Drue Tranquill has elevated his play over the last few weeks. He had his best game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Tom Telesco has hit on another late-round draft gem in Tranquill. The former Notre Dame standout has been excellent on special teams all season. The team has been slowly increasing his playing time on the first-team defense and he now has two games under his belt where he has played more than 50 percent of the snaps.
He has responded wonderfully, in those two games he has a combined 21 tackles. On the season he is up to 50 total tackles, not bad for someone who wasn’t a projected starter from day one.
On Sunday, he did have his first big mistake when he roughed the Broncos punter Colby Wadman. Other than that, he had his best game as a pro.
Where Tranquill really excels as a linebacker is his aggressiveness in the run game. When he sees an opening he likes, he attacks it with his head on fire. He finished Sunday’s game with three tackles for loss, which led the team.
That kind of production is something the team has been missing all season. He repeatedly shot through holes and blew up Broncos players in the backfield. Tranquill has flashed this ability at times throughout the season, but on Sunday he finally put it together for a whole four quarters.
With the season going the way it is, at least Chargers fans can focus on player development.
Fans have been wondering all season long who from this rookie class would step up and be a consistent contributor. The answer is Tranquill and it’s not very close.
Trey Pipkins and Jerry Tillery have gone through consistent growing pains and Nasir Adderly hasn’t been able to get on the field. Tranquill, however, is on a great trajectory and is pretty clearly this year’s Desmond King.
Should the team decide to move on from Denzel Perryman in the offseason, the starting will linebacker position will be in good hands. Even if they don’t, Tranquill should be the starter going forward.