Buyer Beware: Courtney Upshaw

I know, I know, he was a beast at ‘Bama; but, I have made it clear in both comments and a couple of articles that I am not fond of the idea of our Chargers drafting Upshaw with the 18th pick.  The term “Buyer beware” is more than appropriate.  I am a stay-at-home dad and have watched the Senior Bowl multiple times from start to finish.  The Senior Bowl is very different than any other college football game in that its rosters are made up of “elite” seniors at each position.  I know that you shouldn’t judge a player off of one game.  He lacked explosion and was completely man-handled by Mike Adams, tackle from Ohio State.  Most rushers coming off the edge in that game lost their battle with Adams.  ( I still don’t want Adams with the 18th pick either.)

The Nick Saban led defense not only had a great scheme, it was also made up of an overwhelming amount of future NFL starters.  This just adds to my issue with having Courtney drafted by the Bolts.  Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Donta Hightower are all higher on my list as far as who should be chosen at 18.  I’m not even dreaming of taking DeQuan Menzie at 18, but I am starting to warm up to the idea of either him or Brandon Taylor ( SSs out of Bama and LSU respectively) with our second round pick to fill the SS void.  After seeing Harrison Smith on NFL Network, we are most likely not getting him without making a drastic move in this draft.  It might possibly take acquiring another first round pick to get Smith.  This is a very poor SS class, overall.  I do have to admit, though, that my sleeper in the second round is George Iloka out of Boise State.  Big, tall, fast, and very versatile.  Iloka played FS, SS, and CB at Boise St.  He had a great practice week at the Senior Bowl.  Tell me he is a FS and I’ll remind you about this being a passing league.  The difference between a FS and SS is very minimal now-a-days.  May I also remind you how valued a TE, or two, is on the offensive side of the ball.  A.J. likes guys who can line up in multiple spots and contribute in a multitude of schemes.


In addition to my other points, for him to come in at 279 lbs knowing that he was about to have a pro day is extremely alarming.  Although it is no where near as serious, I liken that to a player failing a drug test knowing he is going to the combine.  No excuse for either of those things to happen!  Both the combine and pro day are two of the biggest interviews a potential NFL prospect will ever have in their life, period.  Gametape should always be the number one deciding factor; I know.  But reports say that he was also “underwhelming” during his one-on-one interviews, as well.   He is only 6’2″.  For him to weigh 279 lbs at that height you really have to wonder what position he would play.  Don’t compare him to Melvin Ingram.  Ingram is a top-ten pick.  Lacking quick feet and explosion does not lend itself to being a formidable force at OLB,  given his size.  Same goes for defensive end.


I still believe that my pick of Nick Perry would be much more beneficial to our cause in the first.  If not Perry, I hope that it would be Mercilus in that slot.  It is my belief  that a pass-rusher MUST be picked at 18.  I would MUCH rather have A.J. surprise us with another member of the Crimson Tide’s linebacker corp than choosing the Tide’s #41.


Donta Hightower is 6’4″ 260 lbs.  I am starting to think that he might be the guy that could make the most impact on our defense.  He has the knowledge and abiltiy to play a couple of LBer positions.  The guy can move and has the ability to both rush the passer and drop back in coverage.  He is an A.J. guy, due to his versatility and playmaking ability.


Courtney Upshaw was a stud at Alabama.  In my opinion, he will be a solid player in the NFL.  But we need someone who can come in and immediately make a HUGE impact on this defense right away.  I don’t see Upshaw as that guy.  I know what Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune (and various other media outlets) are saying about the Chargers really liking Upshaw.  Who am I to doubt them?   I’m just a person, like all of you,  who has always loved the Chargers and want them to win a Superbowl now.  By the way, Rivers and Spikes seem to think it will happen this year.  Put your money on them.  Sure sounds like a safe bet to me.

Don’t forget to start sending me your questions for “Booga’s Mailbag” which will debut April 10th here at  To submit a question or query, email me at [email protected] or tweet me @BoogaP on Twitter.


Thanks for reading and leave me some comments at the bottom.





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Tags: Courtney Upshaw

  • epadaon

    i really like George Iloka also.. he stood out at the combine also.. the class is thin at safety, but there are a few people that i am liking. 
    i am right there with you with Upshaw. he has never had the explosion off of the edge and gaining 7 pounds for something that he should be prepped up for is just plain stupid. if he has the right people around him, he could perform… but he will need that motivation and that wont be coming from norval.. maybe pagano, maybe takeo, maybe jarret johnson…. but he will need someone to take him under his wing. 
    would rather go mercilus and perry with the pick

  • SandyPeisner

    I like Perry but keep reading he wants to play end not line backer and better for 4-3. All players at 18 seem to have some question marks as first round. Adams short arm length, Barron not great covering slot. We need a pass rusher and safety. who will be available is the big question or will AJ trade up? Not wild about another guy from Illinois Mercilus one year wonder or Hightower either

    • BoogaP

       If there is a slot receiver out there we would have a nickel corner cover the slot.  Not Barron.  Barron would almost always cover the TE if in Man coverage. If the package came in on the “fly” so to speak then Weddle would cover the slot over Barron. Perry prefers being a 4-3 end but one of his ex-coaches at USC happens to think he would make an excellent 3-4 OLB.  Oh, yeah, Joe Barry.  Barry is the new LB coach for the Chargers.  Perry is more than athletic enough to make the transition. Mercilus makes me nervous a lil but I would feel pretty good to get him also.   Hightower is not my first choice but I am really starting to think he will be a major force in the NFL.  Part of my indecision is that I am jsut palin terrified of who A.J. will pull the tirgger on in the first round.

      • SandyPeisner

         @BoogaP I am in agreement with you

  • MikeTuck

    Perry like I’ve said is our best bet. Whether he ends up at DE or OLB he’ll fill that hole the best. He wants to play a certain position, that’s now, when he gets drafted and meets his teamates and feels needed at a position were lacking in he’ll play and gain great experience. Then who knows what the future with the Chargers might bring him. But he’ll be playing at home which means alot.

    • BoogaP

       He won’t play DE in a 3-4, but I totally agree with your assessment of him possibly wanting to play something different at this time.  Once he gets in with that surrounding cast and sees the opportunities to get after the QB and what it will mean to him in the future (meaning dollar $ign$)  He will be salivating at the chance to play OLB in a 3-4.
      Good job Mike.. 

  • SandyPeisner

    I like Perry and I think Upshaw and Hightower are fall backs. Unless AJ drafts Smith from Notre Dame to play safety

    • BoogaP

       We are in agreement more than you know.  Go to the archives and read “Mock This!”  I wrote that about 10 days or so ago.  We are on the same page.

  • SandyPeisner

    BoogaP I like the way you think