Seeking another versatile linebacker prospect, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Emeke Egbule in the sixth round of the 2019 draft.
Emeke Egbule did make the Chargers’ 53-man roster as a rookie and played in 15 games for the team last season. However, he didn’t make much of an impact on the defensive side of the ball.
The Chargers were deep at the linebacker position and unless a player, or maybe even multiple players went down with an injury, Egbule was going to have to settle for a role on special teams. That was indicative by snaps he saw this past season.
Egbule was present for a total of just 21 defensive snaps this past season, but he was out there for 43.8 percent of the special teams snaps. That led to him collecting four tackles in his rookie campaign.
Draft day grade: B+
We showed the same optimism the Chargers had when this pick was made, figuring that his ability to help out in multiple areas would make him an asset to the team. Though the sample size offered by Egbule was small, it’s hard to say that it’s a bad assessment.
Generally, a sixth-round pick is going to have to earn a role on special teams and work their way into a more active role. Egbule is in the process of doing that, so his rookie season went about as expected.
What to expect in the future
Egbule will not be guaranteed a spot on the roster in 2020. He is still a developing player, but the Chargers have enough depth at linebacker and several standouts on special teams that make Ebgule expendable.
For Egbule’s career to continue with the Chargers, he will need to be able to show that he can be used more on defense this upcoming season in certain packages. He is a good tackler and has the ability to drop back in pass coverage, but will he be able to steal reps from the established linebackers on the roster?
As far as a grade, there isn’t much to evaluate from his rookie season. He only had four tackles on the year but he was active for 15 games and available on nearly half of the team’s special teams snaps.
That shows he had a role on the squad.
This wasn’t a homerun pick, but how many sixth-round selections are? It also wasn’t a terrible pick if you’re judging the full body of work.