Interior defensive linemen Jay Tufele and Marlon Tuipulotu
The USC Trojans are going to have to replace a lot on the defensive line as they are losing two impact interior defensive linemen to the NFL this season. With them playing the same position and the conversation essentially being the same for both, I figured it would be best to combine the two players on one page.
Jay Tufele is the more polished prospect and is going to go earlier in the 2021 NFL Draft. Tulefe could sneak his way into the second round but I would be shocked if he was picked before the third.
If the LA Chargers draft a corner and tackle that they really love in the first two rounds and there is not a prospect at 77 that they like at another position of need, they could jump the fun a bit for Tulefe.
Tulefe is solid on all three downs and gives the team the depth it needs at defensive tackle with Linval Joseph being a year older with an expiring deal and Jerry Tillery’s disappointing play.
If the Bolts do not want to pick a defensive tackle that early in the draft then they could circle back with the Trojans with Marlon Tuipulotu. The Draft Network ranks Tuipulotu as the 109th prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, which means that the Chargers would likely have to use a fourth-round pick on him.
That is more likely than using a third-round pick on a defensive tackle and the Chargers would still be getting a talented defensive tackle. Tuipulotu is not as polished technique-wise as Tulefe, but he also showed the capability of producing on all three downs. Tuipulotu is even stronger on running downs, which is a massive plus.