This draft class has a number of defensive players who run off the field with the ball in their hand enough times to take notice. For example, how do you explain a linebacker who ran a slow 4.95 40-yard time yet had 10 interceptions and forced three fumbles? He plays faster than his timed speed and understands the most important thing is to get the ball back for the offense, but he's projected to be a fifth-round player.
Here are the players who found the football a lot during their college days and soon could be part of your team. Take a look at the combined number of interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries these draft prospects produced in their college careers.
Name School Pos. INT-FF-FR total Projected round Eric Weddle Utah S 27 2nd Michael Griffin Texas S 24 1st Josh Gattis Wake Forest S 23 4th Sabby Piscitelli Oregon St S 19 3rd Leon Hall Michigan CB 18 1st John Wendling Wyoming S 16 4th Daymeion Hughes California CB 15 2nd LaMarr Woodley Michigan DE 15 2nd Dan Bazuin Cent. Michigan DE 15 4th Aaron Ross Texas CB 14 1st Tony Taylor Georgia LB 13 5th Anthony Spencer Purdue DE 13 1st Rufus Alexander Oklahoma LB 13 3rd Tim Crowder Texas DE 12 3rd
How about the Texas defense, which had three players in this draft class who combined for 50 plays that got the ball back for the offense? Or Michigan, with two players creating 33 turnovers? The linebacker with the above-mentioned 4.95 (and a fifth-round grade) is Tony Taylor. Dan Bazuin not only forced nine fumbles and recovered six, but he also blocked four field goals.
NFL defensive coordinators will never stop talking about how important it is to get the ball back. I say it's more important to get players with a proven track record of getting the ball back and stop hoping they have a knack for it.
Whether is be Josh Gattis or some other defensive back, the Chargers are in good shape this draft to add a turnover machine in the secondary. Exactly what the doctor ordered.