Chargers draft linebacker Uchenna Nwosu at No. 48 overall

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 13: Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu
BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 13: Linebacker Uchenna Nwosu /

And with the 48th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select…

Pick Analysis. Linebacker. USC. Scouting Report. Uchenna Nwosu. 2. 13

Another great pick by Tom Telesco and the Chargers. Had a good feeling it was going to happen, too.

If he's there, I feel like Nwosu is the heavy favorite. Unless they pull a Patriots a.k.a. follow a guy around for the past few months (Lamar) and not use one of their picks on him when draft day comes.

— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) April 27, 2018

USC’s Uchenna Nwosu was one of two linebackers I wanted the Chargers to target on Day 2 had they not taken one in the first round. He’s an athletic, versatile outside linebacker who can play edge in sub-packages. He also has experience at inside linebacker. He’s a solid player who fills a huge hole.

Nwosu didn’t become a full-time starter for the Trojans until 2016 but thrived in his final two seasons. In 2016, he finished with 53 total tackles, including 7.5 for loss, five pass deflections, three sacks and one forced fumble. He was the team’s John McKay award winner, given to the underclassman with the most competitive spirit. In 2017, Nwosu, who was a defensive captain, earned All-Pac-12 honors after finishing the season with 75 total tackles, including 13.5 for loss, 13 pass deflections, 9.5 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

The 6-foot-3, 251-pound Nwosu has a terrific first step, can pressure the QB from all angles and brings physicality vs. the run. His 33 defensive stops tied for the fifth-most among Power 5 edge defenders last season, as noted by Pro Football Focus. And not only can he get to the QB, but he can get his hands on the ball (19 career passes batted) and will be a huge help in getting the defense off the field on third downs. While not often used in coverage, he showed he can hold his own in limited time at USC and in the Senior Bowl.

The Chargers met with him a bunch of times over the past two months. He was listed at OTTO (a.k.a. SAM) and will replace Kyle Emanuel at that position, which was the spot I believed (as did the Chargers) needed the biggest upgrade. And he can rush off the edge, which is great considering one of their better edge rushers (Chris McCain) is no longer on the roster.

This defense, one that was already strong, got even stronger with the selections of safety Derwin James in the first round and now Nwosu in the second.