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San Diego Chargers 2013 Draft Prospects: Nose Tackles

The San Diego Chargers will need to add a Nose Tackle early in the 2013 NFL Draft. That shouldn't be a problem with depth like this.

Stephen Dunn

Let's Go Drafting:

The bad news is that the San Diego Chargers desperate need a Nose Tackle and there's none left on the free agent market that are worth a damn. The good news is that the 2013 NFL Draft is absolutely loaded with them. Tom Telesco could potentially find a starter or part-time starter for 2013 with a pick in the first 3 rounds of the draft. Let's look at who could be there.

Star Lotulelei, Utah - 6'3", 311lbs

I believe I set a trend, selecting Star for the San Diego Chargers' 11th overall selection in the SB Nation Writers' Mock Draft, but much of that selection was due to timing. Jared Gaither was still on the team, and Star's heart was undergoing a medical review when the Raiders were on the clock. Now the question isn't so much of if the Bolts should take Star at #11, it's whether him or Lane Johnson or either will still be available with the 11th pick.

Lotulelei has all of the physical traits to be one of the league's top defensive linemen during his rookie season, and he could get even better if he were more consistent with his technique. Paired with Defensive Line Coach Don Johnson, Star could transform the San Diego defense in his first year.

Expected Draft Position: 1st Round

Sylvester Williams, North Carolina - 6'3", 313lbs

Williams has everything you'd want from a Nose Tackle. He has the size and strength to be a run stopper, and has the quickness and finesse moves to be an effective pass-rusher as well. The only thing that worries NFL teams about Williams is his consistency, as he's been known to disappear for large stretches of games at UNC.

As I mentioned when I picked Lotulelei for the Chargers, the team needs a Nose Tackle for 2013 and to prevent them from spending too much cap space on Cam Thomas next year. Williams would certainly be another solution to that problem.

Expected Draft Position: Late 1st Round/Early 2nd Round

Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State - 6'3", 320lbs

Hankins is a big boy, but he carries that weight well. He has fantastic strength and quickness. Scouts like the fact that he played on just about every down all season, but also dislike the fact that he consistently wore down towards the end of games. Although he's probably not going to turn into a star, Hankins could slide into Aubrayo Franklin's role and let Cam Thomas come in on passing downs.

Expected Draft Position: 2nd Round

Jesse Williams, Alabama - 6'4", 323lbs

Williams has been compared to Patriots Nose Tackle Vince Wilfork in more than one scouting report that I've seen. While not seen to be much of a pass-rusher or someone that can run down the line and slow the lateral running game down, he's so dominant at his position in the middle of the line that he can almost completely remove any up-the-middle runs from opposing teams' gameplans.

Expected Draft Position: Late 1st Round/Early 2nd Round

John Jenkins, Georgia - 6'4", 346lbs

Hold on. Nothing I can say could possibly be as good as this line from Rob Rang's analysis of Jenkins:

STRENGTHS: Built like a Coke machine and is just as difficult to move. Has a wide frame with thick, strong limbs. Good strength and use of leverage (generally) to hold up to double-teams and create a pile. Surprisingly quick off the snap and can split gaps to destroy plays before they've even begun.

A Coke machine! That's awesome. Jenkins is a bit like Jesse Williams, but his draft stock has dropped him all the way into the 3rd Round in a lot of mock drafts and I'm not sure why besides it being a very deep draft for DTs. He's dropped about 20lbs since last playing with the Bulldogs and looks like he's in tremendous shape. Potential sleeper pick.

Expected Draft Position: 2nd Round/3rd Round

Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State - 6'1", 335lbs

Williams has jumped ahead of Jenkins in some mock drafts despite being shorter and viewed as "top-heavy". Williams has good feet, good hands, long arms, excellent upper-body strength and above-average awareness. However, his legs aren't as big or bulky as his upper-body, which has some NFL teams concerned about his ability to hold his own against top-level Guards and Centers. Isn't quick or fast enough to be considered a pass-rushing thread either.

Expected Draft Position: 2nd Round/3rd Round