Nov 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and nose tackle Earl Mitchell (92) celebrate after Mitchell makes a sack during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The San Diego Chargers are in the market for a nose tackle. We are in need of someone that can clog the middle of the defense and that can free up the linebackers to make plays on defense. We are in need of someone who can take on a couple of blockers.
The Chargers tried out Cam Thomas at he position last season and he struggled up front. He was getting pushed backward constantly and he couldn’t keep the linebackers clean. Sean Lissemore then got his opportunity and he played much better and the rest of the defense played much better behind him. The defense still had its struggles, but not to the extent that it struggled with Thomas in the middle.
There are not a lot of prospects for the position available in the draft and the team should be looking toward free agency to fill the position. There are a number of different names that the team could consider at the position, but one name that has been mentioned by Kevin Acee makes a lot of sense. Houston Texans nose tackle Earl Mitchell?
Who the heck is Earl Mitchell? Mitchell was the starting nose tackle for the Houston Texans last season. They ran the 3-4 defense behind Wade Phillips. With Phillips out of Houston, the Texans will likely return to a 4-3 defense and that makes Mitchell available for the taking. He learned how to play in the defense from one of the best to coach the 3-4 scheme and could be a huge upgrade to the Chargers defense.
Some people will look at Mitchell’s size and worry that he is not pushing 330 pounds. He stands at only 300 pounds, but he has more time to pack on more pounds during the offseason and he still was productive at the position for the Texans. He racked up 48 tackles last season and that is a ton from the nose tackle position.
Mitchell could be flying under the radar and could be picked up for a nice price tag for the Chargers. He definitely should be someone we should get after. Someone that we target this offseason to fill that need that we have in the middle.
If we get that nose tackle in free agency, then we can finally get that corner situation shored up.