Anteater 6 Round Chargers Mock Draft


Carpe Diem et omni Mundio
Staff member
Super Moderator
Jan 19, 2006
San Diego, CA
Anteater’s 2014 Chargers Mock Draft
By: Loren S. Casuto

The Elephant in the room

When I first heard that Rivers didn’t like the idea of moving the Chargers to Los Angeles, I was pretty happy. To hear your franchise QB stand up for keeping a team in its home city is inspiring and formidable as a statement. When he said he wouldn’t sign an extension with this uncertainty, I was happier as it put pressure on the team itself to not lose its best player. When I heard that the Chargers had interest in Mariota and initial trade rumors in February, I laughed it off. During liar’s month, I’m not laughing about them anymore. The Chargers clearly have interest in QB Marcus Mariota, and appear to be looking ahead to life without Rivers. Admittedly from a football perspective, this is a smart move. Better to trade a player two years too early than a year too late. After studying Mariota, he’s the kind of player I believe could succeed in the NFL in a big way. He has sterling intangibles to go with on the field abilities far more advanced than your average spread system quarterback. If Tom Telesco, Mike McCoy and Frank Reich believe Mariota can be a franchise QB, then it makes sense to trade the current one while he still has value. However they will be sticking their necks out on a QB from a system that has produced few high level NFL QBs. All of this screams of the highest stake poker game that the Chargers have been involved with since Eli Manning. And if this goes down it’ll be one of the biggest and most heavily scrutinized deals in NFL history. I think the Chargers could win with Mariota, and I think he could be very successful with this team. But it’s hard to imagine the team getting rid of their franchise player. (#8)

With that being said, let’s mock the current Chargers picks.

With the 17th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Malcolm Brown, defensive tackle from Texas.

Going into this draft season, the Chargers are in the unusual position of meeting numerous needs through free agency. Thanks to the re-signing of King Dunlap and the acquisition of Orlando Franklin, 4/5 of the offensive line is set. After re-signing Brandon Flowers and adding Patrick Robinson and Jimmy Wilson, the secondary is deep. The same applies at wide receiver with the signing of Stevie Johnson and Jacoby Jones. However there are two areas that the Chargers have done little or nothing to fix; running back and defensive line. While many prognosticators have the Chargers taking RB Todd Gurley of Georgia (who I’m a big fan of) or Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin (not a big fan), this is one of the deepest drafts at running back in years. However, the supply of big defensive linemen is small no matter what year. As such the Chargers forgo the temptation of the first round back to get some much needed help upfront at defensive tackle.

Malcolm Brown isn’t a prototype nose tackle in a 3-4; at 6’2 319lbs he’s not the size and girth of a Jamal Williams. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t play nose tackle, and play it well. He’s very powerful at the point of attack, handles the run with ease and always keeps his eyes glued on the ball carrier. He has made great strides in his ability to diagnose plays quickly and fight through single or double teams to make a play. What makes him unique for a nose tackle is that he has impressive quickness and speed off the line while at the same time playing with power. On top of which he is an excellent (for a big defensive tackle) pass rusher and has played all along the Texas defensive line, excelling everywhere. On the negative side he plays hard but isn’t nasty, he needs to continue to build his strength and must work on secondary moves as a pass rusher.

It’s clear the Chargers aren’t looking for pure nose tackles; though they drafted Ryan Carrethers last year they’ve been willing to use lighter players that provide defensive flexibility (Sean Lissenmore, Tenny Palepoi). In Malcolm Brown you have a nose tackle that can handle the middle well and could shift outside to defensive end with equal effectiveness. He can play all over the line and allow Pagano to craft the best defensive line for the situation. Brown has all the makings and ability to be a star, and provide Corey Liuget some much needed help.

With the 48th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Ameer Abdullah, running back from Nebraska

As mentioned above, the Chargers are in desperate need of an upgrade at running back. The Ryan Mathews experiment ended as it began, with injuries. He’s now in Philadelphia where he’ll back up Demarco Murray. Donald Brown was brought in last year as a compliment at a high price, but has been ineffective whenever he’s touched the ball. Danny Woodhead will return after a season ending leg injury and will remain a fantastic third down back. Brandon Oliver was a revelation and flashed at times, but at best he’s a backup. If the Chargers are to field a team with a more varied offensive game plan than an Arena team, they need a running game.

Abdullah is part of the second tier in what may go down as one of the deepest running back classes in decades. One of the smaller full time running backs at 5’8 205lbs Abdullah is a fast with the ability to fly through holes, yet is smart enough to know when to be patient and seek cutback lanes. At the same time when he picks his spot (and he does so decisively) he is unpredictable with incredibly diverse set of moves and a surprising amount of power. He also plays hard, treating every game like a battle and refusing to back down or go down easily. He’s also an excellent receiver who catches the ball well, blocks effectively and can even return punts and kicks. Finally he has incredible football IQ and a sterling reputation. On the negative he has issues with fumbling and isn’t as big or powerful as you’d like a running back to be. He also needs to keep working on his pass blocking though he’s already more advanced than most.

