Mock draft analysts are at near consensus that Mike McGlinchey will be a first-round selection.
The $64,000 question is exactly where. The former Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle has been paired with 24 of the 32 NFL teams in at least one mock draft, although five teams are matched more with the Philadelphia product than all others: the Arizona Cardinals (pick #15), Baltimore Ravens (pick #16), Los Angeles Chargers (pick #17), Seattle Seahawks (pick #18) and Cincinnati Bengals (pick #21).
With the Chargers being the most popular pairing, we reached out to Bolts from the Blue to provide expert insight on the AFC West squad.
One Foot Down: The Chargers seem to be the in the position where there isn’t one position that is clearly in need of an upgrade first, which gives them several options in the first round. With their 17th pick, do you think the Chargers should draft a defensive tackle, an inside linebacker, a safety, an offensive lineman, the best player available or trade up or down?
Jamie Hoyle, co-host of The Lightning Round Podcast: “I want them to take a quarterback (Lamar Jackson) at 17. I expect them to take an ILB, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they wound up with an OT depending on how the first 16 picks shake out. Right now, I’d say Lamar, Rashaan Evans and McGlinchey are the top three names on their board. The one position I’m fairly confident they won’t draft at 17 is DT unless Vita Vea falls into their laps.”
On Garrett and Jamie’s podcast, they were not in favor of the Chargers picking an offensive tackle with the 17th pick. If there was a lineman to be taken at that spot, they preferred a guard -- and one name stood out: Georgia’s Isiah Wynn. Do you think the Chargers’ picks of Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney in the second and third rounds of last year’s draft will have any bearing on whether they pick an OL in the first round this year? And if an OL is to be picked, why Wynn instead of Texas’ Connor Williams or Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey?
Garrett Sisti, assistant editor and podcast co-host: “For context, that podcast was recorded before the Chargers signed Mike Pouncey. Wynn was the choice because both he and Lamp played tackle in college and could compete for that spot while the other took over the RG position. There was also talk of moving Dan Feeney into center in camp, so Isaiah Wynn was a versatile option at multiple positions. But, with the Pouncey signing, it is less likely they take Wynn at #17. I prefer the Chargers fill bigger needs with their first round pick: either QB, DT, LB maybe even safety if someone falls. I like the tackle options in Rounds 2-4 while some of the other needs have a much bigger dropoff the deeper the draft goes, thus making it important they grab one of those guys early.”
There are 22 mock draft analysts (out of the 144 I’m tracking) that believe McGlinchey will go to the Chargers at 17. If that happens, predict the reaction from the Bolts from the Blue readership. Will they be angry? Disappointed? Hopeful? Jubilant?
Matthew Stanley, assistant editor: “The BFTB readership will mostly be upset at an OL pick at 17. There is some weird obsession that need trumps everything else. So, if it isn’t a DT or LB at 17, there’s going to be a group of BFTB readers grabbing torches and pitchforks. I don’t agree with them, but that’s what will happen.”
(Stanley has said his dream first-round pick would be either Florida State Seminoles safety Derwin James or Alabama Crimson Tide safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.)
DraftSite.com’s D.J. Boyer believes the Chargers will use their fifth round pick on Notre Dame’s Josh Adams. Do you believe the Chargers will target a running back in this draft? And, if so, which of these guys seems most likely: Adams, N.C. State’s Nyheim Hines, South Florida’s D’Ernest Johnson, Iowa’s Akrum Wadley or Louisville’s Malik Williams?
Kyle Posey, assistant editor: “Hines seems like the best fit of the bunch as he can spell Melvin Gordon and give them something they haven’t had in ages: a legit returner. They’ve been rumored to like Hines as well. The team wants an explosive back that’s a receiving weapon. Hines fits that bill. He also has shown he can produce without having massive holes.”
There’s a legitimate Chargers-Irish connection, although I’m unsure if it’s purposeful. Los Angeles drafted defensive end Isaac Rochell last year and signed OLB James Onwualu as an undrafted free agent. Chris Watt was the San Diego Chargers’ third round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and Manti Te’o the year prior. Does the Chargers front office have a predisposition to Notre Dame players or is it just coincidental that Irish guys happened to best fill positional needs?
Hoyle: “I’m not sure there is a Chargers/ND connection so much as the team prefers to draft productive players from big, winning programs. It’s more about the level of competition and a high level of production in my opinion, even if that doesn’t explain how in the hell Chris Watt wound up being a third-round pick.”
Thank you for the Bolts from the Blue contributors and their site manager, Richard Wade, for answering our questions. For the latest in Chargers’ news and analysis, you can visit their site, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook.