There are quite a few folks out in the football world who think the 2019 CHARGERS could be the rulers of the AFC West. All of the other teams in that division seem to be plugging up some major holes in their roster, while the CHARGERS return most of their key players. Most of their Draft Picks were with an eye for the future, and depth for a solid roster. Although, they would be most pleased if their early Picks pushed their way into the lineup in Training Camp.
Round 1, Pick 28
JERRY TILLERY DE NOTRE DAME
6’7/295 4.97/40 PP#38
TILLERY has pretty much been rated as an NFL level talent athlete, with perhaps a less than 100% motor, but more often than not, his “lax” play occurred when he was banged up physically. It impressed me when I learned that he had played much of last season with a shoulder injury, that required surgery at the end of the season. His 2018 stats were 30 T’s, 10.5 TFL, 8 S, 5 QBH, 3 FF, and 2 Blocks. His game is well rounded and he may be much better suited for their base scheme, in which he will be kept off the Nose. This will allow him to better protect himself and keep blockers off of his long frame. When healthy, he is relentless in pursuit, and that long frame, including 34 1/4″ arms, is a real threat to opposing QB’s. Vet Defensive Coordinator GUS BRADLEY will find creative ways to use this versatile weapon.
Round 2, Pick 60
NASIR ADDERLEY S DELAWARE
6’0/206 4.55/40 PP#48
First, let’s state that he is indeed a distant relative of NFL Hall of Fame CB HERB ADDERLEY. Expect the early part of the 2019 season to be a bit of a challenge for him, as he works to step up to the higher level of talent of the NFL, but his athleticism is more than adequate for the pro level of play. ADDERLEY was in Mobile for the Senior Bowl and showed well all week. My gut, after watching him in Mobile, is telling me that by mid-season NASIR is likely to be DERWIN JAMES running mate back at the S slot. He should provide the CHARGERS with a solid young S who can play the pass, and support in run defense.
Round 3, Pick 91
TREY PIPKINS OT SIOUX FALLS
6’6/309 5.14/40 PP#166
I think the only question about PIPKINS as a starting OT, is which season he takes over someone’s job. My eyes say his long term job will be replacing RUSSELL OKUNG, who has two years left on his contract. However, I also think he’ll get a shot even sooner to take the RT job away from SAM TEVI. The D2 star has all the physical tools to start in the NFL, and impressed during his stint at the Shrine venue in January. His technique and consistency need some coaching up, but the size and athleticism are there to be developed. PIPKINS sports 33 7/8″ arms and 10″ hands. The CHARGERS think they got a long term starter in PIPKINS, and I would tend to agree, but maybe not for this season.
Round 4, Pick 130
DRUE TRANQUILL LB NOTRE DAME
6’2/235 4.58/40 PP#163
TRANQUILL fits the mold of today’s LB in the NFL. The former S still has some cover skills from his early years in South Bend. DRUE should make a solid Special Teams player from the get-go. His 2018 stats give a solid indication of his all-around game: 86 T’s, 9 TFL, 3.5 S, 4 PBU, and 3 QBH. He still shows the speed to cover TE and RB, and if his prime role is that of playing in pass coverage, then they might look at him to lose some weight. If he never develops into a full-time starter, he should still be able to contribute in multiple ways.
Round 5, Pick 166
EASTON STICK QB NORTH DAKOTA STATE
6’1/224 4.64/40 PP#236
Do not even put STICK’s name in the same sentence as CARSON WENTZ, who he succeeded as the BISON starting QB, relative to a pro projection for him. From size, to his arm, to skill-set, they have very little in common, but as hard nosed competitors with high FBI, they have much in common. STICK comes into the League having been a 4-year starter and a 3-year team captain. His scrambling/running ability is a big part of his game, and his thick, athletic body can handle the contact that comes with that style of play. He has a decent arm, throwing with a 54-mph velocity at the Combine. He was also the top ranked athlete in the Combine QB group, as ranked by Ourlads. He passed for 28 TD’s last season, while also running for 17 TD’s. He played at the Shrine venue, and after a struggling start early in the practices, he improved on a daily basis. He may be in a summer battle with CARDALE JONES for the 3rd QB spot on the final roster. He is also athletic enough to find a few roles on Special Teams units, while sitting 3rd on a QB depth chart, so a roster spot is not totally “wasted” on their roster. I am intrigued by this player, and am not totally dismissing him as a pro prospect.
Round 6, Pick 200
EMEKE EGBULE OB HOUSTON
6’2/240 4.65/40 PP#209
While TRANQUILL may be the most ready to contribute now, of their 2 LB draftees, it may be that EGBULE may eventually be the guy to win a “starting” job in their Defense. He is clearly the better overall athlete, and has shown some natural edge-rush potential. While he hones some of his skills at OB, he clearly has the athleticism to excel on Special Teams. As opposed to labeling him a reach as a draftee, I think it may turn out to be more accurate to view him as a developmental project, with a very high ceiling. He may be an exceptional value at Pick 200.
Round 7, Pick 242
CORTEZ BROUGHTON DL CINCINNATI
6’2/293 5.01/40 PP#145
As you can see by my ranking on BROUGHTON, he really impressed me during the post-season, both at the Shrine venue and his Pro Day. During his career at CINCINNATI, he played under 4 different DL Coaches. Hard to find your groove with new philosophies and techniques being taught every year. His relatively short frame is powerful and surprisingly quick. I saw a guy who was all over the field, and pushing his way past blockers at the Shrine. In today’s, (almost), position-less defenses, I think this player can emerge in multiple roles, including as an inside pass-rush generator. He saved his best for last for the BEARCATS, with a solid set of defensive stats as a senior in 2018: 46 T, 17.5 TFL, 6.5 S, 5 PBU, 4 QBH, and 1 FF. His quickness as a gap penetrator is really reflected in those stats. Label him a steal this late in the Draft. I think he will provide versatile, young depth along their DL right away.
Not spectacular, but a solid Draft class for GM TOM TELESCO… again. TILLERY and BROUGHTON were big gets for an aging and thin DL group. If they stay healthy, I can see their entire Draft group making the 53-man roster, come September. That’s important for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations, and does most of its roster building through the Draft.