With Olshansky leaving the time seems right to take a look at some of the more promising defensive tackles as well as the heavier defensive ends.
We have already talked about Raji as a potential NT, it might be interesting to try him out as a replacement for Olshansky while they see if he has what it takes to fill Jamal's very large shoes.
Peria Jerry via cache.daylife.com
A straight replacement would be Peria Jerry from Ole Miss. He weighs in at 290 pounds and is 6'1". He reportedly runs a 4.9 in the 40 and that is pretty nimble for somebody that big. He had 18 tackles for loss and seven sacks, so he really got it done at tackle and could prove to be an upgrade to Olshansky. He is a first team all American and in combination with the return of Merriman could really transform the Chargers pass rush. This would be a solid pick in my opinion. He was also a leader on the practice field who would let folks know to respect the coaches. He has a reputation for being mean; the Charger defense could use some more of that. Peria would be a real asset both in run stopping and the pass rush.
Sen'Derrick Marks is a 290 pound tackle out of Auburn. He is declaring a year early after a season where he had ten tackles for losses and two sacks. He has the reputation of being a real athlete, but didn't put up numbers as big as might be hoped. Right now he is projected at the second round, but some think he could go in the first. He is another prospect that the Chargers aren't likely to get absent a trade. The chance that he will fall to the third round seems somewhat remote. This looks a guy coming out a year too early perhaps; he may need some time to develop.
Evander Hood out of Missouri is a 298 pound prospect. He had seven tackles for loss plus five sacks on the season. That is a nice balance of pass rush and run stopping for a tackle. He has fared well in the Senior Bowl practices and looks to be a good prospect that will potentially still be around in the third round. His stock seems to be rising so he could go earlier.
Ron Brace we looked at when we went over potential NTs, he is another the Chargers could start at end and try to groom for a move to NT over time.
Fili Moala out of USC gets a lot of talk, but there are also a lot of comments about a lack of athletic ability. Some also question if the folks he lined up with didn't make him look better than he is. He runs 6'4" at 303 pounds and made 4.5 sacks and ten tackles for loss. One of the scouts compared him to Olshansky, which isn't a terrible thing but it would be nice to find an upgrade that can excel. He was also arrested in a bar fight; but wasn't charged.
One true defensive end that has bulk is Tyson Jackson out of LSU. He weighs in at 292 pounds on a 6'5" frame. He picked up 4.5 sacks this year, but put up 8.5 in 2006. More of a run specialist, he might have trouble in pass rushing. Some think he might not be motivated enough; he could well last into the third round.