Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports – LA Chargers
3. Marlon Tuipulotu, IDL
Sleeper pick, anyone?
The reviews have been raving about Marlon Tuipulotu so there is a good chance that he might not actually be a sleeper after all. However, Tuipulotu currently projects to be a day two pick (second or third round) and is more likely to go in the third round.
While interior defensive line is not the biggest need for the LA Chargers, if Tuipulotu falls to the team’s second pick in the third round or the team is really able to bolster the offensive line with the first two picks then I would not be shocked to see the Chargers go this route, especially if he shows up in the Senior Bowl.
Our FanSided sister site, Reign of Troy, did a great piece breaking down all of the rave reviews and some tape footage of Tuipulotu from the Senior Bowl practices. If you want an in-depth look into how he is trending right now, I would go check that piece out in the linked text above.
Tuipulotu is someone who the Chargers would draft in either a 4-3 defense or a 3-4 defense. While Tuipulotu is not quite nose tackle in a 3-4 defense material, he is someone who could line up as the second defensive end as he is good against both the pass and the run.
In a 4-3 defense, he provides better run defense at the second defensive tackle spot alongside Linval Joseph and helps make up for the poor play of Jerry Tillery.
Tillery is the one thing that could stop a pick like this from happening though, especially if the team stays with a 4-3 defense. The front office may still be holding out faith for Tillery, giving him one more chance to prove his worth with Justin Jones as depth.
I don’t want the Chargers to go that route, but I would not be surprised if they did and they simply waited until the sixth round to draft a depth defensive tackle.
However, Marlon Tuipulotu balling out on Saturday could very well change the team’s mind if that is the case.