The Los Angeles Chargers drafted a linebacker and a safety who will likely play some linebacker within the first four rounds of the NFL draft. That didn’t stop the team from adding another linebacker through the undrafted free-agent process.
D’Juan Hines finished in a tie for fourth for most tackles in the American Athletic Conference last season season. But his college career actually started on the offensive side of the ball.
A high school quarterback, Hines was listed as an athlete when he came to Houston, meaning the team saw him as a guy who could potentially play at many different spots. He started at wide receiver, but the coaching staff eventually decided that linebacker was a better fit.
Name: D’Juan Hines
Hometown: Spring, Texas
Hines would eventually suit up in 33 games for the Cougars, saving his best performance for last. He registered 110 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss during his senior season. In his last game, the 2017 Hawaii Bowl against Fresno State, he posted six tackles. He also had the only interception of his college career and forced a fumble in that game, both of which you’ll see highlights of in the video below.
Hines didn’t receive much attention entering the draft. The undrafted process seemed like the avenue he’d have to take to the professional level, and the Chargers came calling.
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He’ll be buried on the depth chart to start training camp, but it’s not like the Chargers possess a bevy of great linebackers. In fact, if there’s an opportunity on this team, it might be there.
Denzel Perryman and Uchenna Nwosu will make the team and Jatavis Brown, though not a lock, most likely will too. Fourth-round pick Kyzir White, a safety by definition, will likely play many snaps at linebacker this season. Beyond that, the team has several players who will have to compete for roster spots and Hines will be in that mix.
But if football doesn’t work out for the young linebacker, he seems to have plenty to fall back on, having earned a master’s degree in Global Retailer and a bachelor’s degree in Retail Consumer Science.
Hines seems like an intriguing player who is likely to take well to coaching. I like what I see in the highlights. Good footwork and solid tackling form along with the fact that he doesn’t quit on a play.
I don’t know if there’s room on the 53-man roster for him this year, but I don’t think he does any worse than being signed to the team’s 10-man practice squad.