Evan Silva

Draft Analysis

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NFL Draft Needs: Chargers

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.


For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

 

 

Chargers Team Need No. 1: Linebacker

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

Hamstring and ankle injuries have cost WLB Denzel Perryman 13 games over the past two seasons. In Gus Bradley’s Seahawks-style scheme, starting jobs at middle and strong-side linebacker should be up for grabs. Despite one of the NFL’s most talented fronts keyed by Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Corey Liuget, the Chargers finished a lowly 27th in Football Outsiders’ run-defense DVOA due in large part to substandard linebacker play.

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Chargers Team Need No. 2: Defensive Line

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

Bosa, Ingram and Liuget are all signed long term and give the Bolts a defensive bedrock complemented by CBs Casey Hayward, Trevor Williams, Jason Verrett and Desmond King, who form arguably the NFL’s deepest cornerback room. NT Brandon Mebane is falling off at age 33, however, and Los Angeles is short on depth behind its three D-Line studs. Liuget was hit with a four-game suspension for PEDs. The Chargers could use another run stuffer and at least one more pass rusher, either on the interior or off the edge.

 

Chargers Team Need No. 3: Quarterback

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

Philip Rivers has two years left on his deal and is still playing at a high level, but his ability to stretch the field has waned. The time is right to begin grooming a quarterback for the future on a talented roster. Nevertheless, the Chargers may hold off on drafting an early-round signal caller for one more year. In that understandable case, bolstering a safety position which is still missing free agent FS Tre Boston would address a more immediate need.

 

 

Norris’ Mock Draft

 

Round 1 (17): T Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame - I know Evan didn’t mention offensive tackle. You’ll see we diverge quite a bit on the Chargers. McGlinchey is the cleanest tackle prospect in this class. He has plenty of experience on both the left and right sides, and he could take over on the right side early on. That would give the Chargers a very young core to work with, a sound front five for Rivers and whoever is next to play behind him and for Melvin Gordon to run through.

Round 2 (48): DL Harrison Phillips, Stanford - As Evan mentioned, Mebane is old. Evan blamed the poor run defense on linebacker play. I think interior line play helps improve linebackers. Phillips is an occupier up front who can take on multiple blocks at the line of scrimmage. Perhaps the team can unlock some pass rushing upside in his game.

Round 3 (84): DL RJ McIntosh, Miami - If Phillips is the defensive lineman who occupies and plays at the line of scrimmage, McIntosh is the upfield disruptor. With almost a seven-foot wingspan, McIntosh’s best move is an arm over swim and he consistently used it to disrupt from the interior.

Round 4 (119): RB Nyheim Hines, NC State - The Chargers began using Austin Ekeler more and more down the stretch. I wonder if they are looking to upgrade at that spot with a player who could be used similarly. Hines could not be more different than Melvin Gordon and offers tremendous big play ability.

 

Round 5 (155): QB Logan Woodside, Toledo - Right now the Chargers have a number of high variance passers at quarterback (Cardale and Geno). Woodside has a limited ceiling, but he’s a what you see is what you get player. Sticks to structure and finds the open receiver.


Round 6 (191): S Van Smith, Clemson - The Chargers have done well with mid- to late-round safeties and a common theme is hard-hitting back end players. That fits Smith’s profile.

Round 7 (251): LB Matthew Thomas, FSU - I’m not calling Thomas Telvin Smith, but Gus Bradley did feature a linebacker like Thomas in his defense in Jacksonville. At the very least you have an uber-athletic linebacker for special teams.



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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