LA Chargers News

Ten “trench” picks the Chargers could make in the 2019 NFL Draft

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Greg Gaines #99 of the Washington Huskies attempts to intercept a pass by Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Greg Gaines #99 of the Washington Huskies attempts to intercept a pass by Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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TEMPE, AZ – NOVEMBER 21: Defensive lineman Renell Wren #95 of the Arizona State Sun Devils celebrates as he walks off the field after defeating the Arizona Wildcats 52-37 in the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TEMPE, AZ – NOVEMBER 21: Defensive lineman Renell Wren #95 of the Arizona State Sun Devils celebrates as he walks off the field after defeating the Arizona Wildcats 52-37 in the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Defensive Tackle: Renell Wren, ASU

Wren registered just 43 tackles and one sack in his final year at ASU, but is regarded as one of the most physically tantalizing prospects in this year’s defensive line class. He’ll have to be molded and refined at the next level, but if the coaching staff can bring out the best in him, it’s a huge bonus for the defense. Though, that’s a big “if”, and that’s why he’s projected as a third round selection. The Chargers have never used anything higher than a third round selection on a defensive tackle (Justin Jones last year) under Tom Telesco, and a pick in that range again would allow the team to take advantage of a deep draft class to fill a need.

And boy do the Chargers need some more of this:

So it didn't take long for me to see why Fangio and the #Broncos have shown interest in Renell Wren. pic.twitter.com/F22CNiu2mJ

— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) March 4, 2019

Draft Projection: Third round

Offensive Tackle: Isaiah Prince, Ohio State

Isaiah Prince is not a member of the top tiers of offensive linemen in this class, but with refinement he could be a solid backup to eventual starter. The six-foot-six starter out of Ohio State needs to work on problems that many “tall” tackles have, such as pad level and balance. He’ll be a late round pick coveted for his athletic ability but knocked for his bust potential. The Chargers may not get an immediate starter out of him, but given the right coaching he could serve as a backup to the early draft choice *cough Dalton Risner* selected by the Chargers earlier in the draft.

For what it’s worth, Prince has one of my favorite blocks by a lineman all season:

Second nomination: Isaiah Prince (@ThePrince_59) for his block against Tulane pic.twitter.com/bVWNX1PcE6

— A Bunch of Nuts Podcast (@bunch_nuts) December 7, 2018

Draft Projection: Day 3

Defensive Tackle: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

You don’t become a projected first round selection without some “measurables”, and at 6’4″, 342 pounds, Lawrence is one of the most physically imposing defensive tackles in this class. Despite being sixth in run-stop percentage and fourth in pass rush productivity by Pro Football Focus rating, Lawrence only had 15 solo tackles and 1.5 sacks. His 33 total pressures and 25 total stops, however, show just how disruptive he can be. He was also suspended from playing in the National Championship game against Alabama last year due to a failed drug test.

If the Chargers take Lawrence, they’ll get something they haven’t had in a long time: A truly physically imposing force in the middle of the defense. If they want to retain the “smaller” linebackers they currently have starting or rotating, then they need to get bigger on the defensive line. Lawrence can do that with size alone, and between Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, he’ll flourish.

And, for kicks, he can do this:

Last week Christian Wilkins got into the endzone. This week it was Dexter Lawrence's turn!

BIG. MAN. TOUCHDOWNS. FOREVER?#ALLIN? (@ClemsonFB, @llawrence2139) pic.twitter.com/cExCOLbLwE

— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 3, 2018

Draft Projection: First Round

Offensive Tackle: Max Scharping, Northern Illinois

When it comes to pass protection, Scharping is better suited as a right tackle who can handle bull rushers. At 6’6″, 327 pounds, Scharping has all the physical tools that display upper-body power when taking on defenders. His biggest problem seems to come against speed rushers, where not only can players sometimes get past him, but the worry about being beat around the outside can lead to him over-stepping and being beat on an inside counter. He struggled against Iowa, giving up a sack-fumble to an edge rusher that had him stumbling to the dirt.

Northern Illinois left tackle Max Scharping clamping down Brian Burns with an incredibly strong inside hand jab. Good hand strength, arm extension and balance. Scharping held his own against FSU. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/clZB7VtKZQ

— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) March 22, 2019

Above is a good example of what he does best, which is physically negate rushers who come straight for him. If coached well, though, Scharping can be a true steal of the draft.

Draft Projection: Day 3

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