Chad Reuter of NFL.com just dropped a new article where he pairs each NFL team with the perfect one-two combo of prospects at their first and second selections in this year’s draft. Ideally this means the team’s first and second-round picks, but if they don’t own a first or second, he fills it in with a third or even fourth.
The Chargers fortunately have both their first and second-round picks this year after they traded last year’s second in the haul for Khalil Mack from the Bears.
With their first two picks, Reuter has the Chargers paired with Northwestern defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore in the first and North Carolina wide receiver Josh Downs in the second.
Here’s what Reuter had to say about the selections:
“One of the draft’s biggest risers after the NFL Scouting Combine, Adebawore has shown elite athleticism (4.49 40 at 282 pounds) and possesses the length (33 7/8-inch arms) to play 5-technique for the Chargers despite measuring just 6-2. Downs’ quickness from the slot supplements the Chargers’ veteran receiver trio of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Josh Palmer.”
You can’t make scout’s eyes pop out of their heads any more than when Adebawore blazed through his 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. People that large should not be able to move that fast, but the numbers don’t lie. At 282 pounds, he also soared to 37.5” in the vertical jump before recording an impressive 10’5” broad jump.
In his final season with the Wildcats, Adebawore led his team with five sacks, nine tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles en route to Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors and earning an invite to this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl.
The biggest thing with Adebawore is that he’s going to be viewed as a ‘tweener. He’s not built to be a modern 3-4 edge rusher in Brandon Staley’s defense but he might be undersized along the interior. However, the whole size debate didn’t stop Morgan Fox from racking up a career high in sacks this past season so it’s not out of the question to foresee Adebawore seeing similar success in the same role.
Adetomiwa Adebawore drives back the OL. Damn he's been impressive pic.twitter.com/KdqSFcf4pM— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 3, 2023
As for Downs in the second, I truly love this pick for the Chargers. You get one of the safest receivers in this draft without having to spend a first-round pick on the position. He’s going to be viewed as undersized at 5’9 and 171 pounds but his film and production speak for themselves.
With just under 2,500 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons, he’s been extremely productive while catching passes from quarterback Drake Maye who may very well be a top-five pick in next year’s draft.
Despite having a skillset fit for the slot, Downs has no problem moving outside and being effective with both quickness and legitimate long speed. His 4.48 40 and effortless movement will make him a hassle to keep up with in the open field. While Keenan Allen is already a hassle to cover from the start, it’s his ability to make defenders miss after the fact that’s never been super impactful.
.@UNCFootball @JoshDowns has been super productive for the Tar Heels; but the creativity in his route running is what makes his tape so fun to study. His game easily transfers to Sunday afternoons. #nfldraft #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/mUFb283N6n— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) April 9, 2023
So what do you all think of these picks? Yay or nay? Let me know all of your thoughts below!