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Thursday, May 8, 2014
Jean-Baptiste to Bolts in final Kiper mock

By Eric D. Williams

In his final mock draft Insider, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicts the San Diego Chargers will select a cornerback at No. 25.

But it's a new name than previous mocks, with the Chargers selecting lankly Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste.

Kiper has corners Justin Gilbert (No. 10 to the Detroit Lions), Kyle Fuller (No. 14 to the Chicago Bears) Darqueze Dennard (No. 15 to the Pittsburgh Steelers) and Bradley Roby (No. 24 to Cincinnati) all off the board before San Diego selects, leaving Jason Verrett and Jean-Baptiste as the top cornerback prospects on the board.

At 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, Jean-Baptiste is in the mold of taller Seattle cornerbacks such as Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell, who gave the Denver Broncos trouble in the Super Bowl.

Kiper: "This is a bet on upside, a shot taken on a big cornerback you hope develops into the kind of player we're seeing in the Seattle secondary. But the Chargers really need help at cornerback, and with Roby off the board at No. 24, they make a play for upside here. I do think the Chargers could go a few ways here, but if they believe they can develop Jean-Baptiste, they could have something."

Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III, who I had projected to San Diego at No. 25, was not in the first round of Kiper's mock draft. Teams could be concerned about the lingering effects of a knee issue Nix dealt with during his 2013 season, detailed here by Dr. David Chao writing for the National Football Post.