Protection for Justin Herbert main priority for Los Angeles Chargers in 2021 NFL draft


COSTA MESA, Calif. — What’s going to the brand new Los Angeles Chargers teaching workers and Tom Telesco, in his sixth season as basic supervisor, do within the upcoming NFL draft?

Telesco was wildly profitable in final yr’s draft, particularly with quarterback Justin Herbert — who was named offensive rookie of the yr — however, backside line, the Chargers want to guard him.

“I am inspired the place we’re with the core gamers that we now have, with the teaching workers that is right here,” Telesco mentioned. “However we have got some work to do.”

They signed one of the best heart in free company in All-Professional Corey Linsley and added Oday Aboushi and Matt Feiler, however the Chargers are in dire want of a left deal with. Defending Herbert ought to and shall be their prime precedence beginning with their first decide, which is No. 13 general.

Penei Sewell (who served as Herbert’s blind-side safety at Oregon) will seemingly be gone, however that does not imply they can not discover a high quality protector with the thirteenth decide.

Actually, some rank Northwestern deal with Rashawn Slater forward of Sewell, even along with his shorter-than-average, 33-inch arms. It is not a giant deal, specialists say, as Slater’s means to make use of these arms is extra vital than their size. Slater can play deal with or guard and is fast off the snap and will get his fingers (and brief arms) up into the opponent.

As a result of he opted out of the 2020 season, not as a lot is understood about him as different linemen. Slater’s father is former NBA participant Reggie Slater. Rashawn began 12 video games at proper deal with in 2017 and 14 video games in 2018, when Northwestern received the Huge Ten West. He transitioned to left deal with in 2019 and was twice named Northwestern Offensive Participant of the week.

USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker and Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw even have NFL-ready bodily skills and may very well be round when the Chargers decide. The Chargers cannot go unsuitable right here, as one among Slater, Vera-Tucker and Darrisaw needs to be round once they’re on the clock.

The Chargers have wants defensively, as they allowed 27 or extra factors 10 instances in 2020 and misplaced seven of these video games. They solely had 27 sacks as a crew (7.5 from Joey Bosa) they usually want extra energy up entrance to compete in their very own convention, a lot much less the remainder of the NFL.

“Let’s not overlook we have to add expertise amongst the entire soccer crew. We’re making an attempt to construct a balanced soccer crew,” Telesco mentioned. “I do not know if we’re you recognize, only a higher offensive line away from profitable a championship.”

They may take a defensive finish within the second spherical with the No. 47 decide and Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham Jr., and Washington’s Joe Tryon every carry good measurement and ample explosiveness.

However they may combine all of it up, in fact, and take a nook both at No. 47 or within the third spherical with the No. 77 decide. The final two pure corners the Chargers have drafted had been Craig Mager within the third spherical in 2015 and Jason Verrett within the first spherical in 2014, neither of whom continues to be on the crew (Desmond King, a fifth-rounder in 2016, performed each nook and security). However by the No. 77 decide a lot of the top-ranked prospects shall be taken.

If he is accessible, Georgia’s Tyson Campbell — who began all 10 video games for the Bulldogs in 2020 and completed with 29 tackles — may very well be a good selection. As might Stanford’s Paulson Adebo, who opted out final season however had 64 whole tackles, 4 interceptions, 17 go deflection and a compelled fumble as a freshman in 2018. Central Florida’s Aaron Robinson (6-foot-1, 193 kilos) and Ohio State’s Shaun Wade (6-1, 195) are bodily corners who is also into consideration within the third spherical.

The Chargers’ run protection allowed almost 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns final season. And with the protection that Brandon Staley is cooking up (ideally with versatile, fast linebackers) it could be good to have a look at Ohio State’s Pete Werner, a linebacker who performed security in highschool and confirmed excellent lateral vary in three years as a starter with the Buckeyes, or Alabama’s Dylan Moses, a former five-star recruit who missed the 2019 season due to a torn ACL however recovered with 80 tackles and 1.5 sacks final season.

At large receiver, the Chargers are comparatively set with the return of Keenan Allen (100 catches for 992 yards and eight touchdowns) and Mike Williams (48 receptions for 756 yards and 5 touchdowns) however Auburn’s Seth Williams and Wake Forest’s Sage Surratt may very well be accessible within the fourth spherical at No. 97 general so as to add depth.

It is going to be fascinating to see which approach the Chargers go and it largely relies upon, in fact, on who’s accessible and who has been scooped up by earlier groups.


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