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2011 NFL Draft: San Diego Chargers Selections

Round 1, Pick 18 (18) - Corey Liuget, DT/DE Illinois

The good news and then the bad. The good news is that Liuget fell to the Chargers. Many expected him to be picked at #14 by the St. Louis Rams, and when he wasn't the Chargers were excited to grab him. Corey is a very powerful defensive lineman and will step in as the starting DE right away. So, right away, we can at least say that A.J. Smith and the Chargers didn't "reach" on the pick.

The bad news is semantics. Many people thought Liuget would have to continue to be a 4-3 DT, because he was too short to be a 3-4 about an inch, according to the range of acceptable 3-4 DE heights. Despite this, Liuget plays tall (knocking down a lot of passes) and seems to do a tremendous job at stopping the run. Playing next to Antonio Garay and Luis Castillo, he should be able to win many of the one-on-one matchups he'll be faced with or at least keep the Linebackers behind him clean.


Round 2, Pick 18 (50) - Marcus Gilchrist, CB/S Clemson

Scouts and fans are somewhat torn on if Gilchrist is a CB, a nickel CB or a Free Safety at this level. The San Diego Chargers seem convinced that he has the skills to be a starting CB in this league, and are already talking about grooming him as Quentin Jammer's successor when Jammer moves to Safety in a year or two.

In the meantime, Gilchrist will earn his keep by competing for the nickel CB job and also vying for the spot of Return Specialist for San Diego. This creates a bit of a logjam in the defensive secondary for San Diego, but that's not a bad problem to have. Especially because guys like Donald Strickland, Trey Simmons and Dante Hughes were never viewed as potential starters and now the Chargers might have two rookies that fit that mold.

Round 2, Pick 29 (61) - Jonas Mouton, ILB Michigan

Thank you very much, Antonio Cromartie and the New York Jets. Although many thought the Chargers had to use one of their top picks on a pass-rushing OLB this season, the greater need depth-wise was probably at Inside Linebacker. Here's what the ILB roster looks like without Mouton:

Brandon Siler (Restricted Free Agent, can by signed away for a 7th round pick)
Donald Butler (No experience, coming off major knee surgery)

A little scary, huh? All things considered, the Chargers will probably do whatever it takes to bring back Unrestricted Free Agent Kevin Burnett to fill one of the starting spots.

Mouton, who seems like a fit for no position except 3-4 ILB, will build up his chops on special teams (just like Stephen Cooper, Brandon Siler and Tim Dobbins have done before him) while providing depth. He has a ton of potential, and could slide up the depth chart quickly depending on his performance. 


Round 3, Pick 18 (82) - Vincent Brown, WR San Diego State

This is equal parts a good pick for the team and a great pick for PR (public relations, but I guess it could be good for Philip Rivers too). I believe the last time the Chargers drafted a WR out of SDSU it was Kassim Osgood, but I could be wrong. Either way, Brown is not a physical specimen. He is not extraordinarily tall or strong or fast. However, he does all of the little things well (runs good routes, has good hands, makes tough catches) and apparently has a fan in Chargers Receivers Coach Charlie Joiner.

Brown will challenge Seyi Ajirotutu for the #4 WR spot in 2011 (assuming Malcom Floyd comes back) and, like the rest of the players picked in this draft not named Corey Liuget, will probably be asked to be a contributor on special teams.


Round 3, Pick 25 (89) - Shareece Wright, CB Southern California

Wright is a potential sleeper in this year's draft. He missed the 2009 season due to academic ineligibility (never a good sign) and was viewed as being immature. In 2010, he got his grades up and came back to school as a new man. He even earned the title of Captain for his team. In his press conference with the Chargers, he said that he had to shrink his group of friends and family to stay focused. Sounds like it was a wake up call.

Things were looking great for Wright in 2010 (73 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble), who I believe was a fringe first-rounder in the eyes of many scouts, before he was injured during USC's Pro Day. If he can stay healthy, and his head is screwed on straight permanently, the Chargers may have found a steal late in the 3rd round. Wright has the talent to be a starting CB in this league. Unfortunately, and similar to Gilchrist, he is not known for having good hands or bringing in many interceptions.


Round 6, Pick 18 (183) - Jordan Todman, RB Connecticut

Although he's bigger than the soon-to-be-departed Darren Sproles, this pick (which comes nearly 100 picks after the Chargers' last selection) is seen as a way to try and replace the man referred to as "Mighty Mouse". Todman is shifty and has decent speed and quickness, but needs to work on his blocking and his pass-catching skills. I think it would take a good camp and preseason for him to win the job as third-down RB right away, but he should get it eventually (that might mean 2012).


Round 6, Pick 36 (201) - Steve Schilling, OL Michigan

The Chargers are sure good at filling the backup OL spots with versatile guys. There's Scott Mruczkowski, who can play Guard or Center. There's Tyronne Green, who can play Guard or Tackle (and Center in a pinch). There's Brandyn Dombrowski, who can play Guard or Tackle. Now you can add to that list Steve Schilling, who played both RT (pre-Rich Rodriguez) and LG (with Rodriguez) at the University of Michigan.

The Chargers have said they envision him as a Tackle, which could mean he has a chance to beat out Dombrowski and eventually take over for Jeromey Clary (when Clary becomes more expensive). Clary himself was a 6th round pick, and Dombrowski was an Undrafted Free Agent, so it makes sense that the Chargers would look to line up more depth for the future of this position in later rounds.


Round 7, Pick 31 (234) - Andrew Gachkar, LB Missouri

An interesting pick in that there's not much information out there about him. Supposedly the reason he only played two seasons at Missouri is that he fought back from some life-threatening illness, inspiring his teammates and earning the team MVP award from them after coming back and leading the team in tackles. However, the one article that seems to be out there outlining what the illness was has disappeared from the face of the internet. CONSPIRACY!

Anyway, Gachkar is a bit undersized to be a pass-rushing OLB. He's known as a smart and fast player that doesn't possess the strength to fight through blocks, so my guess is that the Chargers are going to give him a shot to make an impact on special teams before deciding what his position will be going forward.