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San Diego Chargers: 2015 NFL Draft Grades

Richard Wade looks at what people are saying about the Chargers draft now that all of the picks are in.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


AFC West draft grades: Melvin Gordon powers Chargers to top of class - Rob Rang
The trade up for Gordon left the Chargers with only five picks, but few clubs made more improvements with a limited number of selections. Inside linebacker Denzel Perryman is the best traditional run-stuffing thumper in this class and defensive tackle Darius Philon flashes. Small-schoolers Craig Mager and Kyle Emanuel dominated their level of competition, with the Texas State cornerback ranking as one of my favorite Diamond in the Rough prospects.


2015 NFL Draft grades: Jaguars, Falcons win the draft - Dan Kadar
The Chargers got two players who will challenge for Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards. Gordon is going to be a productive player on offense and Perryman will wrack up tackles on defense. Playing at a lower level, Emanuel was highly productive, which want to see. He's moving to linebacker, and has the motor to do it. He's going to be an asset on special teams. The issue with this draft class is a lack of an offensive lineman.

2015 NFL Draft Grades: Cowboys might, might have gotten a steal - John McDonnell
Although it has become clear that an opening-round selection isn't required in today's NFL to get a useful runner, San Diego at least used a lower first-rounder than the Rams used for Todd Gurley and, in the Chargers' case, there was a bit of a drop-off from Gurley and Gordon to the draft's next tier of running backs. The Chargers also added a tackling machine in second-round LB Denzel Perryman. San Diego definitely improved at those positions, although they are not the most crucial positions in today's pass-first league.

2015 NFL Draft Grades: San Diego Chargers - Will Osgood
The Denzel Perryman pick is another story entirely. Many analysts love the pick because they love the player. I do not. Perryman looks lost on the field when the film is observed. He seemingly floats, but not very quickly. Other than the fact he’s built well for a linebacker, there are no redeeming qualities about him.


2015 NFL draft grades - Chris Burke & Doug Farrar
The Chargers found talent with each of their remaining four picks (fifth-round outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel's a pass-rushing sleeper). However, one could argue they did not need Denzel Perryman at No. 45. Manti Te'o and Donald Butler are still in tow, though Butler did struggle through an injury-hampered 2014. And a comparable talent to cornerback Craig Mager probably would have been there later. He's a physical specimen but needs to be coached up.

2015 NFL Draft: Quick-snap grades for AFC teams - Bryan Fischer
Gordon is a top-tier running back and fills a badly needed void for the Chargers. That part of the equation made sense. Trading a fourth- and fifth-round pick to move up two spots was questionable, even with talk of the Houston Texans having interest in Gordon at pick No. 16. Plus, there are a number of good options they could have grabbed on Day 2. It's tough to argue against Gordon in powder blue, but the price was a little steep. Perryman will solidify the linebacking corps for years to come, and the Chargers were lucky he fell this far. He'll be terrific on first and second down. Mager can develop into a quality corner, but he's very raw, and it might be a while before he pans out -- a bit of a reach in the third.

Mel Kiper's 2015 NFL Draft Grades - Mel Kiper Jr.
I think Darius Philon was a great get that late just because I thought he was one of the best players available for quite a while. I would have really liked to see the Chargers add some fresh legs at either wide receiver or tight end, given some of the age on the roster at those positions, and nose tackle was a need that wasn't addressed. They did get some really good players, though. The pressure is on Gordon to prove he was worth the lofty slot for a RB.

John McClain’s 2015 NFL Draft report cards - John McClain
They traded up to get running back Melvin Gordon III, who’ll be an instant success as a rookie and make Philip Rivers want to sign an extension. Linebacker Denzel Perryman is a tackling machine who should make an immediate impact.

2015 NFL Draft Grades: Jags, Dolphins, Ravens, Cardinals score highest - Pete Prisco
Questionable move: Corner Craig Mager, their third-round pick, is a raw prospect who might need time to develop. It's a little high for him. Third-day gem: Fifth-round pick Kyle Emanuel, an outside linebacker, showed some pass rush ability at North Dakota State. This will be a jump in competition, but he has talent.

Draft 2015: AFC Draft Grades - Evan Silva
Inside thumper Perryman was a crucial addition to a Chargers defense that couldn't stop the run last year. He'll make overpaid Donald Butler expendable sooner rather than later. Mager lacked pre-draft buzz, but offers requisite size, explosiveness, and tackling ability to develop into an NFL starter at cornerback or safety. 2014 Buck Buchanan Award winner Emanuel is a cross between Rob Ninkovich and Kroy Biermann as a high-motor defender with much better athletic ability than billed. Even on down to Philon -- a sub-rusher prospect with upside -- Telesco did well with all of his picks. I still wanted to see him grab at least one quality offensive lineman and an upgrade at nose tackle.


2015 NFL Draft Team Grades - Walte Cherepinsky
The Chargers came away from this draft with a couple of decent potential starters next season in Gordon and Perryman, but I wasn't a major fan of the class because the front office neglected the offensive line entirely. Rivers struggled last year because of pass-protection issues, and those now figure to linger in 2015.


2015 NFL Draft Picks: Full List of Results and Grades Following Rounds 4-7 - Timothy Rapp
Melvin Gordon is an electrifying talent who fits perfectly in this offense. Denzel Perryman is a tackling machine and likely a Day 1 starter at linebacker. Craig Mager will bolster depth in secondary. Four of five picks were on defense, so Philip Rivers will largely have to do with the offensive unit he had a year ago. Failing to bolster offensive line with young talent could prove to be an oversight.

2015 NFL Draft Grades: Report Cards for All 32 GMs - Ty Schalter
If Gordon is a stud, this draft class could look great. If not, giving up the value to move up for Gordon turned it into an unremarkable five-pick need draft.


Team-by-team NFL Draft grades: AFC - David J. Neal
The Chargers must really believe in Melvin Gordon as a transformative player. Rookie running back, aging quarterback and not shoring up the line? That’ll hurt. Possibly Gordon.