While the position picked at #6 is one we’ve come to agree on, it’s his second-round pick for the Chargers that will really get your gears turning in terms of potential draft strategy.
Without further ado, let’s get into the picks.
6.) Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
What McShay had to say about the pick: “Yes, this is a bit of a reach, but the Chargers struck out in the Tom Brady sweepstakes, and they are looking for long-term answers under center. (They can live in the short term with Tyrod Taylor.) Could free agents Cam Newton or Jameis Winston be in play? Maybe. I’m told Los Angeles likes all four of the top quarterbacks in the draft class — and this pick could end up being Oregon’s Justin Herbert, too — but Love has the arm to make NFL-caliber throws and should be available here at No. 6.”
While there are plenty of Love fans among the Chargers faithful, I think we can all agree that picking him with the sixth-overall pick in the entire NFL Draft is quite the reach. Maybe if he was coming off his tremendous 2018 season where threw for 32 touchdowns to just six interceptions while adding another seven scores on the ground. But he’s not.
Instead, Love is coming off a major regression that saw his total touchdowns cut in half and his interception total almost tripled. He finished his final year at Utah State with 3,402 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. It would be wrong of me not to mention that he lost a plethora of weapons and coaches from his ‘18 season, however. That’s what the majority of Love fans point to when discussing his senior seasons and it’s obviously hard to ignore.
He still managed to earn an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl where he shined alongside fellow top QBs Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts.
I wouldn’t ever take Love this high, but i’d certainly be content if he were to fall to the top of the second round or far enough into the first where the Chargers could trade up and snag him late. After all, those fifth-round options on quarterbacks a big deal.
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State:— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) March 11, 2020
• Backyard football thrower
• Easy arm strength
• Pocket Maneuverability (+)
• Multi-pitch pitcher (++)
• Quick flick/fiery throwing motion
• Sky-high confidence (+)
• High risk/reward type of prospect pic.twitter.com/NVnf2x1N8g
37.) Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin
What McShay had to say about the pick: Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III are both set for free agency in 2021 (though Bosa isn’t likely to reach it), so edge could be a problem in the not-so-distant future. The Chargers’ 30 sacks ranked in the bottom five in 2019, and Baun had 12.5 at Wisconsin.
Edge? At pick 37? The answer to those questions is....it could happen.
The 6’3, 235-pound Baun emphatically burst onto the scene as a senior in 2019 as the best player on a talented Wisconsin defense. Baun played started all 14 games for the Badgers and was as disruptive nightmare from start to finish. He totaled 75 tackles but collected a whopping 19.5 tackles-for-loss and 12.5 sacks, both among the top marks in the FBS. He also picked off a pass, which he returned 34 yards for a touchdown, and forced a pair of fumbles. He was named a Second-Team Associated Press All-American for his efforts and earned an invite to January’s Reese’s Senior Bowl.
At the NFL Combine in February, Baun showed his speed and agility by running a 4.65 forty, a 7.00 3-cone drill, and a 4.31 short shuttle.
While the Chargers already have two good edges, Joey Bosa is the only one that seems like he’ll be returning in 2021. Uchenna Nwosu is also waiting in the wings behind Melvin Ingram and that might be the player that could stop Tom Telesco from ever considering an edge rusher this early in the draft given that the team needs some combo of QB and OT in their first two picks. Even then, the idea of replacing a productive and versatile edge rusher with another one of those players is always something to consider.
(For comparison’s sake, Nwosu had 11.5 tackles-for-loss and 9.5 sacks his senior year at USC.)
Zack Baun, Edge/LB, Wisconsin-— Ryder (@RyderM25) March 25, 2020
- Highly Athletic
- Manipulates OT's with footwork
- Technically advanced pass rusher
- Quick Hands
- Shoulder dips to reduce surface area
- Versatility to play coverage/rush
- Disciplined vs run
- Understanding of leverage#NFLDraft #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/2ZFKfodKNz