Over the past decade, it hasn’t mattered the coach, it hasn’t matter the general manager, and it hasn’t mattered what city the team resides in. The Chargers have constantly needed to fix their offensive line over the past decade. But even after the front office tried to do just that with the acquisition of Trai Turner and the signing of Bryan Bulaga, it has done little to move the needle for the unit.
Tom Telesco hasn’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since D.J. Fluker during his first draft at the helm in 2013. Fluker switched to guard in his second year and is on his fourth team as of 2020.
It’s high time that TT dips back into the position in this year’s draft, even if he can’t draft Oregon’s Penei Sewell.
One option for them could be Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw, who is currently soaring up draft boards as a junior for the Hokies.
The 6’5, 314-pound Darrisaw has been VaTech’s starter on the blindside since he walked on campus back in 2018. He’s got 33 total starts to his name with only one game missed due to injury.
At first glance, Darrisaw has the ideal build for an NFL tackle. He’s long-limbed, a smooth glider on the field, and has flashes of intensity and aggression that gets the blood pumping. His athleticism is apparent on tape and in the clip below, you can see the patience and effort displayed as the lead blocker on a screen pass for a touchdown.
Look at Christian Darrisaw (#77) get all the way down the field while lead blocking this run.— Garrett Ballard (@NflBallard) December 6, 2020
Waits for the screen and leads the entire way. Awesome stuff. pic.twitter.com/hensbx8E5D
Darrisaw also isn’t just an athletic mover. He understands leverage — something he has shown major improvement in over the past two seasons — and has the sheer power to move opposing players out of the way and open up running lanes for his backs. The Hokies’ tailback, Khalil Herbert, is averaging over 100 yards per game and has seven touchdowns on the year thanks to Darrisaw. Here’s one of those seven scores below:
Another great rep from Christian Darrisaw!— Boom or Bust: The Draft Show (@BoomOrBustDraft) December 6, 2020
Working on 5-star recruit and #1 overall prospect Bryan Bresee, Darrisaw opens the hole for Khalil Herbert to walk in untouchedpic.twitter.com/Anevrc9WCN
Finally, I’ll leave you with this clip below of Darrisaw playing against North Carolina. He takes UNC linebacker Chazz Suratt (a future day one/two pick in his own right) for a ride a la The Blind Side all the way down the field before the whistle blows.
Easy to see why @dpbrugler is hearing 1st Round buzz from VaTech OT Christian Darrisaw.— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 11, 2020
Massive, mauling OT with good quickness/balance - big but not sloppy
I think Chazz Surratt will be seeing him in his nightmares. Darrisaw did some good work on 2nd/3rd levels in loss vs UNC pic.twitter.com/qk7Sk94XLG
I haven’t gotten to watch a ton of film on many prospects yet, but Darrisaw is one of the fastest risers across all positions so far this season. Along with Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater and Sewell, this draft class has some serious talent at the top and could end up pushing this past year’s class a bit in the tackle category.