Here we are. Finally under that one week mark before the 2019 NFL Draft.
Here’s to hoping that nothing stands in your way this week that will cause it to drag on and on.
Let’s wake up everyday, get that bread, and let time just tick away before one of the most exciting weekends of the calendar year.
Just like the last two posts, here are four more players that I believe the Chargers should take a serious look at once the first four rounds have come and gone.
OT Dennis Daley - South Carolina
Daley is one of the more interesting offensive linemen in this draft due to the fact I’ve seen his draft stock get talked up into day two while also seeing him firmly in many pundits’ day three selections.
His evaluations are all over the place. But one thing that everyone can get behind when it comes to Daley is that he certainly looks the part and has the experience playing against some of the top talent while in the SEC.
Winning ugly >>>>>>> losing. Something @BrandonThornNFL and I have always talked about with OL. Gotta be able to win when a play goes to hell once in awhile. Dennis Daley keeps fighting despite messing up snap count pic.twitter.com/lL39b7W1Dp— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 22, 2018
The former JUCO All-American is a good looking 324 pounds on a 6-foot-6 frame. He is still a slight work-in-progress as he only spent two seasons playing ball in South Carolina. Out of high-school, Daley attended the Georgia Military Academy for a pair of seasons where he was name the 18th-best overall junior college prospect and the 3rd-best offensive tackle in the country by ESPN.
The good thing to note is that he was noticeably better at the end of the season than he was to start it, which shows he can put in the work. Although some say he gave up far too many sacks, Daley was still invited to the Senior Bowl following the season. Another good sign when it comes to potential Chargers targets. If he falls this far, the team could do a lot worse if they’re still fishing for OL depth.
WR Damarkus Lodge - Ole Miss
One of the bigger household names among wide receivers that will likely find himself falling due to being overshadowed by two of the top wide receivers in this class that happened to play with him on the same offense.
Lodge has been a consistent player and producer with the Rebels since he played sparingly as a true freshmen in 2015. In his sophomore campaign, Lodge received his first and only start of the season, contributing 15 catches for 203 yards and a pair of touchdowns. THe very next season, Lodge took things up a notch by hauling in 41 passes, passing the 700-yard receiving mark, and tying for second on the team with seven touchdown grabs.
When teammate and future first-round pick D.K. Metcalf was lost for most of the 2018 season, Lodge saw his responsibility and workload sore. While trying to keep the offense as explosive as ever, Lodge finished the year with 65 catches for 877 and just four touchdowns. His averages of 79.7 receiving yards and 5.9 catches per game were both good for 3rd in the SEC.
At 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, Lodge possesses adequate size for the position. His film looks like he can really run as he is constantly beating defenders up the sideline and running around them, but his 4.55 forty suggest that may not be the case at the next level.
Lodge will likely be a more nuanced route-runner than most in this class as that’s where he will need to succeed in the NFL. And honestly, who’s better to learn that art form from than the Keenan Allen? I think he knows a thing or two about getting open.
DT Greg Gaines - Washington
I got put onto Gaines well over a year ago when he was still playing next to Vita Vea in that amazing Husky defensive line from 2017. I was watching their game against Stanford and it just looked like such a rough day for RB Bryce Love and that offensive line. At one point, Gaines and Vea were pretty much meeting at the QB at the same time over and over again.
I knew this kid was definitely going to be worth keeping an eye on if he returned to school.
With the departure of Vea to the NFL, Gaines was stuck with a little more attention than he would have liked. However, that didn’t stop him from setting career-highs in total tackles, sacks, and even collecting his first career interception.
Greg Gaines is stronger than you pic.twitter.com/o6fSAvBeOf— Magnus Bendixen (@BendixenNFL) March 28, 2019
The strength and motor that Gaines possesses is definitely what you want in you defensive linemen. His mark of 30 reps on the bench press was one of the top performances of the combine and the film is littered with reps of him refusing to go backwards. But sometimes that motor is what gets him in trouble. Too often, offensive linemen will understand he wants to penetrate as fast possible and will therefore gameplan around his aggressiveness, letting him take himself out of the play.
He’s more than worth a day three flier to me, but will likely find himself always stuck in a rotational role.
LB Ben Burr-Kirven - Washington
Burr-Kirven is a name that I didn’t hear until it was very late into the draft season. The craziest part is, how did I not hear about a guy who totaled 176 tackles in a single season? That’s just unheard of to me. He was sure to stuff the stat sheet in other areas as well, collecting 5.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks, two interceptions, six passes defended, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in his final season at Washington.
Burr-Kirven, or BBK, as most call him, is on the small side for a middle linebacker at 6-foot-0 and 230 pounds. It’s his size that plays into his wheelhouse, though, as he displays some excellent closing speed on the field.
Again, he's able to get through traffic here and drop the ball carrier before he can turn the corner and get upfield. When he stays clean, he has great ability to make the sure tackle in the open field. When he stays clean... pic.twitter.com/2GmZhcvvxG— Fantasy Outlaw (@FantasyOutlaw) April 17, 2019
At the combine, BBK was able to back up the speed he plays with by posting a 4.56 forty-yard dash, a 6.85 3-cone, and a 4.09 short shuttle. Those last two are especially nice to see in a guy that likes to play sideline to sideline.
And this is just a shot in the dark, but the Chargers don’t usually mind taking guys that are on the smaller side at the linebacker position.