Well, that was fun while it lasted. I’m of course talking about the hope that San Diego can go on a magical New York Giants type run to back into the playoffs. The Chargers pretty much got eliminated from playoff contention after another fourth quarter collapse, this time against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If Chargers fans are looking for some fun and entertaining football for the remainder of the year, then they should look no further to the college football bowl season. Tis the season where big time players make big time plays. Fans and management will turn their attention to see how these prospects perform when they are in the limelight. Here are some prospects that Chargers fans and GM Tom Telesco need to take a long hard look at for next years draft.
JAMAL ADAMS, SAFETY, LSU
Fans are still bitter and upset at the loss of San Diego’s former All Pro safety, Eric Weddle. Weddle moved onto Baltimore and is consistently being ranked among the top 5 at his position by Pro Football Focus. To make matters worse, the Chargers play at safety has severely declined with the departure of Weddle. Fans are already pounding the table for Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, but San Diego will be smart to pass on the Wolverine’s money backer. Sure he is a great athlete, but there are questions about how his talent will translate to the NFL.
A more prudent selection for Tom Telesco would be Jamal Adams, the safety out of LSU. At 6’1”, 213 lbs., Adams has the prototypical size of a strong safety. Not only are his measureables ideal, but his style of play is as well. In 2015, Adams showed his tremendous versatility, with 67 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 4 interceptions. As for this year, the junior safety pretty much replicated his performance for the prior year with 70 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 1 sack. Adams has proved to be an intimidating force along the line of scrimmage and has also displayed elite coverage skills as he shut down both the bigger wide receivers and tight ends of the SEC (O.J. Howard and Evan Ingram were held to a combine 4 catches). This year, Adams really improved on his man coverage to add to his superb zone coverage skills. Fans need to stop falling for the hype of Jabrill Peppers, and need to get on the Jamal Adams, aka the “Money Badger” train as he is the best safety in this upcoming years’ class.
RYAN RAMCZYK, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, WISCONSIN
It is no secret that San Diego needs help along the offensive line. King Dunlap will be 32 years old next year and will have a long injury history which includes numerous concussions. And while there aren’t an abundance of elite prospects at the offensive tackle position in next years draft; there is one player that jumps out off the screen, Ryan Ramczyk. The Wisconsin Badger tackle has the length and technique to be successful in the NFL. Ramczyk plays with a real nasty streak which is evident innhis run blocking. The Division III transfer has consistently received elite run blocking grades from Pro Football Focus throughout the year, even to the point where he was graded as the third highest running blocking tackle. However, Ramczyk is not one of those powerful plodders that succeed in run blocking and struggle in pass protection. Ramczyk has shown elite movement skills and is extremely fluid in pass protection. It’s these attributes that has led the Badgers starting left tackle to keep both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive ends in the Big Ten at bay. There was a point in the season where Ramczyk failed to allow a single pressure in over 100 pass protecting snaps. Everyone is declaring Cam Robinson as the top offensive tackle off the board in next years draft because the success he has had in the SEC. It shouldn’t catch anyone by surprise if Ramczyk leap frogs him in the draft and finds himself in Southern California.
COREY DAVIS, WIDE RECEIVER, WESTERN MICHIGAN
Travis Benjamin has been a disappointment for the San Diego Chargers so far. And while Tyrell Williams has been a nice story for San Diego this year, it is fair to assume that the undrafted wide receiver will regress next year. Tom Telesco could look to add another play maker for Rivers and the name that will excite fans is Mike Williams, the wide receiver out of Clemson. However, Williams will most likely be selected before the Chargers on the clock (looking at you Tennessee).
Another player to watch this bowl season is the receiver out of Western Michigan, Corey Davis. Critics will be quick to point out the level of competition Davis has faced throughout his college career. Pay no attention to these experts. At 6’3”, 220lbs, Davis would be a huge target for Philip Rivers. Davis is not only a big physical receiver, but he is also fast enough to be a vertical threat as well. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report declared that Davis is also this years best route runner among all of the wide receivers he has studied. And if that wasn’t enough, Davis also has the production to go along with his physical traits. The last 2 years, Davis has averaged 90 receptions and 1400 yards, and this year he has hauled in 18 touchdowns. It’s important to see how Davis plays against Wisconsin in this years Cotton Bowl. Davis could be next years Michael Thomas, a good wide out that should have gone in the first round but foolishly slipped into the second round.
These are just a couple of prospects San Diego fans need to keep an eye on this Bowl season. Comment below on other players/position you would like to see the Chargers and Bolts from the Blue to target and we will write a follow up to this article.