We are so concerned with what happens at number 3 in the draft, and rightfully so, that we fail to discuss how important the picks at the top of the 2nd and 3rd are. The Chargers need to hit on all 3 of their first picks if they want to be competitive and make the playoffs next year. There's more than 1 draft pick and you can't judge the draft based on what happens at 3. Let's go through some scenarios. This post will look at players that will possibly be targets in the 2nd and 3rd round if the Chargers go Jalen Ramsey in the 1st. I want to try and introduce you to some names we possibly haven't brought up yet.
If Ramsey is the pick
The drop off between Jalen Ramsey and Karl Joseph isn't that much at all. I just don't see every team in the 20's passing up on him. So I'm not counting on him being there. Tom Telesco would have to be smitten over a player from another position to avoid going defensive line for his 1st 2 picks. It's just too big of a need.
3 2nd round DL
Chris Jones, Mississippi State
One of my favorite players in the class. I'd describe him as playing the run, on the way to the QB. The more I watch him, the more I like him.
He's number 98 if you couldn't tell. Ya know, the one in the backfield every play. Getting a pass rushing defensive tackle that has the length, strength and hand placement in the 2nd round would be incredible. Let's pray he falls if so.
Jonathan Bullard, Florida
Arguably the best run defending defensive lineman in the draft. You know how bad the run defense is and Bullard's explosiveness off of the snap gives him tons of pass rush upside. I'm not concerned about his weight considering his arm length and he'll be playing as a defensive tackle the majority of the time in nickel, anyways.
Kenny Clark, UCLA
Why is nobody talking about this guy, seriously?
Watched UCLA DT Kenny Clark and I wouldn't say he's the weakest DT in the draft pic.twitter.com/GgkkzSO302— KP (@KP_Show) January 12, 2016
Personally have him ranked 21st overall in the draft and honestly I feel like I'm underrating him considering he's a baby (only 20 years old) and hasn't developed a consistent pass rush move. He will bullrush your offensive lineman back into the QB, though. He's a very aware player that should not be as explosive as he is for a 315 pound man.
Surprise in the 2nd? No way
Michael Thomas, Ohio State
Say he gets past the Browns. The Chargers met with him multiple times, including right after his pro day, per Tony Pauline. I realize they just signed Travis Benjamin but I'm also convinced Stevie Johnson isn't in their long term plans due to his contract and his play last year.
Mike Thomas is 1a route runner in the class. His head fakes/jab steps are everything. Creates so much separation pic.twitter.com/Nf7l6kgQpZ— KP (@KP_Show) April 12, 2016
He's the 1a route runner in this class. He's more explosive than credited for. I love the way he sets up his routes. If this happens it is a pure best player available pick and will shock fans. I wouldn't be mad, honestly.
Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Using a top pick like this on a developmental player is going to drive me insane but I would not put it past this organization at all. Spriggs is a former tight end and you can tell. Athletically he is explosively and has no issue in space. It's impressive how he reaches defenders a full gap over. You can tell he has potential. At this time he's not really a power player and his technique needs work. I wish he finished better as a run defender. This would be rich for me but I can see the appeal.
Best player available in the 3rd
Christian Westerman, IOL, Arizona State
I don't even know if he's viewed as the best guard in the draft but he should be.
Westerman OG1 pic.twitter.com/1vflhFdoJR— KP (@KP_Show) April 24, 2016
At 298 pounds I wonder if teams consider him at center. Watching Westerman, it's almost comical seeing pass rushers trying to get by this dude. They can't. I see interior lineman overreact and lose to speed rush moves, that's not the case with Westerman. He's probably the most patient offensive lineman in the draft. Then you see him on the move and connect at the second level and you can't help but think he'll be a stud at the next level. 1-on-1 I'd like to see him run his feet on contact in the run game and get better movement, but at the same time, he's not losing. You do see good movement with him when it comes to double teams and down blocks.
Westerman is one of the more sound players among all the offensive line in this draft. Everything is in-sync with him from his hands to his feet. I have a hard time seeing him not excelling at the next level. On talent alone, Westerman belongs in the top 30 in this draft.
Shon Coleman, Auburn, OT
My 1st exposure to Coleman was not very good and I just stopped watching him. I came back a couple weeks later and saw some traits I really liked. You can see how strong he is on down blocks or when defenders try to bullrush him. Especially when his hands are so wide, which is a bad thing, and he's still anchoring. For 2 games he was fine climbing to the 2nd level and looked fine in space. Then against Bama's Reggie Ragland he would lunge and whiff. That happened 3 or 4 times. Coleman is a tough eval based on what he's asked to do but for the most part he didn't get beat in pass protection. You could see where he would be beaten by a pass rusher that had any sort of counter, but he didn't. It'll be interesting to see how Coleman develops in the NFL. I have Coleman ranked 43rd in the class but late 2nd, early 3rd should be his range.
Austin Hooper, Stanford, TE
I'm not even sure if Hooper was a starter last year but in the games I watched he was effective and I could see the team viewing him as a successor to Antonio Gates. Hooper is a "fine" blocker which is a massive upgrade. He also is very good at using his body to shield defenders and make contested catches.
unloading 's all day. Austin Hooper=Fine blocker that can make contested/tough catch.Has to improve at top of route pic.twitter.com/mSxaDKtNwU— KP (@KP_Show) April 12, 2016
Hooper could do a better job of selling his routes but has enough athleticism to win at multiple levels. Going Ramsey, then 1 of the 3 DL above, I wouldn't mind this pick.
Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State
I can already see you rolling your eyes but the team has done it's due diligence on the position and Jones was the most recent.
He also met with the team after his pro day. I wouldn't agree with picking a quarterback with a value pick like this considering El Captain hasn't missed a meaningful down in 9 years. Here is the best way to describe Jones.
Cardale would drive me nuts as a play-caller. If I was both the OC & DC pic.twitter.com/R1VAYgPkD5— KP (@KP_Show) April 12, 2016
Could this be the 1st real surprise of the draft?
Kamalei Correa, Boise State, LB
It's like Kyle Van Noy all over again from a few years ago where you don't know what his true position is in the NFL but he's athletic enough where you think he'll be fine. I would play Correa in space instead of having him coming off the edge. I know he racked up numbers but I'm not sure he knows what he's doing as a pass rusher. I could see him being a better blitzer and he showed he can play underneath in coverage. Correa was actually quite impressive there for a guy his size. He can really run and the team needs speed at the 2nd level. He's a name to keep an eye on. Personally, I would convert him to inside linebacker and let him run and chase.