Round 3, No. 84 overall: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
Telesco decideds that there are still options at linebacker in the later rounds of the draft and he grabs Josey Jewell in the third round rather than reaching for a guy like Malik Jefferson out of Texas.
Jewell doesn’t possess Jefferson’s athletic ability, but he is a smart football player and a better tackler than Jefferson.
The Chargers need more depth at this position and the overall goal would be to improve against the run, combining with the pick of Payne in the first round. Jatavis Brown is a big question mark after he had a rough 2017 season adjusting to new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system and the team has made no effort to re-sign Korey Toomer, who remains on the open market.
That leaves the team with Hayes Pullard and special teams linebacker Nick Dzubnar as the team’s only options at middle linebacker, which is why a case can easily be made to draft Evans in the first round.
Still, Jewell would be a solid pick at No. 84.
In four seasons as a member of the Hawkeyes, Jewell racked up 433 tackles with 28 going for a loss of yardage. He added six interceptions and 26 passes defensed, showing that he may be able to add something in pass coverage, something that is essential in today’s NFL.