Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa State Cyclones offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
With the 49th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the San Diego Chargers select Iowa State offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele. David Tokarz is serving as the Chargers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
This is a tough slot to draft in for the Chargers. While we've filled our biggest need as a team in the pass rush by drafting Courtney Upshaw in the first, there are still some pretty big holes on defense, including a giant one at safety next to Eric Weddle. The team could also use a developmental cornerback or a developmental middle linebacker on defense, but the second round isn't really an optimal place to grab either, nor are there players that really fit the bill for either of those positions that are worth a second-round pick.
So I turned my focus to the offense and drafted Kelechi Osemele, an offensive lineman out of Iowa State who will be moved to the guard position. San Diego lost left guard Kris Dielman to retirement last year, and Osemele could potentially be a stalwart on the offensive line for years to come. He's an explosive player, good as both a run and pass blocker (though his pass blocking could use a bit of polish), and while he still has developing to do, San Diego can't get much more value out of this position (he's one of the best players available at any position on my board).
I contemplated taking a running back or a tight end for this offense, but given that there weren't any good complements to Ryan Mathews available around pick No. 49 and that I felt odd drafting a tight end so high when the Chargers still have Antonio Gates, Osemele makes a nice consolation prize.
Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.
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