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Chargers mock draft: Los Angeles selects Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne

The Los Angeles Chargers bolster their defensive line with the 17th pick in our mock draft.

CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Chargers are the team San Diego lost and the one Los Angeles forgot after the Rams blew up on the scene. It’s not like the Chargers have been horrible. They managed to finish with a respectable 9-7 record last year. However, they haven’t won 10+ games in nine straight season. They need help.

That help has come in the form of Lead Hunter, who is the acting Chargers general manager in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock draft. With the 17th overall pick in the draft, Lead Hunter has selected Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne. Here is the rationale for the pick.

After visiting SB Nation’s Bolts from the Blue and reading many sites—Drafttek, Walterfootball and CBSSports to name a few—I discovered the Los Angeles Chargers are a team that is not far away from making a push in the playoffs. They have a decent offense but are too inconsistent in the run game. They signed C Mike Pouncey and T Nate Solder but could use a long-term solution at RT. On defense, the one stat that sticks out the most, despite having a decent defense, is the Chargers ranked last against the run allowing 4.9 YPC. Corey Liuget will be suspended for the first four games in 2018 and NT Brandon Mebane turned 33 in January. To improve the run defense and ease the loss of Liuget I have selected Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne.

Payne was a stud for the Alabama defense against the run and did an above average job rushing the passer as well, despite being on the interior of the defensive line. Payne totaled 53 tackles, 45 against the run, 1.0 sacks, a team-high eight QB hurries, three pass breakups, an interception, a fumble recovery and even caught a touchdown. Payne will be awesome playing between DEs Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, and will be a nice replacement for Mebane and help cover up the loss of Liuget for 4 games.

Follow along with all of our picks with our Community Mock Draft tracker.


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