Round 6, Pick 166: Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU
Linebacker isn’t a position the Chargers have a desperate need for, considering they still have players like Thomas Davis, Kyzir White, Denzel Perryman, and Drue Tranquill. However, this may be a nod to the future type pick.
Perryman and Davis are coming into the last years of their contracts while Jatavis Brown will become a free agent in March.
As a junior, Jacob Phillips led the vaunted LSU defense in tackles, with 113 total and 7.5 for loss. The main factor in being so low in mock drafts is the fact he’s coming out early.
Had he stayed another year, he’d probably be a second or third-rounder. There are just so many names on the LSU defense that it becomes hard to stick out.
He’s a hard worker that just needs skill development. Coverage was a problem in his tenure at LSU, but he did tend to get better at that as time went on. Anticipation might be a problem at the next level, but that can be developed.
In the sixth round, you’re likely getting a guy that’s less than pro-ready anyway, but Phillips feels like he has a higher ceiling than most sixth-round picks.
Round 7, Pick 197: A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College
In his three years at Boston College, A.J. Dillon was terrific. Frankly, his draft stock is affected by the fact he was at Boston College and not a bigger school. The numbers leap out at you. 38 touchdowns, 4382 yards, and 5.2 yards per carry are monstrous.
His quickness is sometimes a surprise because of his size. A 250-pound running back shouldn’t have the quickness he does.
Because of his size, he’s a pain to bring down. He works as a decent complement to Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson with his size and power. He may end up being the body the Chargers have confidence in between tackles and on the goal line.
At this point, Melvin Gordon is up in the air in terms of whether he’s coming back to the team next year with his free agency. The Chargers hit on their pick when they took Jackson in the seventh round a few years ago, and here they get a good, undervalued running back to shore up the running back group with the uncertainty of Gordon.
AJ Dillon’s gotta be the smoothest 250-pound back ever. Easy-glide feet on a man that imposing is a fun combination. pic.twitter.com/rGOwLIOMAV
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) November 23, 2019
As the NFL makes the turn into next week’s combine, this is where the Chargers’ draft stands for me.
Herbert feels like the pick at six, especially with the departure of Rivers. Despite mixed opinion, he fits what Lynn wants. Jackson and Mims, especially Mims, can be instant contributors on offense to shore up the offensive line and red zone attack, respectively.
On defense, Elliott strikes as a guy who can contribute right now on the interior line. Pride is a good corner with terrific athleticism who may move up the draft. In the sixth, taking a flyer on Phillips at linebacker is a move worth making, especially with his tackling ability.
Finally, Dillon seems like an undervalued running back with good size and elite strength.