5 Players The Chargers Might "Reach" For On Draft Day

The Chargers have been one of the most successful teams building through the draft over the past 5 years, primarily because they have a very talented scouting staff. The Chargers aren't afraid to pull the trigger on a player who they feel can help them, even if some might consider the player a "reach." Director of College Scouting Jimmy Raye told BoltHype.com "We don't believe in sleepers. We rank players on our board and pretty much stick to our board throughout the draft. Thus, we always draft players where we think they should be drafted." Let's look at five players who the Chargers might have rated higher than most:

1. Louis Delmas, S
Why is makes sense:
Delmas is regarded by some as not only the best safety in the draft, but also as one of the three best defensive backs available, period. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock describes Delmas as "the most aggressive run defending safety I've seen in the last five years, sometimes overly so. But trust me, you'd much rather have a guy be overaggressive than afraid to make a hit."

Why it's considered a reach:
No one would be surprised to see Delmas sneak into the bottom of the first round; last year Kenny Philips, the only first round safety, went to the Giants at 31. It may however come as a surprise to see Delmas selected in the top 20. This year's safety class as a whole is solid but unspectacular, with potentially no prospects carrying a first round grade.

2. Eben Britton, OT
Why is makes sense:
The pre-draft dust has settled and Eben Briton seems to be rated the #5 offensive tackle according to most prognosticators. Nasty with good size, Briton has a chance to become an elite right tackle in the pros, and could also fit in well at guard. The Chargers need help on the right side of their line and Briton's versatility and ability to fit into a power running scheme make him an attractive choice.

Why it's considered a reach:
Is Briton among the top 20 players regardless of position? Probably not. But he plays a premium position and will get pushed up the board because of it. The Chargers picking 16 might have to settle for the fifth best offensive tackle prospect, which should tell you something about the value NFL teams place on offensive tackles.

3. Ron Brace, DT
Why is makes sense:
Outside of highly touted BJ Raji, this year's draft class lacks elite nose tackle prospects. These types of players are rare finds, with usually only one or two starting-caliber nose tackles available each year. Possessing tremendous size and strength, Brace is the prototype player for the 3-4 nose tackle position. With all the wear and tear on Jamal Williams' body, it makes sense to draft his eventual replacement before it's too late.

Why it's considered a reach:
Brace likely holds a second round grade, but he could sneak into the first round by virtue of his rare size and strength. With so many teams making the transition to the 3-4 defense, a guy like Brace becomes a hot commodity. There is little chance he makes it out of the second round, so if a team wants him they better get him early.

4. Larry English, OLB
Why is makes sense:
Larry English is exactly the type of diamond in the rough players AJ Smith loves to uncover. Hidden away in the lesser known MAC conference, English is a DE/OLB hybrid player who knows how to make plays in the backfield. With one of the more impressive college careers of any pass rusher in the draft, English could be excellent insurance if Shawne Merriman's torn knee ligaments don't fully recover.

Why it's considered a reach:
English certainly has the measurables, but there are questions about the level of competition he faced; are his stats inflated from playing in the MAC? Also, a pass rusher this early might seem like a luxury pick when the Chargers have bigger needs in the secondary and on the offensive and defensive lines.

5. Evander "Ziggy" Hood, DT
Why is makes sense:
With Igor Olshansky now in Dallas, the Chargers are without a starting defensive end. Evander Ziggy Hood has been rising up the draft boards and for good reason; Hood not only has impressive measurables, but his intangible qualities are top notch. A character guy who loves to improve, Hood reminds me of a more physical Luis Castillo. He'd be a solid starter from day one.

Why it's considered a reach:
The Chargers spending the 16th overall pick on a 5-technique defensive end is a bit out of character. They ask their defensive linemen to be smart and disciplined. They typically play run-first and be able to be able to read and react while defending two gaps. The linemen in a 3-4 are not the playmakers of the defense but they do play valuable roles by freeing up the blitzing linebackers. Because they are not asked to make plays up the field, it would be a reach for the Chargers to take a D-lineman with the 16th pick in the draft.

April 14, 2009

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Anonymous said... Apr 15, 2009, 4:12:00 PM

I like the potential of louis delmas and larry english. I would also like to see the chargers consider Aaron Maybin out of Penn State.

arnie said... Apr 15, 2009, 8:59:00 PM

agreed, but i'm betting they will adress the O line first.

peace out

Anonymous said... Apr 16, 2009, 12:42:00 AM

Another name asociated with the Chargers that they may "reach" for is OG Herman Johnson of LSU, the Chargers run a power running game so a 6'7 364 lbs mauling guard makes perfect sense

Anonymous said... Apr 16, 2009, 12:07:00 PM

they have to move the pick down and get a second. so look for O line 1 and D line 2. tons of the D tackles in this draft can play end in a 3-4.
But if Malaluga is there at 16 he's a Charger

Anonymous said... Apr 16, 2009, 7:19:00 PM

i agree with this foo right here, if Maualuga is taken, trade down for a second

Anonymous said... Apr 20, 2009, 9:01:00 PM

I really think they'd prefer to trade down regardless. If they can end up in the very late first and second for their 16th they do it regardless of who is there. But since that seems unlikely, selecting Jackson or Mauluga if they are there seems to make sense.

arnie said... Apr 22, 2009, 3:21:00 PM

what?!?!? no benneie wells? are you kidding? Kevein Acee and half of pro anylists have san diego taking BENNIE WELLS, with that first pick. how do i know this, because they won't stop talking about. so it must be true. after all these are the same people that sid Drew Brees would never be an elite quaterback, and LT is and udersized back, that wouldn't be much of an impact player..

so please, let us all stop fooling ourselves, it's BENNIE WELLS, the chargers are going to pick..

so who cares if our DBs get beat by the pass. who cares if our front 7 can't get a sack. who cares if the right side of our O-line can't run block. we'll just draft another running back, yeah that'll fix everything.

yeah i'm being sarcastic here, i'm making the case that AJ will go defense on this, and probaly trade down for more picks.

Lois Delmas, or Ron Brace. with merriman coming back and the signing of bernett, they have shored up the front seven, and have some players that are stepping up into DT and MLB roles. aj may just aquire some help for the OT spot. because they need to fix the right side now, not 2, or 3 years down the road. but the right picks for defense can make things easier for the offense.

peace out

Anonymous said... Apr 25, 2009, 8:47:00 AM

ILB ILB ILB ILB pleaseeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said... Apr 26, 2009, 10:02:00 PM

Gotta hand it to this article. You called it with English. Great job Rob! Thats one of the reasons why we read...
The Rake

Rocco said... Apr 27, 2009, 11:48:00 AM

you called it dude

Justin said... Apr 27, 2009, 3:32:00 PM

Good Call On English... Hopefully with him and Merriman flying around and creating havoc we can get back to our 07 D and get 60 sacks again and 20 picks in the secondary.


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