Chargers Draft

Los Angeles Chargers: 5 steps to a successful offseason

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Los Angeles Chargers fans are seen during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the StubHub Center on September 24, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Los Angeles Chargers fans are seen during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the StubHub Center on September 24, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit
5 of 6

Fortifying the middle of the defense doesn’t stop with signing a linebacker like Brown. The Chargers also need to get a space-eating defensive tackle to help the team improve against the run.

The Chargers ranked No. 31 in the league in rush defense, allowing 131.1 yards per game on the ground. Only the Washington Redskins were worse in that department.

It’s tough to make the postseason giving up that many yards to the opposing team’s running backs. It also leads to Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram being made much less effective as pass rushers when teams know they can get 4.9 yards per carry against the Bolts, which is what they averaged in 2017, the worst in the league.

The Chargers’ top priority in the draft should be to secure a top-flight defensive tackle. Fortunately for them, this is a good draft to acquire such a player.

Da’Ron Payne of Alabama, Vita Vea of Washington, Christian Wilkins of Clemson, Maurice Hurst of Michigan and Florida’s Taven Bryan are all players the Chargers could consider taking with the No. 17 overall pick in the first round.

Personally, I like Payne. He was one of the anchors of a solid Alabama defense and defended the run as well as anyone in the country. He comes with freakish athleticism and would be an above-average pass rusher for an interior defensive lineman.

However, Vea has drawn comparisons to Haloti Ngata and Hurst is flying up draft boards, I recently saw a mock draft that had him all the way as high as the No. 3 pick of the draft to the Indianapolis Colts. He may be the first guy picked from thus bunch.

Either way, the Chargers will need to do their homework in order to get the best guy. Last season, the team had a few needs in the draft but decided to go “best player available” and select wide receiver Mike Williams.

When you’re a team that is on the cusp of being a legitimate contender, you fill your holes. That’s what the team needs to do this year, at least in the first round.

facebooktwitterreddit