With no compensatory draft picks to their name, the Los Angeles Chargers have a straight seven selections to their name for the 2023 NFL Draft. Needing to find even more talent to surround Justin Herbert with, plus a defense that needs some help, and that has the makings for a very important incoming draft class.
Los Angeles Chargers 2023 NFL Mock Draft
Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU)
Round 1: 21st overall
Any sort of offensive weapon is regularly being mocked to the Chargers for the NFL Draft, but conflicting reports on how teams are valuing the wide receiver position make it tough to pick which pass-catcher it will be.
With Jaxson Smith-Njiba looked at as the clear-cut WR1 in this year’s draft, TCU’s Quentin Johnston is very much in the running for that second spot. With his game built upon his 6’4 frame and elite speed, adding Johnston to the LAC receiver core puts him in a great position to become the future top target for Herbert.
DJ Turner (CB, Michigan)
Round 2: 54th overall
This year’s cornerback class is pretty deep, but unless one of the top options drops in the first round, the Chargers likely won’t look to upgrade that position until later. Lucky for them, they can grab Michigan’s DJ Turner in the second round.
One of the better cover corners in the 2023 NFL Draft, Turner will be a good addition to a zone-focused defense, and the Chargers would benefit from using high draft capital on a young CB prospect.
Andre Carter II (EDGE, Army)
Round 3: 85th overall
The temptation to double up at wide receiver and select a Kayshon Boutte, A.T. Perry, or Trey Palmer should be hard to pass on for the Chargers, but finding a talent like Andre Carter at this point in the draft is a steal you cannot pass up.
Khalil Mack is getting older and in a 3-4 front, a defense can never have too many pass rushers. Carter has a bunch of pass-rush moves in his bag, making him a great value in the third round.
Ronnie Hickman (S, Ohio State)
Round 4: 125th overall
The second (of three) new additions to the defensive secondary for the Chargers is Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman, who spent his fair share of time playing down in the box in his final collegiate season.
Hickman has shown the ability to be aggressive in pursuit while also providing above-average coverage skills, but he still does have his fair share of things to improve. By adding a player like Hickman, Brandon Staley’s defense can become more fluid, as Hickman playing near the line of scrimmage opens up his personnel groupings.
Luke Schoonmaker (TE, Michigan)
Round 5: 156th overall
Gerald Everett is still with the Chargers but Tre’ McKitty and Donald Parham Jr. both have failed to live up to their TE2 billings, so Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker becomes the second Wolverine to join the Chargers.
Schoonmaker excels more as a blocker than as a pass-catcher, but he is more than capable of running routes. His addition would allow both McKitty and Parham one final shot (potentially) at ascending into that next role, as Schoonmaker could take on the blocking roles while he develops his receiving chops.
Juice Scruggs (G, Penn State)
Round 6: 200th overall
Having had a formal meeting with the Chargers during the pre-draft process, Penn State offensive lineman Juice Scruggs seems to be on their radar to be their next swing offensive lineman.
Scruggs projects to be a guard/center combo at the next level, providing teams with some much-needed flexibility off the bench. He has enough skills to become their starter in a season or two, but for now, Scruggs will fill the role of backup swing option well.
Tiawan Mullen (CB, Indiana)
Round 7: 239th overall
Another defensive back?!? Another defensive back – and here is why.
Only J.C. Jackson, Ja’Sir Taylor, and Deane Leonard are locked in past 2026, so the likes of Asante Samuel Jr and Michael Davis could hit the market soon, seeing as how the Chargers are already tight on money.
By adding another CB in Indiana’s Tiawan Mullen, the Chargers are getting a guy that should excel on special teams while developing his skills to hopefully make a move up the depth chart next season. And if Mullen’s ceiling ends up being as a special teams player, then he should be a pretty darn good one at that.
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