Approval Rating: Larry English

You're out of focus for a reason, Larry. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

667. 4. 5.

There have been 667 days since Larry English was drafted by the Chargers out of Northern Illinois with the 16th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Since then, two full NFL seasons have passed and he has started a grand total of 4 games. And in that time he's picked up exactly 5 sacks. I think its pretty safe to say that Mr. English has not had a productive career with the Chargers.

So, what case is there to be made for you to vote "Approve" for Larry English? Well, you could be a Quarterback for an AFC West rival. You also could make the case that it's not Larry's fault that expectations are so high. The legend of Larry English begins with the Chargers taking him well before many expected him to get drafted. It continues with Packers star LB Clay Matthews getting drafted 26th overall. It's not Larry's fault that only the Chargers thought he was better than Matthews. There were many that believed that English would need time to adjust to the NFL game, much like how Antoine Cason had to spend some years as a backup before getting thrust into a starting role. It's not Larry's fault that in his rookie year Shawne Merriman wasn't healthy enough to be the starter. And I'm sure it wasn't Larry's idea to spend most of his second season on the training table. Larry's working as hard as he can, but management put him in a bad position.

At this point you might be muttering to yourself that even if he was overdrafted, he still has to produce. Well, if he wasn't a first round pick, maybe it would have been with this upcoming season that we'd expect big things. Kyle Vanden Bosch was a 2nd round pick in 2001. He had 4 sacks in his first 4 seasons. Then, he had 31 in his next 3 at ages 27-29. English will be 25 for the 2011 season. Matt Roth was a 2nd round pick in 2005 and had 4.5 sacks to his name after two seasons. He then got 16.5 over the next 4. Nothing stellar, but a definitely uptick in production. Of course, what I'm hiding is that both went through some changes in scenery with much of this production coming with teams that did not draft them. I've also skipped plenty of examples of pass rushers drafted in the late 1st round and early 2nd round that were always busts, and a handful that produced quickly. Suffice it to say, many of English's contemporaries started their careers like his and often with even less production. The ones that were producing by their 2nd year were few and far between.

So, where does that leave us? Did I move the needle at all? I'm sure some of you will find it in your hearts to vote "Approve". Of course your names are probably Matt, Jason, Kyle and Tim.

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