- Bill Williamson, ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter
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Take a look at Todd McShay’s latest mock draft , and you can see how the future of the West Virginia quarterback could affect the Chargers’ draft board.
To make it simple, the Chargers may need to hope Smith gets past the Kansas City Chiefs (No. 1) and Oakland Raiders (No. 3). Both teams have been connected to Smith, although it is far from a sure thing Smith will end up in the AFC West.
However, in McShay’s latest mock, he has the Raiders taking Smith. Then, he has Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson going to Arizona at No. 7. If Smith is available, the Cardinals very well could take him. If not, perhaps Johnson will be in play.
That would sting San Diego. There is little chance left tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will be available when the Chargers pick. Johnson is considered the third-best left tackle prospect. But he is moving up boards because of his athleticism and because of his performances this draft season.
If he is available when San Diego picks, he very likely may be the selection. If not, the Chargers will be forced in Plan B mode. Taking another left tackle at No. 11 would be a stretch. Thus if Johnson is off the board, the Chargers may have to take the best available player or trade down. But left tackle would still be a glaring hole.
It could all hinge on if Smith goes to an AFC West team.
Geno Smith may dictate whether or not the San Diego Chargers select a left tackle – it is their biggest need position – in the first round.