The Los Angeles Chargers need an upgrade at linebacker. Here are five prospects the Chargers can target outside of the first round.
The linebacker class is somewhat deep, but the drop-off in talent is noticeable.
That’s why taking a linebacker (Tremaine Edmunds/Roquan Smith/Rashaan Evans) in the first round makes a ton of sense. Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch isn’t a bad player, but I personally don’t think he’s worth it at 17, and there’s no way he’ll fall to the Chargers in the second round.
However, there are several other prospects who could still make an impact Day 1. The players I chose have the versatility to play multiple roles, which stands out, but they (most of them) are my preferred options at the SAM (strong-side) linebacker position, the position that needs to be upgraded the most.
Kyle Emanuel was the starter there last season, but he needs to be replaced; he’ll still provide solid depth. MIKE (middle) linebacker Denzel Perryman is a stud, but he needs to stay healthy; they’ll add insurance somehow. At WILL (weak-side) linebacker, people forget about Jatavis Brown, who was really good as a rookie; I believe he’ll bounce back in his third year with the Chargers. UCF’s Shaquem Griffin is a guy I really like and he could compete for that spot, but I’ll talk about that in my next article.
That said, let’s take a look.
*Note: This order is based on where I believe each player will get drafted.