The LA Chargers added 10 undrafted free agents after the 2021 NFL Draft, yet DT Jared Goldwire could prove to be the best pickup of the bunch.
It’s safe to say the LA Chargers deserve much of the praise they’re getting for general manager Tom Telesco’s efforts in the 2021 NFL Draft, particularly at the very top by landing arguably the best offensive tackle in the class, Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater, along with one of the more enticing cornerbacks, Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr.
Telesco’s subsequent additions were promising, too, although it was something of a shock he didn’t pick up some additional help for the interior of the defensive line.
True, undrafted free agents rarely create the buzz drafted players receive, particularly those taken on days one and two. Yet they can be just as crucial pieces, especially if they’re given the opportunity and develop correctly.
That’s exactly what Los Angeles is hoping happens with Louisville defensive tackle Jared Goldwire, who should be viewed as the best of the 10 total UDFAs the LA Chargers signed shortly after the draft ended.
The Chargers already have a defensive tackle in Goldwire’s mold, Linval Joseph, and they’re hoping their former first-round pick from 2019, defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, can take that next leap in his development entering his third year at the pro level.
But a solid rotation up front will be key to LA’s defense, meaning Goldwire could be climbing his way up the depth chart sooner than later.
What Jared Goldwire offers the LA Chargers
The 2021 draft wasn’t particularly deep with interior defensive linemen, and even the outside edge rushers in this class had some major question marks.
Goldwire has his question marks, too. But his 6-foot-6, 304-pound frame presents an imposing figure capable of lining up at multiple spots along the defensive front.
Provided by CFB at Sports ReferenceGenerated 5/4/2021.
Goldwire flashed some interior pass-rushing abilities at the collegiate level, although those may not necessarily translate over to the pro level as Goldwire might not have the sheer pass-rushing skill set to overwork or outmaneuver NFL-level offensive linemen. Yet that should be OK enough, though, because he’s more than adept at being a quality run stopper.
While run-stuffing defensive linemen aren’t always heralded, there’s always room for them on the back end of a roster.
The LA Chargers will need to work on Goldwire’s pad level. If he can hone that technique and despite his limited burst ability, there’s plenty of room for him to work into the D-line rotation as a situational base-down defender.
And anything productive with regards to the pass rush would only be a bonus.
Fortunately, the depth ahead of him within the interior presents an opportunity for Goldwire to make a splash right away in training camp, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Louisville product turning some heads between now and Week 1.