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Draft Decisions

NFL Draft Needs: Chargers

by Josh Norris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

No. 1 Team Need: Running back


Silva's Analysis


The Chargers have capable passing-down backs in Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver, and Donald Brown can be a functional change-of-pace option. What San Diego lacks is a true foundation runner capable of handling a high volume of carries and putting away opponents in the fourth quarter. Coach Mike McCoy's background is diverse, but he has primarily utilized a power/inside-zone run game in San Diego. With Philip Rivers going on age 34, the Bolts need a complementary means of moving the chains.


No. 2 Team Need: Defensive line


Silva's Analysis


The 2014 Chargers fielded one of the league's poorest run defenses, getting pushed around up front. LE Kendall Reyes was a major part of the problem and is now in a contract season. RE Corey Liuget is also in the last year of his deal. NT Sean Lissemore is a good athlete, but at 6-foot-4, 298 isn't built to be a lead NFL nose tackle and is best suited as a "swing" end-tackle reserve. 2014 fifth-round pick Ryan Carrethers is promising, but played very few snaps as a rookie. The Chargers need to use two draft picks on defensive linemen.


No. 3 Team Need: Guard


Silva's Analysis


The Chargers addressed one of their interior weaknesses by signing LG Orlando Franklin to a five-year, $36.5 million deal in free agency. Incumbent RG Johnnie Troutman was among the worst guards in football last year and must be replaced. Center is also a question mark following Nick Hardwick's retirement, although 2014 third-rounder Chris Watt should be able to step in. We only list three needs in this space, but I'd add safety and rush linebacker as positions where GM Tom Telesco's roster could use injections of talent.

Norris’ Mock Draft:

Round 1 (17): EDGE Randy Gregory, Nebraska - I know Evan briefly mentioned edge rushers in the third need. I have a feeling Gregory’s “fall” will be halted by an unlikely suspect. Gregory is an outstanding prospect who has the level of ability to win around and through his opponent. I like Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu, but both have missed time. Deploying these three in a rotation, and possibly even using Ingram inside on sub downs (like at South Carolina) is intriguing.


Round 2 (48): RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska - I know Abdullah does not have the traditional “bell cow” frame, but he can do it. Abdullah is so explosive to blast through holes created for him and will make tacklers miss at the second level. The Chargers have nice role players in place for third down, but Abdullah has skills there too.

Round 3 (83): T Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin - I know Evan called for a guard, but I still think D.J. Fluker’s future is inside. Insert Haventstein, who is used to clearing lanes for running backs. Melvin Gordon III consistently picked up large gains running to the right. Havenstein will allow a few negative plays, so don’t go thinking he is ideal.

Round 4 (117): DL Gabe Wright, Auburn - Wright has experience at end and at tackle. The below average athlete will offer pass rushing help as a substitute thanks to hand use and a motor.


Round 5 (153): DL Leterrius Walton, Central Michigan - More defensive line depth. Walton has plenty of experience as a one gap nose tackle. He is leaner than the old school prospects at the position, however, there is a lot of natural strength to his game.

Round 6 (192): S Sam Carter, TCU - An East West Shrine invite, Carter played in an aggressive defense at TCU. This would be a nice pick for safety depth.

Chargers Current Offensive Depth Chart


QB: Philip Rivers

RB: Branden Oliver

WR: Keenan Allen

WR: Malcom Floyd

WR: Stevie Johnson

TE: Antonio Gates

LT: King Dunlap

LG: Orlando Franklin

C: Chris Watt

RG: Johnnie Troutman

RT: D.J. Fluker


Chargers Current Defensive Depth Chart


LE: Kendall Reyes

RE: Corey Liuget

NT: Sean Lissemore

OLB: Melvin Ingram

OLB: Jeremiah Attaochu

ILB: Donald Butler

ILB: Manti Te'o

CB: Brandon Flowers

CB: Jason Verrett

FS: Eric Weddle

SS: Jahleel Addae



Josh Norris
Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .