What Did the NFL Combine Bring For the San Diego Chargers?

Over 330 amateur athletes participated in this weekends NFL combine, only seven of those players will get a shot at making the San Diego Chargers roster. While reviewing this weekend’s events, combined with college careers, these are the players that I feel the Chargers should strongly consider drafting.

The Chargers need help along the offensive line and this weekend showcased a lot of talented linemen that could fill that void.

[caption id="attachment_293" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Lane Johnson looks to be an immediate impact in the NFL."]Photo Credit: R. Yeatts/Getty Images[/caption]

Johnson—a former quarterback and tight end—showed off his athleticism, footwork, and overall talent as he dominated a very talented offensive line field at the Combine. Johnson can start right away as an offensive tackle in the NFL, at either side, something the Chargers’ are in desperate need of. Lane Johnson proved he is well worth the 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft, but do the Chargers agree?

Chance Warmack, offensive guard out the University of Alabama, is a physical beast on the offensive line. He is someone that can knock defensive linemen on their backs and move onto the second level of defenders.

The 6-foot 3-inch, 320-pound bowling ball will give any NFL offense line a boast in the running game; as he has blocked for running backs such as Trent Richardson, Mark Ingram, and Eddie Lacy. Maybe he can help the productivity/health of Chargers’ running back Ryan Mathews.

Kyle Long, offensive lineman from the University of Oregon, has the tools, skills, and bloodlines (son of Hall of Fame defensive lineman Howie Long) to be a successful offensive lineman in the NFL.

The first two linemen listed above are guaranteed to go in the first round, Long on the other hand is a second/third round draft prospect that could be a steal for the Chargers with the 45th overall pick (the 76th overall pick might be a stretch, but he could still be available because of his off the field issues from his days at Florida State).  Long has the size, 6-foot 6-inches and 311-pounds, but lacks the experience that would solidify him as a top lineman in this upcoming draft.

The San Diego Chargers have hinted at the idea that they are going to let defensive backs Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason leave via free agency. If this is the case then the Bolts need to fill that hole by drafting one or two of the very talented defensive backs in this year’s Draft.

Xavier Rhodes, defensive back out of Florida State University, is a physical, athletic player that can make an immediate impact at the next level. Standing at 6-foot 1 inch and weighing in at 210 pounds, Rhodes has the attributes it takes to be a top-notch corner in the NFL.

[caption id="attachment_295" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Xavier Rhodes will be a ball hawk in the NFL."]Photo Credit: WILL VRAGOVIC/Tampa Bay Times[/caption]

He ran an astonishing 4.43 40-yard dash time to go with his 40.5-inch vertical leap and 132 inch broad jump, making him a lock to go somewhere in the 2nd round. The Chargers might be lucky and find Rhodes still sitting there when their pick comes around in the 2nd round, if this is the case the Bolts would be dumb to pass on someone so NFL ready.

Leon McFadden, defensive back from San Diego State University, is the more likely option for the Chargers to obtain. He isn’t tall, standing at 5-feet 10-inches and only weighing in at 193-pounds, but McFadden is one of the best technically skilled corners in all of NCAA football.

McFadden, a three-time first-team All Mountain West Conference player of the year, makes up for his lack of size with incredible ball skills, strength and overall football I.Q. McFadden has been slated as a third/fourth round draft pick, the Chargers would be smart to pick him with their 76th overall pick and keep him in San Diego.

Jordan Poyer, corner back out of Oregon State University, was one of the most highly toted defensive backs coming into last year’s collegiate season. He earned AP first team All-American. After a solid season, tallying 7 interceptions and 50 tackles, Poyer found his stock drop him into the mid-to-late 2nd/3rd round.

Photo Credit: Corvallis Gazette-Times

Poyer is an incredible athlete that will not only succeed as a defensive back but as a kick/punt returner as well. If the Chargers can grab a top-notch offensive lineman in the first round Poyer would be a premiere corner that they could steal early in the 3rd round.

The Chargers have so many holes to fill and these are some of the players that jumped out over the weekend at the Combine in Indianapolis, Ind. There were more than 330 athletes to participate and lots of successful performances; but these are some of the best picks for what San Diego needs. Now it’s time for Tom Telesco and the rest of the Bolts’ front office to evaluate all the incoming collegiate talent before April’s draft.

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