2017 NFL Draft: Los Angeles Chargers' top five needs, best fits on the clock at No. 7

This is one in a series that covers each team, offering viewers information for homework, suggestions and then the opportunity to make a draft pick.

When the NFL Draft begins selections in Philadelphia April 27, the L.A. San Diego Chargers have the No. 7 pick in the first round.    

Here is an in-depth look at the team's needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com's experts.

Who would you pick and why?

Top five needs

1. Offensive line: Russell Okung fills a big void with the release of left tackle King Dunlap . But the Chargers could also be seeking to upgrade the right tackle spot. Joe Barksdale has missed but one start in two seasons, but he's also been beat too much on the edge. Inside, the right guard spot must be addressed with D.J. Fluker not being brought back. The Chargers do have some depth inside, but that doesn't mean they won't be looking to upgrade the roster, especially with new head coach Anthony Lynn's preference for running the ball.

2. Wide receiver: Keenan Allen is an emerging star  if he can stay on the field. That has been an issue for two straight seasons, so can the Chargers really count on him to be available with regularity in 2017? Their fingers are crossed, but they will also look for some more depth. Tyrell Williams became a 1,000-yard receiver last year, and that was a pleasant surprise. But there isn't much behind him, especially with Stevie Johnson not being retained.

3. Defensive end: The Chargers are ditching their 3-4 alignment in favor of new coordinator Gus Bradley's 4-3 approach. But to implement it, Bradley is going to need some more defensive ends as the team makes the switch. Some outside linebackers, like Joey Bosa , can drop down and play end. But there is only one true defensive end, Darius Philon , on the roster.

4. Safety: The Chargers brought back hard-hitting Jahleel Addae , but his physical style of play often lands him on the sidelines. Help at free or strong safety seems to be a no-brainer, especially when looking at some of the deep threats among the AFC West teams.

5. Cornerback: This being a need is a head-scratcher with Pro Bowl cornerback Jason Verrett on the roster. But the undersized Verrett has a tough time dodging injuries. And the other starter, Brandon Flowers , was let go in the offseason. Depth at the least, and a starter at the most, is needed here.

Best fit

Malik Hooker , S, Ohio State Buckeyes : The Chargers hit their bull's eye by drafting the right Buckeye in last year's first round, selecting Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa. The team could grab Hooker, Bosa's former teammate, and solidify a secondary that is still overcoming the loss of All-Pro Eric Weddle . Hooker is a ball-hawking, All-American who had eight interceptions last year. Considering the AFC West teams' outside threats, having Hooker in the middle of the defense on its back end could cause havoc, with Bosa doing likewise.

malik-hooker.jpg
Hooker would fit in center field for the Chargers. USATSI

The pick will be ...

Rob Rang: Jonathan Allen , DL, Alabama Crimson Tide . The Chargers won big a year ago with Joey Bosa and could be in a similar position this year should Allen fall into their lap. The 6-foot-3, 286-pound Allen has the intangibles the Chargers have long prized and could remind new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley of former Seattle Seahawks pupil Michael Bennett with his positional versatility, initial burst and coordinated, powerful hand play.

Dane Brugler: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama. A year after drafting Joey Bosa in the first round, the Chargers could again bolster the defensive line with a talent like Allen, who would bring versatility as a three-technique and edge rusher.

Jim Miller: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State.

(Pat Kirwan, Miller picks based on last Friday's mock on SiriusXM Radio. Listen to their next mock Friday, April 21, on SiriusXM NFL Radio channel 88).

Frank Cooney, IMO: Quick, what team has the best quarterback in the competitive AFC West? If you voted for a Bolo tie and boots, you got this right, with no offense to the upcoming Derek Carr or very good Alex Smith . Quarterback Philip Rivers deserves to have a healthy team for an entire year so he can show his greatness rather than play in desperate situations. Last year's injury list would fill this year's temporary stadium. Let' get help on defense in Malik Hooker so Rivers doesn't need to carry the show.

Your chance to go on the record

OK, it's your turn. Tell us in the comments section who you would pick and why. Check out the top 1,000 players rated by NFLDraftScout.com, including combine and pro day workouts, biographies, scouting reports.

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