Hey, Everyone. Did you miss me?
It feels like its been a minute since my last post but i’m glad to be back with some new material and insight following my eventful week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl.
In between networking, plowing some Alabama BBQ, and not realizing Tom Telesco just walked in front of me, I got to soak in every practice and get a good look at every player there. There was some real talent located in Ladd-Peoples Stadium all week. Several guys who may have played their way into the first round and some that could return some real value in mid to late rounds.
For fun, I’m going to attempt to fix the Chargers’ team needs solely with the players who were invited to Mobile, obviously making it as realistic as possible with minimal reaches.
Are you ready? Because I am.
(Player measurements are official measurements from Seniorbowl.com)
Round 1 - Isaiah Wynn, Offensive Guard, Georgia
Isaiah Wynn has been a left tackle his entire career, going all the way back to when he was an adolescent just beginning to play the game. Despite being pretty undersized for the position (6’2 1⁄2 308 lbs. at the Senior Bowl), Wynn has always displayed the natural athleticism to make up for his lack of mass and length out on the edge. I mean, you aren’t a multi-year starter at left tackle for one of the best teams in the entire country for no reason, right?
This pick is also based on the notion that Anthony Lynn decides to move Forrest Lamp out to right tackle, leaving a hole in the interior that could easily be filled by one of these studs in the stacked guard class.
Georgia guard Isaiah Wynn was dominant in pass protection 1-on-1 drills this week pic.twitter.com/jABKQY2QpG— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 27, 2018
Round 2 - Uchenna Nwosu, Outside Linebacker, USC
Uchenna Nwosu wasn’t a guy I had watched much film on prior to Mobile but he sure left an impression once the week was over. I spent most of my time watching the offensive line while in Mobile and my favorite part of practice is always the OL vs. DL 1v1’s. I got to watch Nwosu go up against some of best tackles that the Senior Bowl had to offer which included Humboldt State’s Alex Cappa and Oregon’s Tyrell Crosby. I saw Nwosu have his way with these gentlemen on more than one occasion, solidifying me as a fan of his game. It also that helps that Nwosu exhibits the necessary versatility to thrive in Gus Bradley’s OTTO role, which is currently held by Kyle Emanuel.
My preference for the OTTO position would be someone with much better athleticism than Emanuel as he struggles mightily in coverage while not offering much as a pass rusher when tasked to do so. Nwosu (6’2 245 lbs.) would offer a better, well-rounded skillset for the position and the defense as a whole.
Uchenna Nwosu had a strong season at the line of scrimmage in 2017 pic.twitter.com/pYy97RcnVd— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 30, 2018
Round 3 - BJ Hill, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina State
Casual fans of college football probably haven’t heard this name a ton. It’s understandable as he plays along the same defensive line as defensive end Bradley Chubb, a potential top-5 draft pick. Besides Chubb, fellow defensive linemen Justin Jones (Senior Bowl) and Kentavious Street (Shrine Game) are also names that have gained some momentum across the all-star games.
At 6’3 3/8 321 lbs., BJ Hill showed an explosive first step which allowed him to put several offensive linemen on skates. An interior pass rush was sorely lacking along the Bolt’s defensive front, as well as an adequate run stuffer. Hill also fits the bill for a nose tackle to come in and be the heir apparent to Brandon Mebane.
Round 4 - Mike White, Quarterback, Western Kentucky
With the big name quarterbacks off the board in a hurry, and a plethora of other needs to be filled with the first several picks, I wanted to take a quarterback in the middle rounds that has a nice combination of experience and potential. Mike White (6’4 1/8 221 lbs.) has the height and resume you would want in a guy who will probably sit for a year or two behind a veteran like Rivers. While watching a former Hilltopper in Forrest Lamp last year, I took notice of White’s command of his offense. He could really spin it, especially with weapons such as Taywan Taylor, a draft pick of the Tennessee Titans last year.
I predicted he would have a solid showing in Mobile to the week. I was actually quite wrong as he struggled throughout the three practices. It wasn’t until the game on Saturday that the Mike White I expected to see showed up. In limited action as the starter for the South squad, White completed 8-of-11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, a red zone strike to UCF wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith.
Round 5 - Jeremy Reaves, Safety, South Alabama
Reaves was lone hometown boy on the Senior Bowl roster this year. He had an uninspiring week of practice but once the bright lights went on in his own university’s stadium, he absolutely seized the moment. Playing most of his snaps in the second half, Reaves helped rout the North Squad by picking off Nebraska’s Tanner Lee to go along with another pass break-up and 8 total tackles.
Reaves is not the most intimidating defender (5’10 5/8 204 lbs.), but he still isn’t afraid to come down into the box to take on much bigger running backs. He made a nice play against Arizona State’s Kallen Ballage (6’2 1/8 222lbs.) in the hole, upending him with a well-placed shoulder to Ballage’s lower body.
Reaves exudes the confidence and instincts team’s want in a play-maker within their secondary. Pending his athletic testing, snagging Reaves in the later rounds could return quite the value.
Round 6 - Braxton Berrios, Wide Receiver, Miami
One of, if not, the smallest player at the Senior Bowl this year. With how many times quarterbacks threw his way, you would think he was much larger than his 5’8 5/8, 177 lbs. frame. I realize this might seem like a wasted pick as we already have a stacked wide receiver room but Berrios would offer some veratility in the return game as well. Special Teams have been a problem on this team for far too long and it wouldn’t be the worst idea to throw a draft pick at a return guy to solve some of those issues. I believe last year’s fifth-round pick Desmond King can still be their guy, but some added competition never hurt anybody.
(This selection also stems from me seeing a member of the Chargers organization meeting with Berrios after a practice this past week.)
Round 7 - Brett Toth, Offensive Tackle, Army
Brett Toth became the first offensive tackle prospect from West Point to be invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl this year. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise if you are aware that West Point runs the triple option offense which bases itself on a 99-1 run vs. pass ratio.
Toth is an interesting prospect as he possesses an athletic, lean frame at 6’5 3⁄4 and 305 lbs. but obviously lacks the experience of pass protection and fundamentals of a traditional run blocker. In the triple option, offensive linemen are in a position closer to a track stance rather than a traditional three-point stance. However, after performing in front of scouts for the Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, Toth took on some of the best defensive linemen in the country and showed he can put it all together if given the chance to work on his craft during a redshirt-esque year. I would be more than willing to throw a last round flyer on someone with the potential of Toth.