Would you be disappointed if the Chargers were left with Akeem Ayers with the 18th pick in the draft? If all the top defensive ends are off of the board, then he may be our choice. We could possibly select Aldon Smith or Ryan Kerrigan, but Akeem Ayers is the best option of the three. Ayers is not projected to be drafted until the end of the first round and some say that 18 is too high to select him. We need to select the best player that can fill our needs and Ayers may be that guy.
Kerrigan played defensive end for Purdue and will be a converted outside linebacker in the NFL. It will be a whole new position for him and with this lockout in full motion, he does not have the benefit of mini camps to prepare him for that position. He can get after the quarterback and he looks to make big hits to cause turnovers, but the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker could stop the Chargers from selecting him in the draft.
Aldon Smith is a huge RISK and in the first round of the draft and we cannot afford to make these risks in this draft. Smith shows a lot of potential with his combination of size and athleticism, but he is a risk to fizzle out or get injured. Some just don’t think that he will produce in the NFL and that he is just a project. We can’t take that risk at this time and we need to look a different direction.
Just because Akeem Ayers is projected to go later in the first round, it doesn’t mean that he would be a bad pick at number 18. He is am athletic linebacker and has a quick burst off of the line to attack the quarterback. He played linebacker his whole tenure at UCLA and could be the player we need on the outside to take the position from Larry English. He just may be the player that AJ selects on Thursday. He would make an instant impact to the defense adding aggression off the edge and could be the player we needed to fill the hole that Shawne Merriman left when he started falling apart.