Chargers Draft

Los Angeles Chargers: 5 defensive tackles to target after the first round

BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 21: Defensive tackle Tim Settle #4 and safety Terrell Edmunds #22 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrate their sack on quarterback Brandon Harris #6 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first half at Lane Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 21: Defensive tackle Tim Settle #4 and safety Terrell Edmunds #22 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrate their sack on quarterback Brandon Harris #6 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the first half at Lane Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Chargers need to upgrade the defensive tackle position. Lucky for them, this is a pretty deep class of interior linemen.

Help needed! The Chargers can’t stop the run.

The Chargers finished with the second-worst rush defense in 2017. They also allowed a league-worst 4.9 yards per carry.

Not only that, but defensive tackle Corey Liuget, who has been a starter (an underwhelming one as of late) since 2011, will miss the first four games of the year after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Nose tackle Brandon Mebane is coming off injury, just turned 33 years old and in the final year of his three-year deal.

Washington’s Vita Vea would be a great selection at 17, but there’s a good chance he might not be there when the Chargers are on the clock. Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne is another option in the first, but if his teammate, linebacker Rashaan Evans, is there, I’m going with the versatile, playmaking linebacker. Michigan’s Maurice Hurst, who has a heart issue, and Taven Bryan, a superb athlete who is raw, will likely not make it out of the first. Stanford’s Harrison Phillips could go early in the second, too.

No worries. There are several other prospects who could make an impact Day 1. Let’s take a look.

*Note: This order is based on where I believe each player will get drafted.

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