Just like we did for Jalen Ramsey, let's look at some options on what direction the Chargers will go after that. I'm not going to pretend that I'm plugged in, but I feel pretty confident that Deforest Buckner is the selection. Numerous rumors have been spread that he's been their number 1 player on their board and that the team is desperate for defensive lineman. If I were a betting man, I'd push all my chips in on this pick. I also asked my 3-year-old this morning, and she said "the guy that wears green" so that pretty much seals the deal. Let's look at some options.
Karl Joseph is going in the 1st round.
Ryan Kelly is going in the 1st round.
Get those fantasies out of your head; they won't be there.
Do they double down?
In a draft allegedly loaded with defensive lineman and the Chargers needing capable bodies, especially in the long run since Brandon Mebane is a1-yearr contract essentially, does the team double down? Would that surprise you? We know general manager Tom Telesco loves linebackers in the 2nd round. We also know he loves production. Here are three names to keep an eye on.
A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Robinson is about as ideal as it gets for a 3-4 defensive end when it comes to stopping the run. He's a fantastic run defender and does a great job at holding his ground at the point of attack. If Telesco is truly about up transforming his run defense, then Mebane, Buckner, and Robinson would be 1 hell of a start. This is a bit rich for me when it comes to Robinson on the strength of him not being that good as a pass rusher. Even in the 30's I would like for him to be further along than he is at getting after the quarterback. I can't project upside if I haven't seen it yet.
Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
He's 6'4, 273 pounds, ran a 4.63 40 yard dash, jumped 35.5" in the vertical and over 10 feet in the broad jump. Ogbah's 40/10 yard split put him in the 92nd percentile. The explosion is obvious. As for his production he was second in the FBS last year in sacks and won the Big-12's defensive lineman of the year. The accolades are there as well. When you watch him though you're surprised at any of the things I just said. I would say he was the beneficiary of some clean up sacks this past year. I wouldn't touch him because I don't think he has any sort of pass rush moves at this point. He doesn't play with his hair on fire so that alone might shy Telesco away, but the numbers he'll love.
Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
Spence killed all of his buzz after the Senior Bowl when he went out an ran a 4.8 40. He had the exact same broad and vertical as Ogbah but did so at 22 pounds lighter. So adjusting for density that isn't nearly as impressive. On the field as an FCS player, Spence did exactly what he was supposed to. Dominate the competition. He did the same against Kentucky and at the Senior Bowl. The question is will it take Spence a year to adjust against NFL talent. Does he have the play strength to hold up as an every down run defender? Teams ran at him at the FCS level with easy success. It will be much harder in the NFL. The good news is Spence does play with the energy of a toddler who just injected 24 ounces of sugar into his veins and has the pass rush skills to help early on. I can see Telesco doubling down if Spence is there.
I don't think they'll go safety here. I really believe the 2nd round is going to be an off the wall pick.
Vonn Bell, Ohio State
Personally, there are 3 centerfielders better than Bell, and I'm not sure Deandre Houston-Carson isn't a better center-fielder, either. Going back to what Telesco looks for in production and Bell has it. This past year Bell was 2nd team all Big-10 but the year prior is where he really made a name for himself where he had 92 tackles, 6 interceptions and 6 pass breakups. Bell ran a 4.51 at his pro day but I don't think he plays that fast. I didn't see a second gear when watching Bell. This is a bit rich for me. I wish he was more physical and stronger at the catch point. But I do love his playmaking ability and he has a nose for the football you can't deny. Scouts always remember how you played in the playoffs and Bell was a terror in each of the last 3 years.
Developmental Offensive Tackle?
La'Raven Clark, Texas Tech
He is Lance Zierliens 4th overall tackle. There have been rumblings that he is going to go a lot higher than a lot of us think because offensive line coaches think they can work with a guy that is 6'5, 316 pounds and with his frame and length. I wouldn't fault you for taking Lance's word over mine considering who his dad is but I will tell you what I saw. Clark is horrendous and has a ton of work to do if he is going to see the field in the NFL let alone start. He's not quick, he cannot change directions. His technique is spotty at best and he can't handle speed rushers. Hard pass but the egos of offensive line coaches are real.
Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M
Another player with a massive frame that coaches will feel like they can correct his technique. I like Ifedi more than Clark but that's not really a compliment. Ifedi is stronger and he played both guard and tackle so I could see the appeal. He also is a better finisher has a little nastiness in him so I wouldn't hate this pick. Ideally it's in the 4th but with the premium on the position if you don't grab Ifedi at the top of the 2nd you won't see him in the 3rd.
Third Round names
Yessssss. Do you really think Telesco will go 3 rounds without drafting a linebacker? Please.
Josh Perry, Ohio State
He's number 37 in the clip below.
Josh Perry showed some good things against Michigan pic.twitter.com/RA2TcmdiyJ— KP (@KP_Show) April 12, 2016
Perry ran a 4.68 40 but that clearly doesn't matter to Telecso based on his previous 2 inside linebacker selections. He was 1st team all Big-10 and right now he's a better linebacker than his teammate who is going to go in the 1st round. He might be repetitive with Denzel Perryman on the roster as that would give them 2 thumpers but Perry is aware enough in underneath coverage where I think he could hold up.
Su'a Cravens, USC
He's more of a hybrid safety/linebacker that would be the 1 player I would not be mad at if Telesco traded up into the 2nd if he were to fall. He tested poorly from an athletic standpoint but he is a fantastic football player. Adding Cravens continues the theme of transforming your run defense and a Buckner/Cravens stack is a very good draft. Cravens gives you flexibility in your nickel defense as well.
put Su'a Cravens around the LOS & let him blow sh*t up. That's where he'll cook.But he can cover, too. He's a player pic.twitter.com/dLSgONpfmM— KP (@KP_Show) January 22, 2016
Cravens is fun.
Jatavis Brown, Akron
San Diego brought in brown for a visit. He can flyyyyyyy. He is an undersized linebacker at 227 but you're taking him to help you out on passing downs and in space. He ran a 4.44 40 yard dash at his combine. This video below tells you all you need to know about his closing.
Jatavis Brown Akron LB is fast and explosive pic.twitter.com/GxYTYU6u9H— Craig Medeiros (@craigmedy) April 14, 2016
He could have better instincts and at his size you can imagine him being swallowed up by bigger lineman but boy, he can run and hit. As you see in the vine above he does fight and fight to finish. You love to see that.
The top tight end
Hunter Henry, Arkansas
If the Chargers are intent on helping their quarterback and running back nabbing Henry if available at the top of the 3rd is a good option. He'd be the best run blocking tight end they've had in ever. As a receiver Arkansas used Henry on multiple routes and he was able to get open on all of them. I don't think he dropped a pass, either. I wish he was a step or so more explosive and better at the top of his routes but that's getting nit-picky with Henry. He's good. Period.