One of the names that consistently comes up in mock drafts as the Chargers choice is Tyson Jackson. At 6'5" and 292 pounds he has the size to make a good defensive end in the 3-4 type defense that the Chargers run. He made 10.5 tackles for a loss last year with 4.5 sacks; but stopping the run is really his specialty. In 2007 his numbers were down quite a bil and at the combine he benched 225 pounds 20 times, usually considered the minimum. There are some questions about his motivation with the down year and minimal strength numbers.
The up side is that Jackson performed well on an LSU defensive squad that had some holes. With some teams, like the Trojans, the combination of the system and the talent surrounding a player can mask average play much as the Chargers found weaknesses in their defense with Merriman out. The more I look at the prospects for a new defensive tackle in this draft; the more I think that we should address the ILB position if possible. Neither Peria Jerry nor Tyson Jackson look like the sure fire upgrade that I believe the Chargers will need to reach the next level.
Those are the highlights; at least one sack appeared to be more of a coverage sack. If anyone saw a lot of him during the college season; it would be great to hear other opinions. He ran a 4.91 at the combine in the 40 which is pedestrian. Jackson has gamble written on him and it's hard to see what he offers beyond a candidate like Evander Hood. Many mock drafts do have him going in the top half of the first round. At his Pro Day he elected not to do the shuttle or the 40 again, standing on his combine numbers. This too is a bad sign; it would be nice to see he has consistency. Not to mention that since there are questions about his motor, the choice to rest on his somewhat meager laurels is troubling.
During the second half of the season Olshansky saw less and less time on the field. It was largely Cesaire and Bingham that filled in for him. While the opponents at the end of the regular season didn't wield fearsome running attacks; the defensive line held up welll against the run, being particularly stout in short yardage situations. The question the Chargers have to answer is: Does Tyson Jackson represent a significant upgrade over Jacques Cesaire and Ryon Bingham? For right now, color me unconvinced.