As crazy as all the brain racking may be from trying to figure out specific selections and possibilities any one team may do in the first round, it only gets crazier the deeper the draft goes. As a follow up to my “top 5 targets at 13” we continue with the top 5 targets at 47.
Once again we are doing top 5 because all kinds of things happen during the draft and there is no way to know who will be selected before a particular selection or who will fall. These 5 options will likely depend on how the Chargers decide to use the 13th pick. For example if they selected an offensive tackle at 13 then chances are it would be a defensive player selected next or really anything other than the same position. Of the course the same would apply if it were the other way around. Again, this is all based off the assumption of no trades. Without further ado here are the top 5 targets at 47.
Dillon Radunz OT North Dakota:
2020 really hurt Radunz because the conference that his school happens to be in only played 1 game. When you play in division 1AA you can’t afford to miss out on opportunities. Luckily events like the Senior Bowl help with that. Which leads me to one of his knocks which is that he was undersized for the position at 6’6″ 292 pounds. Early in the week at the Senior Bowl practices, Radunz seemed to be getting beat alot in lineman drills and it seemed that maybe he really doesn’t weigh enough. Then by the time the actual game was played you realised that the early part of the week was probably due to rust and having only played 1 game all year. I say this because he performed flawlessly in the game despite the weeks practice. If you dig a little deeper though you see he has only allowed 24 pressures in 715 pass blocking snaps. That combined with a 89.3 pass blocking grade and 81.4 run blocking grade and it’s enough to grab anyone’s attention.
Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama:
I must admit that I had Leatherwood pegged as a top 3 offensive tackle in this years class before the college play-offs began and before I had started studying tape on all the tackle prospects. During the play-offs I noticed that when Leatherwood would get beat around the edge that Alabama would simply put the tight end on his side so that couldn’t happen. I knew right then that they were probably covering up a deficiency that he had. Then once Senior Bowl rolled around it turned out I was correct. So because of the depth of the position this year he is now one of my top second round targets instead. At 6’6″ 322 pounds Leatherwood is an amazing and aggressive run blocker as apparent by his 86.4 run block grade. His pass blocking grade, while at 73.4, can still be improved in my belief. I say this because his flaw is in his first step so it’s either an anticipation off the snapped issue or an issue with his first step. Either way it’s an issue that more than likely is fixable and if not for that he would be a top 20 pick. If the team decides to go defense with pick 13 then expect an offensive lineman like Leatherwood or Radunz in the second.
Rashad Weaver DE Pitt:
While I’m a big believer in Uchenna Nwosu having a big break out season and to some degree even a fan of the Fackrell signing, the fact remains that they will both only be contracted for the remainder of 2021. Enter Rashad Weaver who would likely of been a higher pick if he had attended a bigger school. Standing at 6’5″ 255 pounds, Weaver is a very well rounded prospect. He finished with a 90 overall pass rushing grade with 9 sacks, 33 hurries and 6 other QB hits. In the run department he finished with a 80.4 overall grade and 14 run stops for no gain. Some even say he is the best run defending edge rusher in this year’s class. At the Senior Bowl he showed the ability to even line up all over the defensive line, inside and out. He could probably put on some more weight if he wants to play inside at the next level though. Even if Nwosu does have a big year and the team want to re-sign him then well, 3 quality defensive ends are better than 2.
Elijah Molden CB Washington:
Standing at just 5’10” 190 pounds Molden is “too small”….ya right. Turn on his highlights and I promise his size won’t be what catches your attention. In fact despite his size he is very physical for a defensive back. He only missed 22 tackles in 172 attempts. I feel like the Chargers safeties missed 22 per game this past season. In all seriousness though Molden would be the perfect long term solution at the slot corner position. He had a 90.9 overall grade in coverage and a 81 overall run defensive grade. Between his size and physicality he is probably similar to Tyrann Mathieu but with better coverage skills. This is apparent by his 44 passer rating when quarterbacks target him. Washington is one of the 3 schools in which I never question their defensive backs.
Asante Samuel Jr CB Florida State:
I was very hesitant to put Samuel on this list. For no other reason other than the fact that I feel like he could very possibly go in the first round. If the name sounds familiar it’s because his father was an all pro in the early 2000’s at the same exact position. Another small corner at 5’10” 185 pounds size doesn’t stop Samuel from being an outside corner so don’t label him a slot corner. Giving up just 1 touchdown and a 44.6 passer rating all year, Samuel could very well be just as good as his father. He recorded a 83.4 coverage grade but this isn’t bad considering his conference and size. The Chargers have already had several meetings with the legacy prospect leading up to the draft. In fact, I feel he would fit in on the Chargers defense perfectly considering Bosa is also a legacy player and Derwin James is also from FSU.