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2017 NFL Draft analysis: Los Angeles Chargers

By The Sports Xchange
2017 NFL Draft analysis: Los Angeles Chargers
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney calls wide receiver Mike Williams an area code receiver as in if the quarterback can get the ball in the area code, Williams will come down with it. File photo by Mark Wallheiser/UPI | License Photo

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Tom Telesco, the Los Angeles Chargers general manager, will be hard-pressed to match last year's draft that produced defensive end Joey Bosa and tight end Hunter Henry, among others. But Telesco is pleased with his draft work of this year and that's a good sign. Telesco, working with John Spanos, the director of football operations, has produced nine wins in two seasons. Telesco is 10 games under .500 since he started directing the team's draft board in 2013. Of course he's thrilled with this year's No. 1 pick, muscular wide receiver Mike Williams.

"Mike brings a different skill set with his size and physicality -- being able to win the ball down the field with his leaping ability and hand-eye coordination," Telesco said.

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Williams has come a long way from breaking his neck during Clemson's 2015 season.

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"I feel like everything happens for a reason," said Williams, an All-ACC wide receiver. "I came back to Clemson, got my degree, came out with a national championship. The injury showed me I can't take anything for granted. The game can be taken away from me at any point."

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How the Chargers drafted:

Round 1/7 -- Mike Williams, WR, 6-4, 218, Clemson

The relocated Chargers changed area codes and they celebrated by drafting an area-code receiver. That's how Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney describes Williams, as if quarterback Philip Rivers can get a pass into Williams' area code, he'll likely come down with it. Despite depth at wide receiver, the Chargers couldn't resist giving Rivers another enticing target.

Round 2/38 -- Forrest Lamp, G, 6-4, 309, Western Kentucky

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Lamp is a converted tackle and that's fine with the Chargers because they need help inside. The team let D.J. Fluker, a former first-round pick flee in the offseason and Orlando Franklin didn't play up to his big contract. Lamp could help keep Rivers upright but also aid a mediocre, at best, running game.

Round 3/71 -- Dan Feeney, G, 6-4, 305, Indiana

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Cut and paste what was written above and one learns why the Bolts are loading up on big bodies for the interior of the line. Feeney is more apt to let his quick feet and leverage compensate for his ability to blow people up. But he should be in the mix for a starting role.

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Round 4/113 -- Rayshawn Jenkins, S, 6-1, 214, Miami

The Chargers passed on some top-shelf safeties in the earlier rounds but they think they have something comparable in Jenkins. He will likely compete for time at strong safety with his physical bent; special teams contributions will be expected for this sure tackler.

Round 5/151 -- Desmond King, CB, 5-10, 201, Iowa

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King is on the smaller side, but so was Jason Verrett, a former first-round pick for the Chargers who has been to the Pro Bowl. King is more football-quick than stopwatch-fast and isn't afraid to play bigger on running plays.

Round 6/190 -- Sam Tevi, T, 6-5, 311, Utah

Raw talent here and just maybe the Chargers can make something of it. Tevi started as a defensive lineman, but his 34-inch arms proved valuable on the other side of the ball, too. Likely suited to add depth at some point, which was a sore point last year along the offensive line.

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Round 7/225 -- Isaac Rochell, DE, 6-4, 280, Notre Dame

Rochell was the lone defensive lineman taken, a bit of a surprise with the team switching to a 4-3 alignment. Rochell, a team captain, might be better suited to play inside in the team's new scheme.

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