Kyzir White is going to the Philadelphia Eagles after a career season with the Chargers. It's officially time to look at linebacker replacements in the NFL Draft. White leaving does not necessarily mean that the Chargers are going to be using their number 17 overall pick on a linebacker, but there are plenty of good options available if they choose to do that, or if they choose to wait until a later round.
Kyzir White was a unique player for the Bolts. He was drafted as an ultra-aggressive safety out of the University of West Virginia. At 218 pounds and running a 4.69 40 yard dash, the Chargers almost immediately knew that his downhill play-style would work better at linebacker, where he wouldn't have to defend faster receivers as often. He could run from sideline to sideline, catching up to outside runs and swing passes to running backs. His 2021 season he saw 90 solo tackles along with 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles.
If the Chargers are going to want an immediate replacement who can start right away, they are likely going to have to draft a player in the first 3 rounds, but there are a lot of options that the Chargers currently have.
Three linebackers the Chargers could draft to replace Kyzir White:
1. Devin Lloyd, Utah
Devin Lloyd is the obvious linebacker to pick at 17 in the draft. Lloyd has set himself up nicely after a stellar senior season where he led the University of Utah to their first Pac-12 Championship along with an appearance at the Rose Bowl.
The Chula Vista native was a playmaker all season recording 66 solo tackles along with 8 sacks and 4 interceptions. 2 of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns, including a critical one in the Pac-12 Championship against the Oregon Ducks. Lloyd would bring immediate tenacity along with a downhill play style.
As all Charger fans know, playing downhill and aggressively doesn't always lead to immediate success. Kyzir White took three seasons and two coaching staffs before finding his footing in 2021. Kenneth Murray, who was described similarly as a TFL machine and a downhill player has still yet to find his place in the Chargers defense.
One main difference between Lloyd and other prospects is that he is coming from a strong defensive program in the University of Utah. 43 TFLs in 3 seasons along with adequate pass-rush skill could bode well with Brandon Staley's defense that rewards dynamic players. If Lloyd is still available at 17, do not be surprised if Tom Telesco pulls the trigger.