Chargers Draft

LA Chargers: Predicting Tom Telesco’s wildcard pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

By Steven Haglund
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Tom Telesco general manager of the Los Angeles Chargers is seen at the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Tom Telesco general manager of the Los Angeles Chargers is seen at the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

Potential day two surprises:

I’ll be ignoring the first round here because almost all the signs have pointed towards the team taking a quarterback or offensive tackle with the number six overall.

Maybe Telesco would take a Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs with the sixth pick but the only true curveball would be taking a guy like Patrick Queen, which I just don’t see. Ultimately the first pick for the LA Chargers should be a quarterback or offensive tackle.

The true wildcard picks would then come on day two of the NFL draft. The first one I’ll throw out here is former Michigan linebacker Joshua Uche. While linebacker has been thrown out there as a possibility in the second round, even by The Athletic’s Daniel Popper, it’s never been a linebacker like Uche.

We know this front office and coaching staff really values defensive players who can play multiple roles and ultimately be used to create mismatches. Uche is an edge/linebacker hybrid who really excels at rushing the passer, but he showed at the senior bowl that he can also cover in space and shoot the gaps as a traditional linebacker.

His scouting report almost mirrors that of Uchenna Nwosu. Both were viewed as an undersized edge rusher that might have to play linebacker at the next level. Uche showed his ability as an off the ball linebacker down in mobile throughout the week in practice, and then went out and dominated the game as a pass rusher. He is explosive off the edge and very technically refined, he has the ability to throw a couple counters at opposing offensive tackles.

If the first round goes a certain way and Telesco doesn’t like the value on the board at positions of need, don’t be surprised if he drafts another hybrid edge defender like Uche or Wisconsin’s Zack Baun with the 37th pick. Either of them would be able to step into Nwosu’s role if the team decides to move on from Nwosu or Ingram following next season.

Despite having Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Nwosu on the roster the Chargers finished 28th in the league in sacks last year. Now, a lot of that stems from not having much of a pass rush from the interior defensive line and injuries of course but clearly there needs to be an infusion of talent somewhere in this regard.

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