With the 160th overall pick, the LA Chargers select LaBryan Ray, IDL, Alabama
Full disclosure: I have picked LaBryan Ray in multiple LA Chargers mock drafts this offseason. Ray is such a solid fit for this team this late in the draft that I have placed my flag on the LaBryan Ray hill and will die on it.
Whether the team is running a 4-3 defense or 3-4 defense they need help on the inside defending runs. The only consistent good run defender that the Chargers have is Linval Joseph, who is in the last year of his deal and is on the wrong side of 30.
Jerry Tillery is extremely disappointing and is a complete non-factor in defending the run. He can get by in a 4-3 defense, in a 3-4 defense he is practically unusable on anything other than guaranteed third-down passing downs.
Justin Jones is an okay depth option, but that’s about it. This team needs better run defenders in the middle not just to play on running downs next to Joseph but to give the team an option once Joseph’s tenure ends.
That is what makes Ray such a great pick this late in the draft. He falls this low because he is one-dimensional as a run stuffer but that is exactly the dimension that the Chargers need to add to the defense.
Get it done, Tom Telesco. Draft LaBryan Ray.