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Los Angeles Chargers mock draft: 2022 NFL Draft projections and analysis

Los Angeles Chargers fans are likely feeling excited for the 2022 football season to begin after making several strong additions to a core headlined by Justin Herbert.

Adding J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack are great pickups by general manager Tom Telesco, but there’s still other 2022 Chargers team needs to fill if this group wants to make a deep postseason run.

On the bright side, the Chargers head into the 2022 NFL Draft in a strong position to continue supplementing their current roster with lesser-known names who hope to become stars at the next level. With a defensive-rich draft class, the Chargers have the potential to build Brandon Staley’s strong suit into a powerhouse for years to come.

2022 Los Angeles Chargers draft picks

  • 1st round: 17th overall
  • 3rd round: 79th overall
  • 4th round: 123rd overall
  • 5th round: 160th overall
  • 6th round: 195th overall, 214th overall
  • 7th round: 236th overall, 254th overall, 255th overall, 260th overall

Let’s dive into our 2022 Los Angeles Chargers mock draft.

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Los Angeles Chargers mock draft: Assembling a playoff roster

OK, so maybe the Los Angeles Chargers already have a playoff roster, but considering they missed the postseason a year ago, and now they arguably face even stiffer competition within the AFC West, they can’t let their foot off the gas just yet.

As far as Chargers roster needs, the most pressing area to address is finding a way to protect Justin Herbert better on the right side of the line. On defense, they could still add to their depth chart in the front seven, particularly along the defensive line while adding a middle linebacker. In a receiver deep class, might as well dip a toe into that talent pool too.

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl 2023 winner

1st round, 17th overall: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

NFL: Scouting Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whether Trevor Penning ultimately lands at guard or right tackle doesn’t really matter from the jump, he can play both. His best position is likely as a tackle at the next level, which is what he’s most familiar with. Penning moves well for a 6-foot-7, 330-pound behemoth, but it’s his mean streak that truly sets him apart.

If selected, the Chargers would have bookend tackles to protect Herbert for the stretch of his career, which has to be appealing. Penning has NFL starter written all over him and can help the Chargers’ ground game get going too, with Pro Football Focus giving the lineman a 99.9 run-blocking grade.

There’s no guarantee he lasts until No. 17, but the Chargers have several late-round selections that could help move up a few slots, really they just need to add competent bodies to compete on the right side of the line.

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*2nd round, 60th overall: Dylan Parham, OG, Memphis

NFL: Scouting Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

TRADE: To jump up from 79 to 90, we worked out a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • Chargers trade: 79th pick, 160th pick, 195th pick, 214th pick, 2023 5th-round pick
  • Buccaneers trade: 60th pick

The Chargers don’t need all those late-round selections, so in this case, we move up to have a better chance at adding an immediate contributor.

A compact and powerful anchor, Dylan Parham, like Penning has great agility. Some might suggest Parham is a better fit at center at the next level, but he didn’t see any time there in Memphis. His most comfortable spot comes at guard, but has played some right tackle as well.

Parham isn’t nearly the run blocker Penning is, but it’s rare to see a pass-rusher get by the 22-year-old prospect, which is exactly what the Chargers need. Whether it’s protecting Herbert or watching Parham get out and pummel defenders at the second level, he’d be a great fit in Powder Blue next season.

Related: NFL Draft rumors 2022: Latest buzz ahead of 2022 NFL Draft

Los Angeles Chargers Day 3 selections

There’s no way the Chargers stay put, making eight picks from rounds 4-7, not with the roster they’ve put together. Instead, look for the Chargers to try and trade up, using some of these selections, which we’ve already done. The main reasoning is, they don’t have eight extra roster spots to spare on late-round prospects who may not contribute at all in their first season, if ever.

  • 4th round: 123rd overall: Matthew Butler, DL, Tennessee
  • 7th round: 236th overall: Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State
  • 7th round: 254th overall: Slade Bolden, WR, Alabama
  • 7th round: 255th overall: Nephi Sewell, LB, Utah
  • 7th round: 260th overall: Vincent Gray, CB, Michigan

Related: NFL mock draft 2022: See who the Los Angeles Chargers are projected to take 17th