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2020 UDFA Profile: LB Cole Christiansen

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Army v Michigan Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Although the Chargers have their fair share of linebackers on the team, they don’t ever mind bringing in news bodies as depth players for that position are usually some of the best special teams players on an NFL team.

Former Army linebacker Cole Christiansen was one of three linebackers signed by the Bolts following the draft, joining Notre Dame’s Asmar Bilal and Miami’s Romeo Finely. All three linebackers are on the leaner side with Christiansen being the biggest at 225 pounds.

Prior to playing collegiately at West Point, Christiansen enjoyed a very productive and accolade-filled career while at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. As both a junior and senior, Christiansen was named the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s State Defensive Player of the Year. He was a three-time all-state and all-conference selection and won the VISAA State Championship as a senior in 2015. By the time he graduating, he was the VISAA all-time leader in career tackles with 436.

Christiansen did not redshirt in his first year, instead playing on special teams and sparingly on defense. He recorded just two tackles that year. In 2017, he started 10 games posted 85 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, the lone interception of his career, and a single pass breakup.

He took things up a notch as a junior when he totaled 77 tackles with 12 going for a loss. He also added his first career sack, two more pass breakups, and a forced fumble. In his final year at West Point, Christiansen set career-highs in tackles (112) and sacks (2.5) while posting 3.5 tackles-for-loss, a pass breakup, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He was a First-Team All-Independent selection following both his junior and senior seasons. I should also add that he was a two-time captain for the Black Knights for the ‘18 and ‘19 seasons, which was the first time a player earned that honor since 2015-16.

Christiansen is stuck in one of the most crowded position groups on the team and that really limits any realistic chance he has of making this team. He seems like the type of player who will do anything for the team, but I don’t think there’s any one thing that stands out enough with him that would make him for valuable than any of the other young backers they brought in. With there only being two real linebacker positions on this defense, that limits his chances even more.

He’s a tough, hard-working football player, but that only takes you so far. The situation has to be right. This one, is not.

As far as him sticking on the practice squad, I think that might be a stretch, as well. When you look at who else they brought in at linebacker among the UDFAs, you can make a case that Bilal and Finley both provide a more versatile skill set. That doesn’t bode well at all for Christiansen.