Best rookie: Drue Tranquill
The Chargers didn’t exactly knock it out of the park with their 2019 draft class, so Tranquill pretty much wins this award by default. That’s not to say that Tranquill played poorly because he was better as a rookie than most expected, but it is a knock on the rest of the class.
First-round pick, Jerry Tillery: 17 tackles, 2 sacks
Second-round pick, Nasir Adderley: 2 total tackles, only played in four games
Third-round pick, Trey Pipkins: Pressed into action late in the season, needs more development
Fifth-round pick, Easton Stick: Spent season as team’s No. 3 quarterback, didn’t play a snap
Sixth-round pick, Emeke Egbule: Four total tackles
Seventh-round pick, Cortez Broughton: Five total tackles
Players like Broughton and Egbule were just used as added depth. Stick was not expected to play this season but the Chargers had to keep him on the 53-man roster to protect him from being poached off the practice squad by another team.
Tillery and Adderley were both massive disappointments. Adderley was slowed by injuries but Tillery just wasn’t able to produce as a rookie, losing snaps to guys like Damion Square and Sylvester Williams, two guys who were supposed to be “depth” guys.
But Traquill shined for a fourth-round pick. The rookie linebacker from Notre Dame finished second on the team with 75 tackles and played quite well on special teams. It will be interesting to see how he progresses in his second season but if he keeps up the level of play that he showed in his rookie campaign, he will be pushing for a starting role next season.