Here's Hoping The Critics Are Wrong About Antwan Applewhite

The Chargers signed a bunch of undrafted free agents and the guy I'm most excited about is Antwan Applewhite. He played End at San Diego State and was fairly productive his last two seasons. He'll convert over to a rush linebacker and will give the team some depth behind Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips.

At 6'4" 255lbs and running the 40 in the 4.6-4.7 range, he has NFL size and speed. I saw him at my gym a few months back and he looked to be in great shape (he had recently come back from the Combine and was wearing his combine jersey to the gym, so he stood out pretty good). I told him that the Chargers had needs at OLB and hopefully they would pick him up. Well they did, and I think its a good move, even if others don't.

“Any time you make a decision like this it's a risky decision,” said Applewhite, the former San Diego State defensive end who announced in January that he would forgo his senior year in hopes of being selected in this weekend's NFL draft. “Any time you give up a sure thing, it's going to be risky. But I'm ready to roll with the punches.

“Whether I was a junior or a senior, I was always going to be prepared for the possibility of free agency. The draft is such a weird thing, especially once you start talking to older players who have already gone through it. You never know. You can come into it being considered a top prospect and never even get drafted. It's all about which team needs what and when.”

Personally I think this is yet another Linebacker steal that AJ Smith is so apt to getting. I was pretty high on Akbar Gbaja-Biamila last year, but he struggled too much making the transition from DE to Outside Linebacker. I hope Applewhite is more successful, because the Bolts are lacking true depth at OLB.

May 1, 2007

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