With the 2020 NFL Draft just a month away, there’s plenty of excitement around who the LA Chargers take at six. The late draft steals and sleepers are also important.
The first round of the draft provides some tangible excitement for the LA Chargers. There are six or seven possible names on who it could be, and the draft hasn’t been that wide open for the Chargers in a while. Whether the sixth pick ends up being Isaiah Simmons, Tua Tagovailoa, or someone else, it’s easy to see why fans are hyped.
However, the late rounds in drafts are where drafts are won. Players like Desmond King and Justin Jackson were taken on the last day of the draft. Even Keenan Allen, one of the best receivers in the league, wasn’t taken until the middle of the third round.
For the purposes of this list, the player has to be currently projected to be at least a late third-round prospect. In making this list, I mostly used Pro Football Network’s most recent seven-round mock draft, as well as my own mock drafts I’ve done through The Draft Network’s mock draft machine.
TE Charlie Taumoepeau, Portland State
There are no sleepers in the NFL Draft like FCS prospects. Charlie Taumoepeau has risen up draft boards following good outings at the senior bowl and combine. He’s gone from a prospect that was likely undraftable to a sixth or seventh-round pick.
Taumoepeau really made his presence felt with the three-cone drill and the vertical jump. Both were second-best among tight ends at the combine. Some NFL general managers have made the request of Taumoepeau to convert to running back, mostly because of his downhill running style in space. He’s still out to prove he can play tight end.
On tape, Taumoepeau’s effort while blocking is really noticeable. He also has great quickness once he gets away. There are moments though where it’s evident to see why NFL scouts are hesitant on him playing tight end at the next level. He can struggle with separation from defenders, particularly off the line.
In terms of his fit with the Chargers, the team does need some help for the future of the tight end position. Virgil Green is on the last year of his deal and Sean Culkin is currently a free agent they may or may not bring back. Taumoepeau can provide some much-needed depth, even if Hunter Henry is the future of the position with a potential contract extension.
The other FCS TE at the Senior Bowl that no one is talking about is Portland State TE Charlie Taumoepeau.
Athletic playmaker who just an absolute tank in the open field. Dude just doesn’t go down. pic.twitter.com/lHmIMHvTE8
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 21, 2020