Oct 26, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Ra
It’s no secret the Chargers need to sure up the defensive front in the draft. They didn’t do a whole lot in that respect in free agency. There aren’t a ton of defensive tackles left on the market. Now that free agency is starting to simmer down, it’s time to really think about May 8th, Draft Day.The draft is teeming with defensive line talent. The Chargers need to dive into it, and early. Here are 3 candidates for the Chargers, putting into account the likelihood of the player being available when San Diego is on the clock:
1. Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
This is a no-brainer. Yes he has injury and weight concerns, but what draft choice doesn’t bring some level of concern? He plugs up holes. He makes plays. He has a high ceiling. The dude is 6’2″ 331lbs, a monster. His 2013 season was plagued by injuries, but he was dominant when he was healthy in 2012. And not to mention, the Irish don’t usually play a bunch of cupcakes. Nix has lined up across the offensive lines of USC, Michigan, Stanford, Oklahoma, Michigan State and Alabama. He has faced many NFL prospects. He is battle tested. He had 5 tackles in their National Title Game against Alabama. If he can stay healthy, he will produce.
2. Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
A physical specimen at 6’6″, 310lbs, Hageman can make his presence known on any given play. Hageman played in the Big 10 Conference and unlike Nix, he has a great sample size to look at in his 2013 season. With 38 tackles, 13 for loss, 2 sacks and an interception to boot, he had a productive season in a tough, old-school, smash-mouth conference. He has experience as a nose tackle and also as a lineman in a 4 man front. Two of his best games last year were against Michigan and Wisconsin, he will produce when it counts.
3. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
A versatile player, he could be a nice fit for Pagano’s defense. He isn’t your typical 1,000 pound freight train that sometimes exist in the middle of big-time college football defensive lines. He is athletic. He’s had 19.5 sacks the past 2 years combined and racked up over 100 tackles in his Notre Dame career. He produces. The Chargers can use him all across the line. He is big and quick. He has big upside and the Chargers could use another athlete in the front 7.