With the No. 61 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers
selected Jonas Mouton, LB, Michigan
The moment that I saw this pick, something happened to me that hasn’t happened in a good, long while.
I performed a completely involuntary double take.
You all know that feeling. People always talk about a moment taking their breath away, but you really know a situation is bad when it actually does. This was one of those moments for me.
I knew who Jonas Mouton was before the 2011 NFL Draft from my roommate Eric (who is a Michigan football fanatic), who constantly talked about him as a guy that could be a great player if someone could refine his game. The good news is that he’s right.
Mouton has the potential to come into his own as a player, but it’s going to take a few years to get there. For now, though, let’s focus on a couple of noticeable positives:
- Mouton is a good guy: If I ever get into general management, this is going to kill me, but I’m a sucker for character guys. I have an incredible amount of respect for guys who respect the game, respect the fans, respect the coaches, and respect what life has handed them. Mouton, as far as I know, is one of those guys. MGoBlog, a popular Michigan football blog, featured this story in 2008: …I have a young daughter, who I have thoroughly indoctrinated into Michigan football .... Today she was off from school, and her mother decided to take her into A[nn]A[rbour]. While they were walking, they passed by Schembechler [Hall] and as they were looking into the window (if any of you don't know, Schembechler Hall has Michigan Football memorabilia, the National Championship trophy, our Heisman Trophy winners, and more, but it is not open to the public), a guy came walking up to the door to go in but stopped, then looked over at them, and approached them, saying "would you guys like to go in?" Needless to say they did. The guy walked them into the building, said bye, and walked away. My daughter… walked up to an assistant, and asked who had guided them into the door. "Jonas Mouton", the woman answered. I’m loving this guy already.
- Numbers: It may not be much, but Second Team All-American does count for something. Take that into consideration with his stat production (111 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions in 2011), Mouton clearly has a foundation.
- Scouts Inc. Signs Off: Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. noted that Mouton has “good instincts and he’s a good tackler.” According to Muench and ESPN’s AFC West blogger Bill Williamson, he projects to be an inside linebacker in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme, and could be better than most think,
- Current Skill Set Can Work: By this I mean, with his solid tackling and good instincts, the Chargers could plug him immediately into special teams.
That’s right folks, special teams. Praise the Lord.
While picking Mouton at the No. 61 spot may have been a little too high, the fact of the matter is that the Chargers made a safe pick here. With three inside linebackers hitting the free agency market this year, and with one coming off a crippling Achilles tendon injury, inside linebacker depth is a concern. Couple that with his projected ability to contribute to special teams play and, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a winner.
In the end, I’m going to give this one a B, if only for the timing of the pick.
Join me next Tuesday when I break down Vincent Brown, the San Diego Chargers’ No. 82 pick
Back to the Los Angeles Chargers Newsfeed