The 2018 NFL Draft is in the books and that, of course, means it is time for draft grades.
Before that, though, here are the players the Chargers selected:
Chargers draft class of 2018
- Florida State DB Derwin James
- USC EDGE Uchenna Nwosu
- N.C. State DT Justin Jones
- West Virginia LB Kyzir White
- UCLA C Scott Quessenberry
- Texas Tech WR Dylan Cantrell
- Northwestern RB Justin Jackson
Now, onto the grades.
Paul Kasbian, Bleacher Report: A
From: NFL Draft Grades 2018: Final Results and Team-by-Team Letter Chart
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: B
The Chargers let the draft come to them in the first round, and they got a great player at a need position. Doesn’t get much better than that for a mid-first-round selection. James is fluid, tough, and fast. I don’t understand why he was still available at 17. The team was looking to improve its linebacker situation, and it deemed Nwosu the best option available in the middle of the second round. Will Texas’ Malik Jefferson or Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter -- who were both still on the board -- prove to be better players? Time will tell. They found their nose tackle in the third round, picking Jones. This might have been a little early for him, but we’ll see if he can put it all together to be more than a rotational player. White is a physical player with ball skills. Even after signing Mike Pouncey, the Chargers picked Quessenberry, a sturdy pivot who will start in the future. They did not find any depth at guard or tackle, though, nor a quarterback to compete with Geno Smith and Cardale Jones for a backup spot.
From: 2018 NFL Draft: Final quick-snap grades for all 32 teams
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: B+
It was a quiet offseason for the Chargers, but they have a lot of talent on the roster. This is a team that could win the AFC West in 2018. L.A. got very little out of its 2017 rookie class, mostly due to injuries -- watch out for Mike Williams and Forrest Lamp in 2018. Now they have some possible gems in the 2018 class, too. Derwin James was the steal of Round 1 at 17 -- plug him in at one of the safety spots on Day 1. He’s a bigger defender who’s not afraid to hit and wrap up -- the Chargers allowed a league-worst 4.9 yards per rush last season and tackled terribly on the second level -- and he has the athleticism and range to cover the deep middle of the field.
Uchenna Nwosu (pick 48) is one of the best pure 3-4 edge rushers in this class. He’s going to be good in a situational role with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingramalready on the roster. That wasn’t a need position, but I like that the Chargers went with the best player on the board. Justin Jones at 84 was a reach for me -- I thought he was more of a fifth- or sixth-round pick -- but there weren’t many nose tackles left, and the Chargers had to get one. I like safety Kyzir White (119) and receiver Dylan Cantrell (191) on Day 3. White, the younger brother of Bears’ wideout Kevin White, is a physical player.
From: Mel Kiper’s 2018 NFL draft grades: Best picks, steals, more
Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: above average
Uchenna Nwosu should bring versatility to the Chargers’ defense after playing mostly on the edge at USC. He moves extremely well, posted an 85.1 pass-rush grade last season that included a nation-high 10 batted passes, and he has 317 career snaps dropping into coverage. He provides pass rush depth with the ability to move around the defensive front to create mismatches in subpackages. Justin Jones did his best work in 2016, grading at 84.1 overall, but his 4.1 pass-rush productivity (99th in the draft class) and a 77.9 grade against the run in 2017 is a concern.
From: All 32 NFL team’s 2018 NFL Draft grades
Richard Wade, Bolts From The Blue: 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.
From: Meet the 7 new Los Angeles Chargers players
Grade the Chargers 2018 NFL Draft
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