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2019 Chargers UDFA Profile: NIU DE/LB Josh Corcoran

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Northern Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

One of the more interesting undrafted free agents brought in by the Chargers has got to be former Northern Illinois linebacker/defensive end Josh Corcoran.

At 6-foot-3 and 250+ pounds, Corcoran played on the opposite side of the defensive line with All-American edge rusher Sutton Smith who was ended up being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Smith has been one of the most productive players in the country over the last two years but Corcoran was a force in his own right and had himself a breakout year in 2018.

After combining for 14 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks during his sophomore and junior seasons, Corcoran collected 12.5 tackles behind the line and 10 sacks (second only to his teammate, Smith) during his final collegiate campaign. He was unsurprisingly named a second team All-MAC selection following the season.

It’ll be interesting to see where the team believes is the best place for the ‘tweener. His measurables are the spitting image of Kyle Emanuel and they are essentially going through the same transition from college to the pros. After playing as a true defensive end for the Huskies, Corcoran is currently listed as a linebacker on the team’s online roster. If he is transitioning to a stand-up linebacker, a la Emanuel, then the Chargers may view him as a base strongside linebacker, which is almost irrelevant at this point as the team is rarely in their base personnel, if at all.

The team may also view Corcoran in the same light as Uchenna Nwosu, who played on the edge at USC before playing a bit more off-ball during his rookie season. Nwosu was inevitably placed back around the line of scrimmage late in the season and the decision reaped instant rewards as we all got to witness the his strip-sack of Lamar Jackson to seal the team’s playoff victory at Baltimore.

Corcoran is definitely a player that will have to be placed in the right situation to find success at the next level. When it comes to the Chargers’ defense as of late, the chances of that are fairly high. If Corcoran gets shoved into the off-ball linebacker group, I think he’s got a 0.00% chance of succeeding. If he gets placed in the the same light as Nwosu and he adds some value along the edge, then he might have a shot in hell of sticking around.