With the 97th overall pick, the LA Chargers select Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB
A lot of Chargers fans want to see the team draft Tommy Tremble to be the tight end to eventually take over after Cook is done this season. While Tremble is a very intriguing prospect, he was not available at 97 and any other tight end would have been a reach with this pick.
Instead, the Chargers fill the other big need on the roster in Jordan Smith, who is someone that Chargers fans could get really excited about. Smith is a tad bit raw and would need the right coaching to hit his ceiling. Staley very well could be the man for the job.
Smith has NFL-level athleticism and has the ability to help in the pass-rush, run defense and dropping into coverage. Smith is better suited to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, which is what Staley has ran before, but his flexibility makes him a weapon no matter what the front is.
The Chargers are likely going to change it up week-to-week with the front seven. Smith is someone who would fit perfectly in that style.
Joe Marino of The Draft Network spells it out perfectly:
“Smith’s blend of size, length, effort, and athleticism makes him an appealing edge defender at the next level that best fits in a base 3-4 defense that incorporates hybrid fronts.”
And as Brandon Staley said in his introductory press conference:
“We play so many different groupings. […] We are not tied to one specific way of playing. But I think what you can count on is guys like Joey Bosa, guys like Derwin James, guys like Kenneth Murray […] that they are going to be featured to the best of their abilities and we are going to collaborate and create with them to make sure that they do what they do best.”
Someone such as Smith, who can help with that versatility, is a great fit on the LA Chargers.