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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4 of 5

NC State DT B.J. Hill

B.J. Hill did the dirty work on a talented Wolfpack defensive line–a line that featured top DE Bradley Chubb–yet he was still pretty productive for a nose tackle.

Hill made an impact right away as a true freshman. From 2014-17, he racked up 185 total tackles, including 25 for loss, 10 pass deflections, nine sacks, two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks in 51 games played (44 starts). Hill won a team award in every season, too. Fun fact: He once was a running back in high school, carrying the ball 118 times for 819 yards and five touchdowns.

Scouts say he’s an instinctive defender with a high football IQ. Hill himself says his strengths are “stopping the run and commanding double teams.” He also got a ton of pressures in 2015 and 2016.

B.J. Hill enters the NFL draft after a productive career at NC State pic.twitter.com/X4AMssRv7w

— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 4, 2018

Here’s a breakdown of film on Hill. He also looked relentless during one-on-ones in Senior Bowl practices. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder is NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah’s 50th-best prospect. Nnadi and Settle didn’t make the list. Here’s what Jeremiah had to say.

“Hill lines up at defensive tackle for the Wolfpack. He has broad shoulders and a thick, muscular frame for the position. Against the run, he plays with balance and power at the point of attack and flashes the quickness to penetrate/disrupt. His effort to chase plays is excellent. As a pass rusher, he has a quick slap/rip move and he generates a lot of pressures. He lacks sack production, but I believe that will come in time. Overall, Hill is very athletic and his best football is ahead of him.”‘

Unlike the previous two on my list, Hill blew up the combine. He ran a 4.99-second 40-yard dash, benched press 35 reps of 225 pounds and clocked 7.28 seconds in the three-cone drill and 4.53 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle. He was a top performer among all defensive linemen who participated in those categories. He also looked smooth in on-field drills and has big hands. Again, testing that well at his size is extremely impressive.

Can he play at a consistent level? Scouts say he disappears every so often. They also say he needs to get stronger at the point of attack. He could get driven back by NFL-caliber offensive linemen.

Telesco will love his length, athletic traits, effort and production. Will he be able to hold up as a two-gapping 1-tech? Not sure, but he has experience playing the nose. As a 3-tech, he would rely on athleticism and attack upfield. Regardless, I really think Hill will do his best work and thrive in Bradley’s scheme, which makes this pick more intriguing.

Round Prediction: Round 3-4

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