While considering what the options are for the Chargers to spend the 18th overall selection in the 2012 draft, whether it be trading up, trading down, or retaining the pick we must also remember that great value comes in the Mid-Rounds as well. Our 2011 Mid-Round gem was SDSU Wide Receiver Vincent Brown, who turned out to be a total stud.
After scanning all the draft boards and analyzing speed, power, production, and team needs these are three prospects that I believe would look great in Blue and Gold.
Sean Spence OLB- University of Miami
Spence is big hitter who has a nose for the ball. With 106 tackles in 2011 and 3 sacks, he makes his case to be selected based on his production alone. Go ahead, call it a fluke season. Then I will inform you that he also had 100 tackles in 2010 with 2.5 sacks(Not including his bowl game with 14 more tackles). He had a great combine running a 4.71 in the 40 yard dash and a blazing 4.28 in the 20 yard shuttle. Why should you care about his shuttle time? It means that he has the ability to quickly change direction and adjust to the play while maintaining speed and power. He is projected to come off the board in the third round.
Chris Rainey RB- Florida
Rainey is going to make an instant NFL contribution due to his “Sproles-ness”, for the lack of a better word. At the combine he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.45 seconds and broad jumped 120 inches. He was the fastest of any Running Back prospect in the 3 cone drill meaning his agility and change of direction abilities are outstanding. He possesses the field vision, screen pass skills, and speed to be the next Darren Sproles. There is no denying that the Chargers are missing the lightning bug as they watch him electrify New Orleans all season long. With 31 catches last season for 381 yards and 2 td’s, as well as 861 yards rushing with 5.0 yards per carry, what’s not to like? He is expected to get drafted somewhere near the fourth round.
Rhett Ellison TE- University of Southern California
What I like most about Ellison is his versatility. While playing for USC he was used as a blocking and receiving Tight End, was used as a Fullback, Halfback, and also lined up as an outside Wide Receiver. Although he does not possess elite speed, coaches commend him for his work ethic and subsequently gave him the nickname “The Machine”. It’s plain to see that the Chargers are going to need some youth at the position to battle with second year player Kory Sperry for depth behind Antonio Gates and Randy McMichael. Ellison is expected to be drafted somewhere between the fourth and sixth rounds.