2022 NFL Draft. In our final mock draft of the season, the Los Angeles Chargers find that value late. And we mean late. Like in the final stages of Round 7. Which players do the Chargers sink their teeth into before those stages, and just who should you know ahead of the three-day event this weekend?
Los Angeles Chargers 2022 7-Round Mock Draft
Here are projections of every pick the Los Angeles Chargers could make within a 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft, with the Pro Football Network staff as the general manager. This is what we would do with the picks after the board shook out while doing a full 7-round, 32-team mock draft.
Round 1, Pick 17: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
Getting better and deeper on the offensive line was a priority for the Los Angeles Chargers. Zion Johnson lands in LA and factors into the right guard spot right away. Free agency saw the defense get much better, while the draft is a place to further build around QB Justin Herbert. Johnson is as talented as they come in this class on the inside, and fans should fully expect him to land on All-Rookie teams immediately and potentially All-Pro teams in the near future.
Round 3, Pick 79: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Throwing away all character concerns for a minute, George Pickens is an easy pick here. In fact, he could be selected even higher. He’s a dominant receiver at the catch point and showcased an ability to play physically and separate all along his breaks. If the character issues are to be believed, it certainly harms Pickens’ draft stock, but you’d hope coach Brandon Staley and Co. could keep him on the straight and narrow once in LA.
Other players in consideration: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky; David Bell, WR, Purdue
Round 4, Pick 123: Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
Yes, the Chargers added Khalil Mack to Joey Bosa to form perhaps the league’s best pass-rushing duo. That doesn’t mean they should stop there as they can’t be expected to play every single snap at a high level during a 17-game regular season. Nik Bonitto offers versatility and upside as well as relief for Bosa and Mack in the short term while potentially being a top-notch pass rusher himself down the road.
Round 5, Pick 160: Joshua Ezeudu, T/G, North Carolina
Versatility on the offensive line is key for the Chargers. Joshua Ezeudu can quite literally play any position on the offensive line and has multiple starts at left guard and both tackle spots over the past two years alone. Typically, players with his kind of versatility suffer a downgrade in production but not Ezeudu — he can play either position at a high level.
Round 6, Pick 195: Neil Farrell Jr., DT, LSU
Don’t let the test results fool you — Neil Farrell Jr. plays football at his own speed and strength. And that speed and strength combination is tremendous. Farrell enters the Chargers lineup with an ability to cause penetration in both the passing and running game.
Round 6, Pick 214 (compensatory selection): Cade Otton, TE, Washington
The Chargers could go a couple of directions here, but Cade Otton is the pick as they improve their tight end group. Otton — like much of the Washington offense — had a down year in 2021. He still presents a challenge in the open field, and he’s one of the more well-respected blockers in this tight end class.
Round 7, Pick 236: Stanley Berryhill III, WR, Arizona
Getting open quickly at the line of scrimmage is one of Stanley Berryhill III’s best skills. Not only does he present a challenge to cover along his routes, but Berryhill can also put defenders in the spin cycle right off the bat. He can get open quickly and often in the right system.
Round 7, Pick 254 (compensatory selection): Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
Like many of my running back selections, I can guarantee you I am lower on them than you are — and especially lower on them than they’ll actually be drafted. There’s value in RBs, especially those on rookie contracts. But there’s even more value in running backs who can do everything you’d ask of them. Dameon Pierce can pass block, catch, and run between the tackles with a tenacious attitude. He’s a rare three-down back in this class.
Other players in consideration: D’Vonte Price, RB, FIU
Round 7, Pick 255 (compensatory selection): Jean Delance, OT, Florida
As they did with their pick of Joshua Ezeudu, the Chargers improve their offensive line versatility by selecting Jean Delance. The Florida product has excellent athleticism, as he can bend with edge defenders and presents a great base. Keeping that athletic ability as he puts on strength will be key for his long-term development.
Round 7, Pick 260 (compensatory selection): Carson Wells, LB, Colorado
With their last draft pick, the Chargers grab Carson Wells from Colorado. Listing him as a linebacker does him a disservice, as he can do a little bit of everything. However, Wells excels when rushing the passer. Watching him run stunts off the edge was one of the highlights of the Shine Bowl practices earlier this offseason.
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