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Our review of Mel Kiper’s 2021 Chargers mock draft 4.0

It’s all about Justin Herbert this offseason. He had an amazing rookie season, despite being tossed into action well before they had planned him to, thanks to a misplaced injection in the side of then starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Herbert was called upon to start just prior to kickoff and he and the rest of the offense never looked back. His play didn’t waiver, even without star weapon Austin Ekeler.

The Chargers plan this offseason became apparent early on in free agency after they allowed tight end Hunter Henry to move on to New England, but instead they spent their money bringing in center Corey Linsley and guard Matt Feiler. It feels like this theme will continue on into the draft, where the Chargers hold the 13th pick. There is top end talent expected to be available at both receiver and at the tackle/guard spot, so I wouldn’t expect them to move up, but instead they’ll sit back and take the best available at those two positions.

In Mel Kiper’s Chargers mock draft 4.0, he expects them to draft offensive lineman Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern.

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Slater could be used at either tackle spot or moved into guard, which many predict is his ultimate fate. They’d be adding top end talent along with versatility in case of injury. The entire core of this line would be remade with Feiler, Linsley, and now Slater making up the interior protection.

With the 47th pick, Mel Kiper’s Chargers mock draft 4.0 projects the pick to be cornerback Eric Stokes.

This is definitely a major need for the Chargers defense and they’d be getting a great athlete in Stokes. He possesses blazing speed and finished the 2020 season with four interceptions. In a division with pass catchers like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton, and Noah Fant, you need talent and depth throughout the secondary.

Despite the clear need the question remains, should they instead use this pick on the offense and in support of Justin Herbert? Our mock draft and even Todd McShay’s mock draft believe so. They could double down on offensive line here and grab a tackle. They could also take a receiver to pair up with Keenan Allen. They essentially lost their number two receiving talent in Hunter Henry and Mike Williams has not been consistent enough to be relied upon as the other pass catching option in this offense. After grabbing one of these two needs, depending upon talent still on the board at 47, they could then spend the majority of the remaining five rounds worth of draft capital on the defensive side of the football.

In Mel Kiper’s Chargers mock draft 4.0, he sees them splitting the draft capital between both sides of the team by drafting a guard in round 1 and a corner in round 2. Based upon this, expect them to spend the remaining picks on a receiver, to add more depth to the offensive line and in the secondary, and to acquire a pass rusher. They’ve had a solid start to the 2021 offseason and the draft is a great opportunity for them to patch up some holes on their roster and ensure that Justin Herbert continues his ascent to being one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

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