MTSU quarterback Asher O’Hara (10) sacked by Duke defensive end Chris Rumph II (96) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images
The LA Chargers landed some key players on day three of the 2021 NFL Draft, and it’s likely these will be the expectation levels for each.
While the bulk of the attention for the LA Chargers‘ 2021 NFL Draft focused on their first-round selection of Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater at No. 13 overall, and to a lesser extent, Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., in Round 2, the hope for any team like the Bolts is to find some value picks, sleepers and hidden gems on day three of the draft.
General manager Tom Telesco hopes to have done this, bringing aboard a total of five prospects between Rounds 4 and 7 who can immediately compete for depth spots on the regular-season 53-man roster, and some may even be in early consideration for starting jobs if they impress enough during training camp and whatever might amount to a preseason.
Yet it’s important for Telesco and head coach Brandon Staley to set realistic expectation levels for each one of Los Angeles’ rookies entering offseason programs. Obviously, the expectations are lower for sixth- and seventh-round picks compared to Round 4 selections, yet Staley’s modus operandi suggests the top-performing players will win out regardless of where they were drafted.
For now, though, let’s look at what the expectation levels will be for each of the Chargers’ selections on day three of the draft.
Round 4: LA Chargers EDGE Chris Rumph II
2020 proved it was time to move on from veteran EDGE Melvin Ingram, yet Super Bowl LV proved that having two top-quality pass-rushers can be essential to shutting down top-tier passing offenses like that of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Knowing the Chiefs are twice-a-year opponents, getting someone to pair with EDGE Joey Bosa was going to be high on Telesco’s list. And even though LA already has EDGE Uchenna Nwosu on the rise, it made sense for the LA Chargers to reinforce the pass rush even more via the fourth-round grab of Duke EDGE Chris Rumph II.
Rumph, who was an All-ACC selection last year after eight sacks, might be a little lean to be an every-down player right away. But as a situational pass-rusher, the Bolts can get a lot out of him right away.
What’ll be exciting about Rumph is his high motor, and saving him for third-down pass-rushing roles should allow him to conserve his energy while focusing specifically on pass-only downs.
He might be a complementary pass-rusher at best early on. But smart teams know they can never have too many of those kinds of players, and Rump fits the bill perfectly.