In a weaker class, Ameer Abdullah would reasonably be considered the best running back. In 2015 he’s arguably the third or fourth best and that benefits the Chargers immensely. The Chargers clearly have interest in Abdullah, they’ve spoken with him numerous times and while not a ground pounder he brings all the elements of a great running to San Diego. Abdullah would be the team’s best running back the moment he signed his contract and would be their primary runner. With his ability and the team’s improved offensive line, Abdullah could be a rookie of the year candidate.

With the 83rd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Daryl Williams, offensive lineman from Oklahoma

If the Chargers did nothing on draft weekend, their offensive line is already better than last year. King Dunlap will remain a fixture at left tackle after receiving a well-deserved new contract. Orlando Franklin was paid handsomely to leave Denver and become the new left guard, though he has the flexibility to play either guard or right tackle. Chris Watt will get a full off-season and training camp at center, where he showed flashes of being everything the team hoped for. He will be backed up by Trevor Robinson who performed adequately in emergency situations and will also have a full camp with the team. The question is on the right side; Johnnie Troutman is penciled in at right guard, but was beaten out by Chris Watt only to have emergencies force both onto the field. DJ Fluker regressed some at right tackle due to injuries and a general sophomore slump, but the team still loves his power and tenacity. Nevertheless there are questions if Fluker should be moved into guard to make room for another tackle. To that mix, the Chargers add an almost clone of the mountain from Alabama.

Daryl Williams was the right tackle in Oklahoma’s powerful offense and teamed with Tyrus Thompson to form an impressive outside duo. At 6’5 327lbs he’s a little bigger than Fluker but plays the game in a similar style. He’s immensely powerful at the point of attack and comes at defenders with bad intentions. All he does is put people on their backs and once he starts moving, at his first or secondary targets, few defenders have been able to go toe-to-toe with him. Williams has impressive football IQ and leadership qualities, and it shows in his ability to understand and react to defensive shifts. While not a great athlete he does understand pass blocking getting into position effectively, and if he gets his hands on you its game over. On the negative he has issues with lunging and bending at his waist, things Joe D can fix. And just like Fluker he will have issues with speed rushers in the NFL, and the AFC West has plenty of them.

With Williams the Chargers have the final piece of their offensive line puzzle, and Rivers (Mariota?) will appreciate the protection. Williams also fits into the Chargers recent power running system and will give McCoy the comfort to know he can run the ball any direction he wants. He and Fluker, regardless of who moves to guard, are identical copies of each other in terms of power and mindset, and it will be very difficult for any defense to stop. This move gives the Chargers one of the best offensive lines in the game and turns the offense into a juggernaut.

With the 117th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Lorenzo Maudlin, outside linebacker from Louisville

(Writer’s note: I’m operating under the assumption the Chargers won’t trade their 4th rounder a third year in a row. If that happens then for as long as Telesco is the GM I’m never mocking a 4th round selection to the Chargers!)

While mentioning defensive line as needing immediate help, the outside linebacker spot is in desperate need of depth. The Chargers have a first rounder going into the final year of his contract (Melvin Ingram) and a second round pick from last year (Jeremiah Attaochu), both of whom have had injury trouble and haven’t lived up to their potential. Beyond that they have two players who have shown little (Corderro Law and Tourek Williams) and practice squad member Colton Underwood to provide help. With the retirement of Jarrett Johnson and Dwight Freeney leaving, this team at the bare minimum needs depth. While the Chargers might not go starter (baring an amazing player falling to them), they need to get someone to rotate into the lineup.

Lorenzo Maudlin has an amazing story; he lived in 16 different foster homes throughout his life and in a group home while in high school. Originally committed to South Carolina, he was told the day before signing day that his offer was rescinded, he committed to Louisville where he became a fantastic player. At 6’4 259lbs he has the power you want in an outside linebacker while providing effective pass rush with a solid blend of decent speed, moves and bend. He tackles with authority and doesn’t miss, especially when targeting a running play. His mental character and make up is fantastic and has the awareness and intelligence to pick up on intricacies even mid-game. On the negative he will need to make the move outside and learn the intricacies of being a 3-4 OLB. He doesn’t have fantastic speed and can play too high, nor does he have any fantastic traits as a pass rusher.

Maudlin would immediately step into the third outside linebacker position and give the team an effective person to rotate with Attaouch and Ingram. At best he could fill Jarrett Johnson’s role with more pass rush ability, perhaps allowing Ingram to become a pure third down rusher. Either way this fits the Chargers need now and next year.

