The Los Angeles Chargers capped off their 2018 NFL Draft class by selecting a backup running back who can compete with Austin Ekeler. The next step is signing undrafted free agents and they are already well underway.
Let’s take a look at the Chargers’ draft class of 2018:
Round 1 (17) DB Derwin James
When James fell to the Chargers at 17, we all held our breath hoping that Tom Telesco and co. would not out think themselves and go another direction. They didn’t and the Chargers ended up with arguably the best defensive player in this year’s draft. He should make a huge impact from day 1.
Round 2 (48) EDGE Uchenna Nwosu
Listening to Gus Bradley describe what he wants from the OTTO in his defense it certainly sounds like he is describing Nwosu. Very few guys are comfortable doing all of the things that Nwosu does. He was also one of the most productive edge rushers in this year’s class.
Round 3 (84) DT Justin Jones
N.C. State’s defensive line was just absurdly talented in 2017 and Jones was a substantial part of that. He is a physically strong player and he is able to play both as a 1 and 3 technique. He is a true 3-down tackle and he was able, at least in college, to play a ton of snaps.
Round 4 (119) - LB Kyzir White
A safety at West Virginia, White will transition to linebacker for the Chargers. He will most likely be asked to play as the Will, but one could also see him taking snaps from Adrian Phillips in the hybrid safety/linebacker role. Either way, look for him to blow up anyone trying to run a crossing route.
Round 5 (155) - C Scott Quessenberry
The positional need isn’t necessarily there this year, but this is planning for the future (or for an injury). Quessenberry is an excellent athlete especially for a center. Just look at that Relative Athletic Score:
With the 155th pick in the #NFLDraft, the #Chargers selected #ScottQuessenberry.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 28, 2018
Quessenberry posted an elite #RAS at the Combine with strong marks everywhere but his broad, which was below average. pic.twitter.com/xprvZdZmyb
Round 6 (191) - WR Dylan Cantrell
Texas Tech’s Cantrell is an excellent athlete. He is more quick than fast, but he is explosive and he moves well. He is also a very willing blocker which is good to see from a later round wide receiver.
Dylan Cantrell tries blocks corners into the dirt every play. pic.twitter.com/DdI2HXloPJ— Jack (@PintOfJack) April 23, 2018
Round 7 (251) - RB Justin Jackson
Jackson is an exciting player for a 7th round pick. He is an excellent athlete. His top comp on mockdraftable is Christian McCaffrey. The Northwestern running back is durable and hard to tackle and he should challenge for touches behind Melvin Gordon, and could reasonably step in and take starter snaps if Gordon were injured again.
My 2018 draft class grade
Chargers Draft: B+
Overall, the Chargers addressed a lot of needs while sacrificing little in the way of draft pick value to do it. You could make a case that Nwosu and Jones were overdrafted, but James was the steal of the draft and White was also projected to go higher. On day 3, Telesco loaded up on athletes who could make a case for playing time this season.
Gus Bradley’s defense looks a lot more like a Gus Bradley defense after this draft, and there isn’t a single Craig Mager in this draft class.
Let us know what you think of the draft haul and vote in the poll.
Grade the Chargers 2018 NFL Draft
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