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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Chargers early draft look

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

This is the fourth in a series looking at the potential draft direction of the teams in the AFC West:

Drafting: 16

Needs: Linebacker, defensive line, safety, offensive line, running back

Possible first-round picks

James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State: The Chargers would love to see USC's Rey Maualuga slip, but he likely won't. Laurinaitis could be there when the Chargers pick. The team could use another inside linebacker. With Shawne Merriman coming back, this pick could solidify a strong linebacking crew.

Taylor Mays, S, USC: Like Maualuga, the Chargers may be picking too late to grab Mays who is rising up draft boards. But he'd make a perfect pair with Eric Weddle at safety in San Diego.

B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College: It isn't their greatest need, but the Chargers wouldn't mind adding another big body in the middle of their defensive line. Raji could be a nice complement for Jamal Williams.

Wild card: The Chargers could be tempted to take LaDainian Tomlinson's eventual replacement. It would be luxury pick but if the team falls in love with Ohio State's Chris Wells or Georgia's Knowshon Moreno, this could be the time to make a move.