Chargers’ instant contributors: Egbule and Broughton
The two remaining immediate starters are OLB/DE Emeke Egbule and DT Cortez Broughton, selected with the team’s sixth and seventh round picks, respectively. Egbule projects to help fill the spot Kyle Emanuel vacated when he retired, which accounts for 20.85 percent of the defensive snaps and 43.95 percent of the special teams snaps.
What’s most impressive when watching Emeke Egbule is his ability to drop in coverage, highlighted by his two interceptions and five pass breakups last season. Then, as he lines up closer to the line, he’s incredibly disruptive, with 12 tackles for loss, four sacks, four fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles in his past two seasons. There’s a spot for disruptive players on any roster, and Egbule could find his number called a few times this season.
Broughton, much like Egbule, can blow up plays on a surprisingly frequent basis. With 18.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 2018, he’s shown he can be just as disruptive as a guy like Renell Wren, a popular mock draft selection for the team in the third round. Those stats are great, but surprisingly, Broughton has a ways to go:
If someone can teach Broughton how to finish a play the #Chargers have a gem in the seventh. Dude can get there, just needs to finish. 96 does not make a play the first two screen shots, does make one in the third shot. pic.twitter.com/Q5Tuw0DIST
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) April 30, 2019
Against UCLA, for example, there were moments where No. 96 would be in position to make another tackle for loss or sacks but be unable to finish the play, either because he couldn’t close or because he took the wrong angle. The opportunities will be fewer in the NFL, but the Chargers’ coaching staff could work with him to finish more plays. He already has the explosive first step; he just needs to finish.
The Chargers, as it appears right now, have found themselves two starters and three immediate contributors for their defense, which is unquestionably the most well-rounded defensive roster in the NFL. This is a great draft haul for the team, even if it doesn’t address every roster deficiency. Really looking forward to watching all five of these men on Sunday’s.