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2021 NFL Mock Draft: Los Angeles Chargers go linebacker

With the 13th overall pick in the 2021 Bleeding Green Nation community mock draft, Los Angeles Chargers GM Georgia_eagle selects ...

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl Classic-Memphis vs Penn State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

With the 13th pick in the NFL draft, the Chargers select Micah Parsons. Linebacker. PSU.

I am quite sure Chargers fans would hate if the board fell like this, because their two most pressing needs are the LT and CB positions. They need to improve the offensive line to protect Justin Herbert and they addressed it in free agency signing Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler for the center and guard position, respectively.

Now, they have a hole to fill in the left tackle where they only have a couple of guys who haven’t shown enough. Also, they need to fill one of the outside cornerback positions, since Chris Harris Jr. plays as a nickel corner and Casey Hayward Jr. was released.

So, taking that into account and with the way how this board has fallen with Sewell, Slater, Surtain and Horn already taken, now the options for their positions of need are Darrisaw and Farley, who both are Top 20 prospects in their own and even Top 15 depending on who you ask. But since I’m making the pick and I always take the Best Available Player approach, I will grab the best defensive player in the class at 13th.

Last year the first pick of the Chargers was Kenneth Murray, who didn’t live up to the expectations, but that shows that the linebacker position is also a need, and if Murray takes the expected jump from year 1 to year 2 and you combine that with Micah Parsons, then the Linebacker position becomes a position of strength. The Chargers plays the Chiefs twice a year and they have seen in the last Superbowl what gives you having two great linebackers.

Also, as the Chargers GM, I’m betting in taking with my second pick somebody of Teven Jenkins, Samuel Cosmi, Dillon Radunz, Alex Leatherwood, Jalen Mayfield, Liam Eichenberg, Brady Christensen or one of the great CB prospects available because of the depth at the position and with making that I’m taking the best defensive player of the class and a good OT or CB prospects with my first two picks.

The player

Parsons measures in at 6’3”, 246 lbs. He ran a 4.39 forty at his Pro day, showcasing true sideline to sideline speed. It was the first time scouts have seen anything from Parsons in over a year. The LB opted out of the 2020 season after having one of the best performances of any LB in the country in 2019. Parsons notched 109 tackles, 14 TFLs, five sacks and four forced fumbles in a tour de force role for the Nittany Lions. He’s super aggressive and has excellent body control and balance. He has no issue taking on blockers while still affecting the ball carrier. He has all the tools to lock down TE’s and keep RB’s in check in the passing game. He doesn’t let ball-carriers go away once he has a hand over them. Its almost like if he is a YAC eraser. He also offers a lot as a pass rusher when needed, he is a blitzer specialist and in some downs, he can play as a pure rusher opposite Joey Bosa creating havoc across the offensive line.

In my eyes, his only weakness is his lack of experience, he only played two seasons as a linebacker at PSU and he was a Defensive End in high school, so reading offenses is not a strength yet in his game but he makes up for that with his extreme athletic ability.

Parsons vs OT and CB

Justin Herbert is the face of the franchise and the priority should be to protect your biggest asset. So, OT should be the fist need, CB second and LB/DE the third. But as I said above, my bet is that one of the good OTs are going to be available in the second round. The reason I take that bet is that I have Parsons as the best linebacker and best Defensive player of the class, a Top 10 prospect in his own and I have Christian Darrisaw as the third best OT of the class, a Top 20 prospect. But the gap between Parsons and the second best linebacker is bigger than the gap between Darrisaw and the next best OT. Let’s say that Teven Jenkins, Jalen Mayfield, Samuel Cosmi or Alex Leatherwood are available, the one that the Chargers pick would be a still good player with upside and also a clear path for playing time. So basically, I´m picking a starter at the Left Tackle and probably the Defensive rookie of the year with the first two picks. That would make my week if I were a Chargers fan, and still can address the CB position in the third round or even trading up to the late second round for one of the good corners still available.

Conclusion

You would be hard pressed to find a prospect like Micah Parsons that has that combo of explosiveness, range, tackling, pass rushing and coverage skills. Those talents will translate to the NFL. His ceiling is to become a yearly candidate for defensive player of the year award and a Hall of Fame career in my eyes. He has his flaws, but they are outweighed by the intangibles and upside. He is the prototypical new age linebacker, and the Chargers cannot let escape the opportunity of taking a player like that even if is not their most pressing need.

Now the Vikings are on the clock…

Poll

Do you approve of this pick?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Yes
    (229 votes)
  • 32%
    No
    (110 votes)
339 votes total Vote Now

2021 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Jaguars (Phoenix X Minimus): QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets (eagles.north.of.the.border): QB Zach Wilson
3) 49ers (I Need a Username): QB Trey Lance
4) Falcons (chewy wellington): OT Penei Sewell
5) Bengals (Dr_Horrible): WR Ja’Marr Chase
6) Dolphins (20Safety_Hazard): TE Kyle Pitts
7) Lions (drc242): WR DeVonta Smith
8) Panthers (wildcatlh): QB Justin Fields
9) Broncos (ItownBallers22): CB Patrick Surtain II
10) Cowboys (Kephas): OT Rashawn Slater
11) Giants (Billmington): WR Jaylen Waddle
12) Eagles (ablesser88): CB Jaycee Horn
13) Chargers (Georgia_eagle): LB Micah Parsons
14) Vikings (Philliesandthebees):
15) Patriots (SakPrescott):
16) Cardinals (Carson Wentzs ACL):
17) Raiders (dshelton5):
18) Dolphins (J. Wil):
19) Football Team (Negadelphia Norm):
20) Bears (Happy24):
21) Colts (Fly Like An Eagle):
22) Titans (Friendly Neighborhood Philly Fan):
23) Jets (Asap Stocky):
24) Steelers (Gregnado):
25) Jaguars (“Snax”):
26) Browns (gerouxman1956):
27) Ravens (Brendanekstrom):
28) Saints (grantspectations):
29) Packers (Philly_Philly):
30) Bills (doublefry):
31) Chiefs (Leo Bedio):
32) Buccaneers (phuckdallas):


Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think should be selected in the 2021 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.

Poll

Who should the Los Angeles Chargers draft at No. 13?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    OT Christian Darrisaw
    (72 votes)
  • 12%
    OT Alijah Vera-Tucker
    (25 votes)
  • 47%
    CB Jaycee Horn
    (94 votes)
  • 3%
    DE Kwity Paye
    (6 votes)
197 votes total Vote Now

1) Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets: QB Zach Wilson:
3) 49ers: QB Justin Fields
4) Falcons: OT Penei Sewell
5) Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase
6) Dolphins: TE Kyle Pitts
7) Lions: WR DeVonta Smith
8) Panthers: OT Rashawn Slater
9) Broncos: QB Trey Lance
10) Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II
11) Giants: LB Micah Parsons
12) Eagles: WR Jaylen Waddle
13) Chargers: