The time has arrived for the annual scouting combine. College prospects from all over the country will invade Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to show that they’re not only ready to compete at the next level, but that they’re better than everyone else in their draft class.
If you’re like me and you love football, the combine doesn’t just consist of players running around in gym shorts. Instead, it’s a great round of evaluations which adds insight to the upcoming NFL draft.
Fans of the Los Angeles Chargers should tune in this Sunday, if nothing else, as that is the day the defensive tackles and linebackers who have been invited to the combine will engage in on-field workouts.
There is a good chance the Chargers could be looking to add a player to bolster the interior of the defense in the first round with the No. 17 overall pick.
Here is a list of the defensive tackles who have been invited to partake in the events of the combine, in alphabetical order:
John Atkins, Georgia
Taven Bryan, Florida
Foley Fatukasi, Connecticut
Joshua Frazier, Alabama
Zaycoven Henderson, Texas A&M
B.J. Hill, North Carolina State
Maurice Hurst, Michigan
Justin Jones, North Carolina State
Lowell Lotulelei, Utahj
R.J. McIntosh, Miami
Kahlil McKenzie, Tennessee
Bilal Nichols, Tennessee
Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
Kendrick Norton, Miami
Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Harrison Phillips, Stanford
Deadrin Senat, South Florida
Tim Settle, Virginia Tech
Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays State
Breeland Speaks, Mississsippi
Taylor Stallworth, South Carolina
Trenton Thompson, Georgia
Vita Vea, Washington
Eddy Wilson, Purdue
The names in bold are players Chargers fans should pay extra attention to. Da’ Ron Payne and Vita Vea are each worthy of the No. 17 overall pick and each would be a solid addition to a team with aspirations of improving its run defense.
Taven Bryan out of Florida and Maurice Hurst are players that could throw their names into consideration for that first-round pick of the Chargers with a good showing at the combine.
Derrick Nnadi and Harrison Phillips are likely second-round picks, but if the Chargers don’t go defensive tackle in round one, each guy would make sense in the second round. Phillips is an interesting player who the team must get a good look at for one reason — he had 98 tackles as an interior defensive lineman last season!
Yes, you read that right. How does that happen? It’s not like he was playing against weak competition in the Pac-12 Conference.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: 3 early takeaways from 2021 minicamp thus far
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing to lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
Inside linebacker is another position the Chargers will be looking to bolster. Take a look at the list of inside linebackers who will be participating in the combine:
Genard Avery, Memphis
Keishawn Bierria, Washington
Jason Cabinda, Penn State
Jack Cichy, Wisconsin
Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabama
Josey Jewell, Iowa
Micah Kiser, Virginia
Mike McCray, Michigan
Christian Sam, Arizona State
Tegray Scales, Indiana
Andre Smith, North Carolina
Roquan Smith, Georgia
Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
Azeem Victor, Washington
Chris Worley, Ohio State
Kenny Young, UCLA
There aren’t as many options at the inside linebacker position in this class, at least as far as first-round picks are concerned, but the ones that are there are good ones.
Tremaine Edmunds is a player you’ll likely see tied to the Chargers in mock drafts next month and Rashaan Evans is a guy who has already been mocked to the team as a first-round pick.
Roquan Smith will almost certainly be off the board by the time the Chargers go on the clock. Leighton Vander Esch is an every-down linebacker who I love. If the Chargers could get him in the second or possibly even the third round, it would be an excellent choice for the team.
Coverage of the combine on Sunday will start at 8:00 a.m. PT.