Chargers: Defensive players from the Senior Bowl American Team to watch

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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

The Senior Bowl is tomorrow, Saturday, January 30 and the LA Chargers could very well shape their big board for the 2021 NFL Draft around what they see. Tom Telesco loves picking players who play well in the Senior Bowl and let’s not forget that last year’s Senior Bowl MVP was Justin Herbert.

It won’t completely decide who the Chargers drat and when, but it is a very valuable resource that could be the deciding factor between two prospects. Regardless, I would pay close attention to this game to get an idea on who the Bolts may target in the draft.

Our own Devon Auriemma gave his players to watch in the Senior Bowl, all of which were offensive players. Thus, I wanted to take a crack and bring you the defensive players that the Chargers should be watching… but on both teams. The National Team will get its own article.

Defensive players on the American Team that the LA Chargers should keep an eye on:

1. Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB

The LA Chargers need to draft an outside cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft but it is unlikely that the team is going to draft one in the earlier rounds. The team needs a lot of offensive line depth, and quite frankly, it would not be surprising if the first two picks this year were offensive linemen.

Thus, the team has to focus on players that they could get in the third or fourth round who can really make a difference. One of those potential players is Syracuse’s Ifeatu Melifonwu.

Melifonwu has the NFL intangibles as he has NFL size and speed and had a really impressive season for the Orange this season. Melifonwu had six passes defended and one interception in 10 games and proved to be good both in pass defense and run defense on the outside.

As Joe Marino of The Draft Network points out, Melifonwu is better suited in zone coverage and that is fine. While the Chargers are going away from Gus Bradley’s zone, the team could still use Melinfonwu as early as the 2021 season and eventually blossom him into something special.

If all goes as planned, Melifonwu will be a starting-caliber outside cornerback in a year or two.