With the 153rd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Jake Ryan, inside linebacker from Michigan

Going into the 2014 season, Charger fans were by and large happy with their inside linebacker group. Donald Butler, after a fantastic 2013 season, was well rewarded with a contract extension.Manti Te’o had a less than stellar rookie season but people were confident he’d take a step forward. Kavell Connor and Andrew Gachkar would provide great depth and you also had Reggie Walker. Today Charger fans are happy with Te’o’s advances but not his injured feet. Connor was good but used to often. Gachkar & Walker left in FA and Butler is rapidly approaching bust status. Though starters aren’t needed, the team definitely needs to find some depth if only to replace the contribution of Gachkar and Walker.

Charger fans, please take a deep breath when you hear a Michigan linebacker. This is someone far different than the last disaster drafted from Ann Arbor. Ryan is a multi-year starter who has played inside and out and earned a reputation as a film junkie and team leader. He has very good speed to go sideline to sideline and was effective as a downhill tackler, showing impressive aggression. In addition he is good in zone coverage with above average instincts. On the negative he needs to learn to disengage from blockers better and work on his lateral movement. He also needs to learn to trust what he sees and studies, he clearly knows more than he gives himself credit.

Ryan has been, to some extent, pidgeon-holed as a ‘try hard scheme versatile’ linebacker. That would be a mistake. He has all the elements to become an effective inside linebacker in a 3-4 while contributing immediately on special teams. He needs to work on certain parts of his game but they are very similar to what Manti Te’o had to, and I have confidence in Mike Nolan to work on such. With the roster as it is, the Chargers do need to prepare and find more depth for both past injury history and ineffectiveness from their ILB spots. Ryan will help.

With the 192nd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Tony Lippett, wide receiver from Michigan State

The Chargers have been a throwing team since the days of their inception. While many teams were content to ground and pound, the Bolts chose the air to attack from day one. In 2015 the Chargers will field a very deep receiver corps with young talent (Keenan Allen & Dontrelle Inman), a special teams standout (Jacoby Jones) and cagey effective veterans (Malcolm Floyd & Stevie Johnson). The last few years the team has taken flyers on late term projects to become starting receivers, and in the 6th they find a guy who just needs time to become something.

Lippett is a project as he has played wide receiver and cornerback, as well as special teams, as recently as the 2014 Cotton Bowl. At 6’2 192lbs he has good size and decent speed (though he is a long strider) to play receiver, and even with limited experience has some impressive skills. He has fantastic hands and will outwork and outfight any cornerback, especially in the red zone. He understands man/zone coverage and will find openings beyond the first down and sit there. Nearly 87% of all his catches went for first down and his hard work, determination and team-first attitude earned him an MVP award from a loaded team. On the negative he has too much wasted motion in his route running and needs to learn to get free initially in his routes. He also needs to get stronger as a receiver.

Lippett as a player reminds me a lot of Hines Ward; he did everything asked of him to the detriment of his stock but the betterment of his team. As such he walks into the draft with questions of where he should play and what is his ceiling. I wouldn’t bet against a guy who works this hard and has this much talent. The Chargers need a long term project at WR and this is a guy who could come in next year or two years down the line and have a major impact.

HEY! Why didn’t you get a……

Tight End: I think the Chargers would be wise to look at a tight end especially among undrafted free agents. Why? Because all four TEs currently on the roster will be free agents. I toyed with the idea of adding Delaware TE Nick Boyle late but decided that the team will need someone they can stash on the Practice Squad for a year.

Defensive Back: The Chargers are pretty well set at corner especially after adding Patrick Robinson and they still have two young guys in Williams and Davis who are developing. Safety wise it’s clear they want to put Wilson against Addae for strong safety but beyond that depth wise they’re well set. The Chargers could go corner in Day 3 if someone interesting falls, or if strong safety is a real need they should consider the only real safety in the draft in Landon Collins (though Pittsburgh has a more desperate need right now).

Quarterback: At this point the Chargers have interviewed half a dozen QBs scheduled to go in the top 4 rounds, so this is definitely a possibility. They could look to someone like Garrett Grayson in the fourth from Colorado State or maybe even Brett Hundley in the third. In my humble opinion this is the worst QB class in a long time and unless they want to spend a higher pick on a QB (Mariotta) they might be better off waiting for UDFA time or even 2016.

Center/Offensive Guard: The Chargers have made it clear numerous times that Chris Watt is their center. When he was drafted in 2014 I noted he had a lot of qualities of a center and the team clearly has agreed. Guard is another question and if the team is happy with Fluker at tackle, they could look for a specific guard. One they’ve talked to recently is Tre Jackson from Florida State. That’s a coin flip decision and in Williams’ case either he or Fluker could slide inside.

Punter/Kicker: They don’t need either, and the team usually brings someone in for camp. It might be a good idea to consider a new punter sooner rather than later, but this isn’t a particularly strong class for that.