The Los Angeles Chargers are fortifying the defense. After selecting safety Derwin James in the first round, the team added a linebacker in the next, taking USC’s Uchenna Nwosu.
Nwosu notched 169 total tackles in 44 career games for the Trojans and 20.5 of those went for a loss of yardage. He also had 12.5 sacks but when looking at his career stats, the number that jumps off the page is the 13 passes defensed he had as a senior last year.
He can line up at all three linebacker positions and the Chargers may have been drawn to his versatility. The hope will be that he can come in and help improve the run defense.
Still, Lance Zierlein NFL.com had a grade between the third and fourth rounds on him.
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Nwosu looks like a guy who can be a nice rotational player, but there’s not much to make me feel like this wasn’t a reach. The Chargers still need a defensive tackle at some point, right? Maurice Hurst and Tim Settle were still on the board (and maybe one or both of them still will be at No. 84), but to me, either of those guys would have been a better pick in this spot.
I’m not going to call it a terrible pick. Nwosu appears to be an athletic, hard-hitting linebacker that can be some more nastiness to the Chargers’ defense. I just feel there were better players that filled a more pressing need that this guy. Unless of course, he’s going to line up at middle linebacker on opening day and help the Chargers get much better against the run.
Now the attention turns to pick No. 84. Could a guy like Hurst or Settle still be there? Will Tom Telesco even select them if they are?