The Chargers still have quite a few holes left, most notably at safety and offensive line. Thankfully, there are still quite a few players left at both of those areas, so let’s take a look at who the best options are for the Chargers in round 2. I even threw in a defensive lineman for Kyle Posey’s sake.
Forrest Lamp - The main reason the majority of the NFL believes Lamp is a better fit at guard is because his arms are short. News flash... his arms are the same length as Joe Thomas’ arms. I just can’t buy into him not having long enough arms. I don’t really believe two inches makes a huge difference, especially when Lamp tested so well at the combine. He ran a 5.0 forty time (4th), benched 225 thirty-four times (2nd), placed fourth in the broad jump at 111 inches, placed just out of the top 5 in the 3 cone drill (by literally less than a hundredth of a second). Point is, the guy moves very well. I think his quick feet will more than make up for his “short” arms in the NFL. And guess what? Even if he doesn’t perform at a pro-bowl level at Tackle, the Chargers can kick him into Guard, where he’ll be one of the most athletic guards in recent history. If you were thinking about arguing how well that turned out for Fluker, eat these numbers. If Fluker entered this year, Fluker would have been 22nd in 40 time (5.31), would have placed 31st in 20-yard shuttle (compared to Lamp’s 7th), and here’s the big one. Fluke benched 225 only 21 times. Out of 60 O-linemen in the draft on NFL.com, that would rank 9th worst. The guy is stronger, faster, and smarter than Fluker, and the Chargers can have him at 38. What’s not to like? Pro Football focus graded him as the best pass-blocking left tackle in all of college football in 2016. His grade that he earned was an efficiency rating of 99.1, where he didn’t allow a sack, and only allowed 5 pressures in 403 pass blocking attempts. In a league where you put up or shut up, Lamp can put up.
Cam Robinson - If you are hung up on the arm size thing, take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum with Cam Robinson, who has 35.5-inch arms. Wow. I’m totally not rolling my eyes right now at how pointless a measurement that is. Remember how everyone said Ingram had short arms? And now everyone wants to pay him lots of money to t-rex his way towards the quarterback? Anyways... I got off topic. He’s bigger and taller than Lamp, and it shows a bit in his numbers. He’s .15 seconds slower in the 40-yard dash (still in the top 10), was less explosive in jumping drills (placing 14th in the broad jump), and the same in the 3 cone drill. While all these numbers are a lot less impressive than Lamp’s, the tape shows that he is a solid prospect at Tackle or Guard. My thought is that he fits better on the right side, where he can play to his strengths.
Budda Baker - An undersized but very athletic S, Budda Baker has the “range” to cover the whole field as a centerfielder and has good ball skills. He’s only 5’10 which makes him one of the shorter guys this early, but he’s got all the instincts and tackling abilities you expect from a starting FS in the league. If you take some time to read Kyle Posey’s article on Budda, you’ll see a guy who gives 100% effort on every play, blitzes like no one’s business and has the coverage skills to be a corner too. If the Chargers want a guy who will impact every single play, always be around the ball, and have a fiery energy that shows on the field, Budda Baker is their guy. He is my pick for who I want in the 2nd round.
Obi Melifonwu - Melifonwu is an absolute freak of nature. He is much bigger than Budda Baker, but ran faster in the 40, benched more, jumped higher, and farther than Baker. He is everything that we would love Dexter McCoil to be. He has good ball skills (6 INTs over the last two seasons), has a huge frame to be able to take on TEs and HBs, and Kyle Posey likes him too. Kyle shows that Obi is a fantastic run defender, making big hits when needed. Where he struggles a bit is in coverage but has the speed and reaction skills to make up for it. Obi Melifonwu is a phenomenal safety and would be a great pick for the Chargers. He’s still improving his freakish athletic ability and should be someone to watch for come Sundays.
Malik McDowell - KP’s favorite player in the draft, it’s hard to argue against McDowell in the 2nd round. Considered to have one of the highest upsides in the entire draft, McDowell could be a steal at 38. If he plays to his potential and makes the effort we saw in bursts throughout his time in college, he can be a destructive player to opposing offenses. Kyle (and many others) would have gladly picked him at #7, and having him available at 38 would put a huge smile on many Chargers’ fans faces. He’s still raw and has a lot to work on in terms of footwork, but could be a huge force in the league. Isn’t that what you want from your 2nd round pick?