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APC Community Mock Draft 2022: The Chargers are on the clock at No. 17

The Chargers are on the clock after the Saints selected Jameson Williams at no. 16

NCAA Football: Florida State at Boston College Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

After years of Michael Thomas dominating targets in New Orleans, the Saints brought in reinforcements in our Community Mock, drafting Jameson Williams out of Alabama. The dynamic speedster will be a welcome sight fpr Jameis Winston in his 2nd year as a Saint.

The Chargers are loading up. Not to be outdone by their divisional rivals, the Broncos and the Raiders, the Chargers made splashes this offseason that feel more like a tidal wave. A $210 million shopping spree helped bring in J.C. Jackson and re-sign Mike Williams. Trading for Khalil Mack was the cherry on top, bringing more star power to a defense already boasting Derwin James and Joey Bosa. LA’s defense was the worst in the league on third down last year and had to make changes. Head coach Brandon Staley will salivate over the possibility of mixing coverages with the cushion provided by elite edge rushers and a top-level man-to-man corner.

The Chargers aren’t without holes though. They still have issues on the offensive line after Justin Herbert got battered by his protection on the right side. Trevor Penning is still available here and possesses the sort of edge to his game that Brandon Staley desires. If they decide to address the interior instead, Zion Johnson could be an option. Having taken snaps at both tackle spots and guard in college, Johnson could start at guard while also being a “break glass in case of emergency” option at tackle. While LA did re-sign Mike Williams this spring, they can’t help but wonder what another elite weapon would do for Justin Herbert. Adding Chris Olave to this bunch would seem borderline unfair and serve as the west coast version of the Bengals’ dangerous trio of receivers last season.

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to watch the Hulk play football, turn on the tape of Trevor Penning. Don’t let his lack of Division 1 pedigree fool you, Penning is a mountain of a man who wants to punish anyone who has the gall to line up across from him. He may need time to adjust to the competition level in the NFL, but his size and aggressiveness will allow him to compete as a run blocker right away.

His technique in pass sets will need cleaning up, as he relies on his brute strength too often and gets caught with sloppy footwork. Smaller, quicker edge rushers could give him issues on day 1, but he should have no trouble containing bull rushers. Teams would do their best not to overthink a prospect with his aggressiveness and work ethic.

Zion Johnson, G, Boston College

After starting his college career at Davidson and garnering attention at right tackle, Johnson transferred to Boston College for his junior year. Johnson thrived in the ACC and earned all-conference honors each year culminating in a first-team All American selection in 2021. Versatility was his strong suit in college and a point of pride as he spent time at both tackle spots and guard, but he is best suited to play inside at the next level.

Johnson showed off his explosiveness at the combine, posting an RAS of 9.74. That athleticism in combination with his 34-inch arms gives him an advantage with his first punch. He is likely a scheme-dependent player due to his struggles in space but has the ceiling to be a starting guard.

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Olave broke out during his sophomore season at OSU as the top target for Justin Fields and continued to shine his next two years, ending his career as the school’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 35. In 2021 he was named a second-team All American to go with his third straight All-Big Ten nod.

Olave is considered the best route runner in a class overflowing with 1st round talent. Playing with NFL-caliber QBs like Justin Fields and CJ Stroud has made him great at finding soft spots in scramble drills. His catch radius and red zone prowess will make a QB very happy for years to come. While he could stand to improve his play strength, Olave can be a field-stretching WR1 out of the gate.


Who will the Chargers select at no. 17?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
    (198 votes)
  • 14%
    Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
    (43 votes)
  • 18%
    Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
    (54 votes)
295 votes total Vote Now

That’s all for the Chargers at 17! Protecting Justin Herbert is the most important need for the Chargers, but don’t count out a dynamic WR in the first round. Be sure to vote here and on Twitter (@acmepackingco) and check back later as both the Eagles and the Saints will be on the clock again.