With the 106th pick, the LA Chargers select…
Hamsah Nasirildeen is a name you may also recognize from my last mock draft along with Leatherwood. He still projects to the late third/early fourth round.
Many BoltBeat readers may remember my draft crush on Isaiah Simmons last year, and Nasirildeen has a similar versatility factor. He can work as a safety deep or slot/outside coverage. Like Simmons, he also can get pressure and play well in that box.
The reason he’s not quite as high of a prospect as Simmons last year is two-fold. The ACL injury in 2019 will scare some teams away from taking him. His instincts are certainly a little bit slower than a top 10 defender.
The Chargers wanted King to be a wild card on defense this year but he never quite lived up to that. With no well-defined role, Nasirildeen can be that secret weapon to use on plays. For a Chargers comparison, he has the role of a do it all defender but with the physicality and size larger than even Derwin James.
Safety isn’t a high priority need in this draft, but Nasirildeen isn’t a safety. He’s a flashy defensive player with great athleticism and few limitations.
In the fifth round, the LA Chargers select…
Some Chargers fans want to take an EDGE player higher, potentially in the 1st or 2nd round. While guys like Gregory Rousseau and Kwity Paye are tempting, Uchenna Nwosu has made some strides this year. I’d like to give him a full season without Melvin Ingram to see what he can be with a full offseason of first-team development.
The Chargers should still take an EDGE though especially if Ingram and some other guys do leave in free agency. Patrick Johnson is a sleeper prospect out of Tulane that fits the bill well.
He’s terrific against the run and that’s where LA has really struggled with their edge rushers this year. Ingram has clearly been playing through injury and Tillery is gashed on the run whenever he plays LEO or EDGE.
In his last three years at Tulane, Johnson has racked up 21 sacks, 35 tackles for loss and 132 tackles. Something that separates Johnson from other EDGE players is his pass coverage. 11 pass deflections is not something commonly seen on a edge rushers resume. Whether he’ll be able to drop into coverage on the NFL level remains to be seen, but it’s something that separates him from the pack.
He reminds me a little bit of Ingram frankly with his speed and physical nature. He’ll be a day two prospect because of the Tulane factor and his lack of length. That shouldn’t stop the Chargers from banking on his intangibles though.