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Defensive Draft Sleepers

The two Podcasters take their draft ideas off the airwaves and put them down in this article.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of talk about the first three rounds of this year's draft and deservedly so, the Chargers really need to hit their picks in the first two Days, if not for the team but for the fanbase that'll be put to vote in November. While the article now will get more comments on the stadium issue than these selections both Jamie and I have put down our sleepers in this year's draft. These are some defensive players that will most likely will go in Rounds 4-7 but have some traits that each of us like. Here is your cheat sheet and also some names to remember when the Chargers draft in Day 3:



Justin Simmons - Boston College

If you listen to the Podcast the obvious name is DeAndre Houston-Carson but he's no longer a sleeper so it's Justin Simmons who is a Day 2 talent projected to go somewhere in Day 3 and is also is starting to climb draft boards. Great at tracking the ball, playing his angles and can line-up anywhere on the field. He is good in the box, especially in the run game. When pursuing ball carriers, he has the ability to shed blockers, set the edge and make a play. He never missed a game in college, playing a total of 45 games and is one the best tackling Safeties in this class.


Tevin Carter - Utah

Carter is a Day 3 safety prospect with the makings of an intimidating box safety. He is an aggressive and physical tackler who demonstrates good change of direction and route anticipation. He attacks and undercuts short and underneath routes, rarely misses a tackle and does his best work within 10-15 yards of the line of scrimmage as an extra run defender. Could help on special teams right away and earn time at safety with development.



Deiondre' Hall - UNI

The 2015 Missouri Valley "Defensive Player of the Year," Hall recorded 13 interceptions in the last three years and touched the paint at least once a season in that time. It can hurt him at times but he plays with the all around physical swagger you love to see in your corners in both the run and the pass. He's also versatile enough that he played both Cornerback and Safety at Northern Iowa.


DJ White - Georgia Tech

White is a tough, scrappy corner who fights his tail off for every inch on the football field. He plays slot and outside, is technically sound and always seems to be running stride for stride with his man. DJ will probably fall to late day two or early day three because of a lack of elite athleticism, but his technique and competitive nature will make him an immediate contributor in the slot with the upside of a #2 corner based on his instincts and ball skills.

Inside Linebacker:


Blake Martinez - Stanford

Not a great ILB Class but there is some value, Martinez being one of them. He's is great at being able to sift through the trash and avoiding oncoming blockers while pursuing ball carriers. Not very quick but relies on instincts to shoot gaps and is a solid tackler, finished with back-to-back 100 tackle seasons.


Antonio Morrison - Florida

Based on talent and instincts alone, Morrison is this year's Denzel Perryman. Antonio is the best ILB in this class when it comes to reading, reacting and attacking ball carriers. He has the best first step in this class, is always coming downhill, locates the ball well and always finishes emphatically. Seems to be in on every tackle and lives in the opposing backfield. He is an early day two talent who will probably last into day three due to some off-field concerns.

Outside Linebacker:


Victor Ochi - Stony Brook

Effective bend around the edge paired with violent hands. Ochi is relentless, getting a lot of his tackles/sacks by just playing until the whistle is blown and chasing guys down. Played mostly End in college but did spend a lot of time standing up as well, best suited as an Outside linebacker in the NFL.


Victor Ochi - Stony Brook

College defensive end with athleticism and bend to play OLB at the next level. Ochi wins matchups with his quick first step and outstanding hand usage and is able to use his unusually long arms to keep blockers from getting inside his pads. He plays beyond the whistle, is relentless in pursuit and knows how to finish. Victor is a late day two or early day three prospect who will be used as a situational rusher to start and will have to learn how to cover.

Defensive End:


Ronald Blair - Appalachian St

Blair won the Sun Belt Conference "Defensive Player of the Year" award last year after posting 70 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Power rusher who you can line up as an End in the run game or can kick inside and rush the passer. Quick feet with initial burst off the line of scrimmage and savvy enough to set up Offensive Lineman with multiple pass rush moves.


Jihad Ward - Illinois

College 5-technique who kicked inside to 3-technique in sub-packages. Ward has a very lean and athletic frame with room to grow and plays with impressive effort. His feet never stop moving and he is always coming in pursuit. He uses his length and athleticism to scrape along the line of scrimmage to blow up running plays from the backside. Will require some development but will creep into the latter portion of Day 2 due to his length and athleticism.

Defensive Tackle:


Hassan Ridgeway - Texas

Ridgeway moves smooth for a giant 303 lbs man but is also an immovable force in the interior. Always looking through blockers to get into the backfield and trusts what he sees to diagnose quickly. He's an aggressive tackler with stone hands who will outperform his draft spot.


Javon Hargrave - South Carolina State

Built like a fire hydrant at 6'1", 309, and uses his snap count anticipation and elite first step to knife through gaps and blow up running plays.  Hargrave does a nice job of anchoring and using his long arms to clog running lanes and make plays. Will need major technical development; he needs to keep his feet moving and develop his ability to shed blockers. Should be a steal as an early or mid day 3 pick.

Offensive sleepers coming tomorrow.