NFL senior draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. debuts his first NFL mock draft for 2017.
And with the No. 7 overall selection for the Los Angeles Chargers, Kiper addresses a top priority for this team moving forward -- adding an infusion of young talent at offensive line.
To start that process, Kiper has the Chargers selecting Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson at No. 7.
At 6-6 and 310 pounds, Robinson was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide and played in a pro-style offense. He earned the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top offensive lineman in 2016.
Robinson’s an adequate pass blocker, but his specialty is run blocking, which fits the Chargers’ move to more of a run-based offense with the addition of new head coach Anthony Lynn.
Current left tackle King Dunlap has been a productive player when healthy. But Dunlap turns 32-years-old in September and had trouble staying on the field last season.
Right tackle Joe Barksdale’s play dipped after a solid first season with the Chargers in 2015.
The Chargers also have a decision to make at right guard, with D.J. Fluker’s fifth-year option of $8,821,000 million fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster once free agency begins in March.