LA Chargers: Six 2020 NFL Draft predictions for key positions
Prediction #2: A linebacker is drafted in the second or third round.
Thomas Davis was cut by the LA Chargers prior to the start of free agency. Davis was certainly past his prime, but the impact he had on the defense last year was undeniable. He had 112 tackles over the course of the season to lead the team.
Kyzir White and Denzel Perryman currently lead the depth chart at strongside and middle linebacker. Perryman is heading into the last year of a restructured contract with Drue Tranquill seemingly on the verge of getting more playing time.
Anthony Lynn was hesitant when it came to playing Kyzir White last year, despite a decent season. While he’s said it was mainly due to slowly bringing him back from his 2018 injury, it feels like a year is more than enough time to decide whether they believe in him as a full-time starter or not.
Despite saying they’re relatively satisfied with the depth at the linebacker position, it just feels like a so-so unit on an otherwise great defense right now.
This draft is somewhat thin when it comes to linebacker, but that might work in the Chargers’ favor. Prospects like Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen have slipped down draft boards to the point where one of them might be available in the second round. Akeem Davis-Gaither and Jordyn Brooks are two hard-hitting linebacker prospects that could be targeted in the third round or so.
Linebacker being thinner than most other positions in the draft means that there will be a solid linebacker available in the second or third round as other teams attempt to scoop up a coveted wide receiver or offensive tackle.