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LA Chargers 2019 rookie report card: Cortez Broughton

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 08: TJ Logan #22 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball while being tackled by Cortez Broughton #91 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 08: TJ Logan #22 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball while being tackled by Cortez Broughton #91 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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With their seventh-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft, the LA Chargers selected Cortez Broughton, a defensive tackle out of Cincinnati.

Broughton was selected with the 242nd overall pick in the draft, so there was no risk with this pick as the draft was in its final stages. Looking to fortify their defensive line even further after drafting Jerry Tillery in the first round, the Chargers decided to take a flier on Broughton.

Broughton was a starter as a freshman with the Bearcats, finishing his career with 156 tackles in 48 career college games. That included 29 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. He exploded with 7.5 sacks in his senior year, showing himself to be quite the disruptive defensive tackle.

It was thought the Chargers may have found a late-round gem, but like with many of the players from this draft class, Broughton saw minimal time on the field.

He made the team’s 53-man roster but was regularly listed as an inactive on gamedays. He suited up or just two regular-season contests.

Draft day grade

We did not have out a grade following the selection of Broughton but there was some thought that he could be a difference-maker shortly into his career. Clearly some of us were excited about the team’s picks of Tillery and Broughton and felt that they would both contribute as rookies.

Instead, those reps went to guys like Sylvester Williams and Damion Square.

Stats

Tackles: 5

Games played: 2

Defensive snaps: 21

Broughton was not part of the team’s plans in 2019 but that was the case for just about every rookie drafted aside from Drue Tranquill. As a seventh-round pick, his spot on the roster is far from guaranteed and he will need to make some plays this summer in order to stick around.

Williams and Square are both unrestricted free agents this offseason so the decisions that are made in regards to them will directly impact Broughton’s future. If neither is brought back, it could be a nod of confidence toward the young defensive lineman.

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Other defensive tackles currently on the roster include Tillery, Justin Jones, Brandon Mebane and P.J. Johnson. Broughton could easily earn some backup reps as a rotational player among that group.

Grade

It’s hard to grade a player who was only in uniform for two games, but it can’t really be an incomplete either, such as the one that was handed out to Nasir Adderley.

Broughton failed to make much of an impact as a rookie, but he did make the roster as a seventh-round pick, so he will earn some bonus points for that. He’s still part of the team which means his goal of playing in the NFL still exists. That has to count for something too.

Broughton will be a player to keep an eye on as we head toward the 2020 season, particularly if opportunities open up should the team move on from Williams, Square and perhaps even Mebane.

Grade: C-

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