The San Diego Chargers have used the number 16 pick in the 2009 NFL Draft to select Larry English out of Northern Illinois. This pick is seen as a way to build depth behind Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips in case of injury or if the Chargers cannot sign Merriman to a new deal after the 2009 season.
Come back to Bolts From The Blue tomorrow for in-depth analysis and footage of Larry English in action. For now, here is a scouting report courtesy of SI.com:
BIOGRAPHY: Three-year starter awarded all-Conference honors since his sophomore campaign. MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. Senior totals included 37/16/8 after 67/17/10.5 as a junior and 51/16/12 the prior year.
POSITIVES: Disruptive college defensive end who may stand up at linebacker in the NFL. Fast, shows ability in pursuit, and covers a lot of area on the field. Plays with a large degree of intensity, quickly changes direction or immediately alters his angle of attack. Breaks down well, plays with good balance and exceptional leverage. Rarely off his feet, and adjusts off the initial block, staying within his angle of attack. Nicely works his hands to protect himself, shows a burst to the action, and is relentless in pursuit of ball carriers. Flashes on the scene and plays with a good degree of suddenness.
NEGATIVES: Undersized, and handled at the point of attack by a single blocker. At times slow locating the ball.
ANALYSIS: English is a terrific athlete and a defender who forces the action up the field or catches ball handlers in pursuit. He plays significantly faster than his 40 time, and he had opposing offenses coordinators game planning around him in college. English offers a good degree of upside potential, and he should be productive on the NFL level once he gets accustomed to the competition.