The Los Angeles Chargers have pressing needs on the offensive and defensive line. Here are ten “trench” picks the team can make in the 2019 NFL Draft…
The Chargers have half a dozen needs following free agency, but none are more notable than the ones at right tackle and defensive tackle. Both must be addressed in the draft, as the team opted to not spend money at either position to bring in new bodies to the trenches. Fortunately, the team is facing the opportunity for talent at each spot to be found in different rounds of the draft. Here are ten “trench” picks that the Chargers could make:
Defensive Tackle: Greg Gaines, Washington
Gaines is one of those Pro Football Focus darlings you’ll be surprised fell as far as he did, as he currently grades out at a 91.8 while being ninth in run-stop percentage and 11th in pass rush productivity.
Though undersized at 6’1″, 312 pounds, Gaines has a high motor who is willing to put in the dirty work to eat up double teams. His size appears to give him a naturally powerful anchor that works well to control the line of scrimmage, though he is limited as a pass rusher and will have trouble translating his small pass-rush skill set to the NFL.
Greg Gaines is a hoss. Sorta loses this snap at first, but just grinds through it. pic.twitter.com/MhZDLsBVpz
— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) January 27, 2019
The Chargers currently have a problem when stopping the run caused by one of two issues: Undersized linebackers or a defensive line that are unable to keep them clean. With Gaines, teams will get a guy that will rarely flash on tape but will consistently do enough to help the guys behind him do their jobs best.
Draft Projection: Third round or early Day Three
Offensive Tackle: Chuma Edoga, USC
Like Gaines, Chuma Edoga does his best work in the running game, though as an offensive tackle. His long arms (34 3/4″) give him the ability to stay at right tackle despite his smaller stature at 6’3″, 308 pounds. Edoga fires out of his stance much quicker than the defensive lineman in front of him, and can make plays in space.
Some team might get a steal with #USC OT Chuma Edoga. He's small for a tackle (6-3, 308 pounds) but he has long arms and lightning quick feet. Take your eye off the QB and watch the right tackle here. Explosiveness out of his stance, foot speed, change of direction. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/E8LZjHjtkm
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) March 22, 2019
This is one of the guys that could be taken later by the Chargers to double dip in this draft. Telesco has drafted as many as three lineman in one draft before, so he could opt to get a starter in the first round and a legitimate backup (for now) tackle later on.
Draft Projection: Early Day Three