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Full 4-round Chargers mock draft, pre-Scouting Combine edition

Chargers Wire logo Chargers Wire 2/21/2019 Gavino Borquez
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With the NFL Scouting Combine drawing near, the NFL draft picture has started to come into focus. As big boards become more evident, what might the Chargers do when the big day rolls around come April?

Below is our own four-round mock draft that sees Los Angeles load up for a deep playoff run by getting outstanding talent and value with their selections, including two small-school standouts.

Round 1 | No. 28 | Andre Dillard | OT | Washington State

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James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Dillard would be a home run selection here, near the end of the first-round. The former Washington State product would become the team's starting right tackle right away, taking over for offensive tackle Sam Tevi, with the ability to slide over to the left side when left tackle Russell Okung's tenure is up.

Dillard is effective in blocking, primarily in pass protection. He's got the some of the smoothest footwork in this year's class, as well as core strength to protect the edge. He does need to use his hands to frame more efficiently and create more surge in the running game. But working with offensive line coach Giff Smith would allow him time to optimize those minor kinks in his game.

Below is Chargers Wire's Scouting Report on Dillard.

The Chargers will be looking for offensive linemen this offseason, especially at the right tackle position. Dillard started at left tackle for the nation's top ranked passing offense and shined in his role in his four-year stint.

Dillard fits what offensive line coach Pat Meyer likes at the position. Meyer loves to move his tackles and get them in space, while using a lot of jump sets. This leans more towards athletic and functionally sound players, which is what Dillard is.

After seeing OT Sam Tevi struggle in pass protection week after week, the former Washington State product would be an immediate upgrade. With some development, Dillard would be able to man the left tackle position when LT Russell Okung's time is up with the Chargers.

Round 2 | No. 60 | Khalen Saunders | DT | Western Illinois

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AP Photo/Butch Dill

The Chargers will be seeking defensive tackles to shore up the position this offseason. With four free agents in March - Corey Liuget, Brandon Mebane, Darius Philon and Damion Square, they will be looking to address the group early on.

An FCS All-American in 2018, Saunders was a force for the Leathernecks, where he had 72 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in his senior campaign. The small-school DT would play primarily as a nose tackle, but he fits the mold of wanting to get physical, athletic and fast on the defensive line.

Below is Chargers Wire's Scouting Report on Saunders.

A three-year starter in Western Illinois' 3-4 defense, Saunders lined up mostly as the nose tackle, but also moved to various positions between the zero and five technique spots, and even lined up out wide as an edge rusher on occasion. An unknown to many, he made his name known at the 2019 Senior Bowl instead of joining his fianceƩ for the birth of their first child, and dominated against some of the nation's top offensive linemen.

Saunders plays an attacking brand of football. For his size, he is very explosive and has great short area quickness. Saunders exhibited flexibility, speed, and power at the point of attack as a rusher. His first step and short area twitch make it difficult for interior offensive linemen to square him up and cut him off. He's effective at playing on the edge of blockers and penetrating through a gap.

With that said, Saunders is far from the perfect prospect and has areas that he will improve on. His play recognition, hand usage to disengage from blockers, and ability to anchor are things that will need to be addressed at the next level.

Round 3 | No. 91 | Jahlani Tavai | LB | Hawaii

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers are likely to make the linebacker position a main focus based on general manager Tom Telesco's comments at his press conference a couple months ago. With linebacker Denzel Perryman's future up in the air and slight durability concerns with Jatavis Brown and Kyzir White, they will be looking to add more depth inside and outside.

Fortunately, Tavai can be a three down linebacker in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's defense with the flexibility to align at the SAM, WILL and MIKE, given his ability to rush the passer, drop back into coverage and defend the run. Along with that, he would offer a valuable asset on special teams.

Below is Chargers Wire's Scouting Report on Tavai.

Overall, Tavai lined up primarily at MIKE in Hawaii's 4-2-5 scheme. He was unable to finish his senior season with a shoulder injury, but had great success throughout his four seasons at Hawaii. He is flying under the radar, but when he's healthy, he might be one of the better players at his position in April, especially when a good showing at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day.

Tevai will immediately add inside-out versatility, a playmaker, and intelligence to a linebacker group. He is best in a zone heavy pass defense scheme. Tavai will flash excellent run defense, using mental processing, short area burst, natural strength, and play speed when shooting gaps to disrupt plays. He shows the overall athletic range to excel at disrupting plays over the middle in the pass game.

Round 4 | No. 123 | Jordan Brown | CB | South Dakota State

The cornerback position could be a top need that many aren't mentioning at the moment. CB Jason Verrett's consecutive season-ending injuries, Trevor Williams' durability concerns and Michael Davis isn't a true No. 2 CB.

An FCS All-American in 2018, in 51 career games Brown tallied 141 tackles and eight interceptions while serving as a shutdown cornerback who matched up against the top receivers that the Jackrabbits faced every weekend.

Brown is a fit for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley's Cover 3 based scheme, as he's most comfortable in off-man coverage. He's a useful middle round option with minor holes in his game and appears ready to be a solid No. 3 option with the room to grow into a No. 2 role.

Below is Chargers Wire's Scouting Report on Brown.

Good overall size and agility paired with outstanding zone and spatial awareness can make Brown a good NFL player. Boundary corner with key-point ball skills, his former wide receiver-type ball hawk skills standout in this fairly deep cornerback class. Tons of off-man and zone coverage at South Dakota State dictated Brown's opportunities, but the tape shows mirroring ability, which will most likely translate well at the next level.

Even though true straight-line speed usually shows up on tape, through deep routes, Brown's short burst and twitchy agility help him stay close to faster wide receivers down the field. He's a pure cover corner who should produce right away, once he can improve in man coverage, tackling, and a few other areas.


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