Nov 8, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Jaelen Strong (21) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona State defeated Notre Dame 55-31. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
As the draft draws closer and all focus is shifted toward the opening of free agency, the San Diego Chargers scouts and coaching staff are quietly making rounds through high profile pro days. This week, Chargers wide receiver coach Fred Graves put Arizona State prospect Jaelen Strong through a 56 play scripted pro day workout. Whether the team has genuine interest in investing a first round pick in the 6’2″, 220 lb play-maker remains to be seen, but they have to like what they see. Strong “caught everything thrown his way” according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com. Currently the team’s top 2 receivers are Malcom Floyd and Keenan Allen, with Dontrelle Inman, Austin Pettis, and return specialist Jacoby Jones.
A Chargers representative met with University of Montana defensive linemen Zach Wagenmann. As a productive rusher in college, he projects as an outside linebacker. With young developing players in Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu, the Bolts could look to add another rotational player in the late rounds.
Chargers special teams coach Kevin Spencer was at Texas A&M to put kicker Josh Lambo through a workout. Lambo is an intriguing prospect given that he was a first round MLS draft pick, who is now pursuing an NFL career. He filmed a youtube video of himself nailing a 70 yard field goal, so he clearly has intriguing leg strength. Although the Chargers currently have a very accurate kicker in Nick Novak, he doesn’t have the leg needed for a true kickoff specialist. The Bolts could look to pick up Lambo as a camp body to compete for a roster spot.
Ex Winston-Salem State and Virginia quarterback prospect Phillip Sims is known for having one of the strongest arms in the NCAA. After hitting a pass in stride at approximately 70 yards down field, scouts had plenty of questions for him. One of the team scouts he talked to was representing San Diego. With Philip Rivers likely in the final few years of his career, the Chargers could look to bring some competition in at backup to battle with Kellen Clemens and Brad Sorensen.
Apr 6, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Phillip Sims (14) throws the ball during the spring game at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh safety Ray Vinopal is rumored to have had a long talk with a Chargers representative after his impressive pro day. He hit 26 reps on the bench and posted 40 yard dash times ranging as low as 4.49. With Eric Weddle in the final year of his big contract and Jahleel Addai still developing, the Chargers could look to this underrated play-maker to bolster their defensive backfield.
Ray Vinopal said he was told he ran between 4.49 and 4.56 40 on various NFL clocks at #Pitt Pro Day. He had long talk with Chargers scout.
— Jerry DiPaola (@JDiPaola_Trib) March 3, 2015
Chargers executive Randy Mueller was present for the New Mexico pro day where star defensive back SaQwan Edwards impressed with a 4.52 40 yard dash. He is a converted receiver with natural ball skills and vast route knowledge. Projected to be a priority free agent following the NFL draft, the Chargers could add a depth corner at 6’0″, 200 lbs. He was productive in 2014 with 9 pass deflections and 2 interceptions.
Nov 2, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; New Mexico Lobos cornerback SaQwan Edwards (15) gestures to the crowd after a defensive stop during the first half against the San Diego State Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The pro day tour has just begun and will continue throughout the upcoming month. Expect the Chargers to continue to be heavily involved as they look to fill the roster with young talent.
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