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2021 NFL mock draft: Los Angeles Chargers select Christian Darrisaw

Time to protect their 2020 investment.

Virginia Tech v Florida State Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers are sick of playing second fiddle to the Los Angeles Rams. Unfortunately, the Rams went and got themselves a studly quarterback this offseason, overshadowing the rookie season that Justin Herbert had in Los Angeles last year.

But that doesn’t mean the Chargers don’t come with some promise this year. They went and stole up-and-coming defensive coordinator Brandon Staley from their Los Angeles counterparts and now have an intriguing coaching staff surrounding Herbert and company. Now it’s time to build a team of talented players.

To help Staley, we have entrusted Jerrydlux with the keys to the Chargers franchise in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft. Before we get into Jerry’s first-round pick, here’s the board.

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota
  4. Atlanta Falcons: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  5. Cincinnati Bengals: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
  6. Miami Dolphins: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
  7. Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  8. Carolina Panthers: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
  9. Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
  10. Dallas Cowboys: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  11. New York Giants: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  12. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama

With the 13th pick in the POD Community Mock, the Los Angeles Chargers have selected Virginia Tech offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw.

Here’s Jerrydlux with the reasoning for the pick:

The Chargers struck gold with Justin Herbert last year, and the Lions may now be the benefactors of the Chargers' decision to move on from their head coach, if coaching played a role in Herbert’s early success.

Having the QB position locked down, there were thoughts of looking to grab an offensive weapon to add to Herbert’s arsenal, but the way the draft has played out, all of the top WR and top TE have already been taken. Having just lost Hunter Henry, Kyle Pitts could have been a good replacement and even an upgrade. Jaylen Waddle could have been a nice slot receiver to allow the Chargers to use Austin Ekeler in different ways. Ja’Marr Chase would make losing Mike Williams (on the final year of contract) or Keenan Allen (in a couple of years).

But with each of those players, and DeVonta Smith already off the board, the Chargers turn to protect their franchise QB.

Christian Darrisaw is considered one of the top tackles in this draft, being ranked between second and fifth on many draft boards. Those who rank him lower, do so because of a “lack of a mean streak”, but those who are high on him believe he will transition well into NFL pass protection and excel in a zone running scheme.

While some offensive firepower for Herbert would be great, keeping him upright and able to sling the ball 600 times per year requires having some great protection on his blind side.

L.A. has done well in free agency with the signings of Corey Linsley (C), Matt Feiler (G), and Jared Cook (TE). So solidifying the LT position will help Herbert build on his Year 1 success.

Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:

Darrisaw is the third-rated offensive tackle on my draft board and while this may be a tick early from where I expect him to be drafted, it’s hard to fault Jerrydlux for his decision to grab protection for his franchise quarterback.

Other options I would have considered at this spot are LB Zaven Collins (Tulsa) to replace Denzel Perryman (who left for the Carolina Panthers in free agency) and CB Jaycee Horn (South Carolina) to replace Casey Heyward, who was a cap casualty.


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