“Chargers Draft-Good–Could Have Been Graat”
They knew, we all knew what they had to do. The big question, did they do enough?
They, being the Chargers. The what, getting more players on defense. The question, did they make the right choices.
The Bolts needed big bodies upfront for the defensive line. They needed run stuffers at inside linebacker, and they wanted speed and more youth for an oft-injured secondary.
At first glance, the Chargers went for 4-straight players on defense, addressing each of the positions of need.
But there were other players they could have taken, bigger names, rather than what they wound up with.
The Bolts were stung in the first round, as they sat there and watched the top two defensive tackles get taken, well before their 17th pick came up.
Not too many people had projected that Washington Huskies DT-Vita Vea would go at 12 to the Tampa Bay Bucs, and then the Redskins would follow by taking Da’Rom Payne of Alabama. A real blow for sure.
But that meant that others would be dropping, and that included Florida State’s star safety Derwin James.
A 2-year starter, he was big time productive for the Seminoles, 175-tackles,takeaways, leader, hitter, and a multi-position guy roaming the middle of the field at (6’2-215(. A gem of a player. No complaint with that pick..
NFL scouts told me ‘he plays downhill’….’he is rangy-he is tough-he can do lots of things’. He fills a slot vacant a couple of years since Eric Weddle left. Maybe a big more athletic version of Weddle.
I am not sure I can buy the 2nd round choice, USC-inside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu. Yes 12-sacks and 20-tackles for loss, but he was not the premiere inside backer in the Pac 12. Can you project greatness after just 1-year productivity for the Trojans?
In the 3rd round, little known North Carolina State DT-Justin Jones was the choice. He had 116-tackles in three years for the Wolfpack, but again was not rated as elite in the conference.
The Chargers bypassed Texas OT-OG-Connor Williams, Sam Houston State small college sensation defensive tackle PJ Hall. And highly regarded Oklahoma State QB-Mason Rudolph, who wound up going to the Steelers later on..
The fourth round choice was pseudo safety-linebacker Kyzir White out of West Virginia. He had 94-tackles as a two position player. They bypassed a very powerful DT-in Stanford’s Harrison Phillips, and higher rated pass rusher Arden Kay from LSU who had fallen because of a drug issue.
Also bypassed was University of Richmond QB-Kyle Lauretta, coming off a good Senior Bowl, again begging the question, when will Tom Tedesco-John Spanos ever address a quarterback for the future?
They also picked up a 6’3-WR-Dylan Cantrell from Texas Tech, a strong red-zone pass catcher, coming off a 71-catch season and 15-TDs over two Red Raiders years.
The later picks were Scott Quessenberry, the C-G from UCLA, and Northwestern’s 4-time thousand yard rusher Justin Jackson.
They looked but did not take the more explosive RB-Kalen Ballage of Arizona State.
I give them lots of different letter grades on this draft.
(A) Derwin James
(C) Uchenna Nwosu
(C) Justin Jones
(C) Kyzir White
(B) Dylan Cantrell
(B) Scott Quessenberry
(C) Justin Jackson
GPA, 7-picks, 18-points, and a grade of (2.5).
They could have been aggressive and traded up early in the draft. But much like their free agent deals, they always seem conservative, sometimes a day late and a dollar short.
I would have rather had Connor Williams, who went to the Cowboys, the Mason Rudolph future at quarterback, plus the Stanford defensive tackle.
The Chargers off season in no way compares to what the Raiders overhaul has been like, what John Elway has acquired in Denver, and the complete personality change in Kansas City, who had a better record than anyone.
Good they got defense, just not sure they got the right players.