The 2020 NFL Draft took place virtually over a month ago now and was probably the highlight of my sporting world during this time of quarantine. So I thought it would be interesting to compare the Chargers 2020 draft class against the last three drafts classes. Which means looking at the Chargers draft for the future, instead of drafting to just fill gaps.
Comparing The Chargers 2020 Draft Class, Against The Last Three Draft Classes.
I figured the best way to look at how the Chargers 2020 draft class compares against the last three, would be to look at each individual draft round, instead of each class as a whole.
The Chargers 2020 NFL Draft is looked at as a draft that could change the franchise. Drafting for two premier positions both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball in the first round.
Justin Herbert, quarterback out of Oregon, was the 6th overall pick in 2020. Justin was drafted as the possible franchise quarterback for the Chargers’ future. With good arm strength and decent accuracy, Herbert has already been compared to Carson Wentz.
At the 23rd overall pick, the Chargers picked Kenneth Murray, inside linebacker out of Oklahoma. Murray was the best true linebacker in the 2020 Draft. He is an athletic and explosive linebacker with speed. Murray will be an immediate impact on the linebacking corps.
In 2019, the Chargers drafted Jerry Tillery 28th overall, defensive tackle out of Notre Dame. Tillery was picked to help fill the need of offering support to starting defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
In 2018, the Chargers selected Derwin James 17th overall out of Florida State. James is a run-stopping defensive back and ball-hawk; he was brought in to give much needed extra run support.
In 2017, at 7th overall, the Chargers drafted Mike Williams out of Clemson. Williams was the top receiver in 2017 and has since become the true deep threat on the Chargers roster. He has had an up and down start to his career, but if he can improve his consistency, he will be one of the top receivers in the NFL.
The Chargers skipped the second round of the 2020 draft, which made the first round that much more important. The 2017-19 drafts for the Chargers were about filling holes and finding role players to help them stay competitive.
In 2019, at 60th overall, the Chargers selected Nasir Adderley, safety out of Delaware, to be a compliment to Derwin James. Adderley was a standout DB at Delaware. Since being drafted, Adderley has found himself on the injured reserve list, and the Chargers are looking for a big 2020 season from him.
In 2018, at 48th overall, the Chargers drafted Uchenna Nwosu, linebacker out of USC. He was drafted as a developmental player to be added to the linebacking corps and to add stability to the pass defense, as well as depth on the edge. Nwosu has turned out to become a valuable part of the defense.
In 2017, the Chargers selected Forrest Lamp 38th overall, guard out of Western Kentucky. Lamp was considered a steal in the second round at the time, and the hope was that he would become a staple on the offensive line. Unfortunately, he has been plagued with injuries. This is going to be a make or break year for the 4th-year player.
The third round has been the round of linemen, on both sides of the ball.
In 2019, at 91st overall, the Chargers drafted Trey Pipkins, offensive tackle out of Sioux Falls. Again drafting to fill a need, the hope for Pipkins, a developmental player, was to fill a gap on the offensive line. Pipkins started three games during 2019, and now has high expectations for 2020.
In 2018, at the 84th overall pick, the Chargers selected Justin Jones, defensive tackle out of North Carolina State. By drafting Jones, the Chargers were looking to add more support and depth to the defensive line.
Dan Feeney, guard out of Indiana, was the 71st pick overall pick in the 2017 draft. Displaying a high football I.Q., Feeney was drafted to give added support to the offensive line. Since being drafted, he started 16 games in 2018 and 2019 and has become a key part of the Chargers offensive line.
After skipping rounds two and three of the 2020 draft. The Chargers did pick in round four and compared to their fourth-round picks of 2017-2019, it’s clear that when it came to the fourth round it’s all about position players.
Joshua Kelley, UCLA running back, was the 116th overall pick in 2020. Kelley is a good all-around running back. He was drafted as support and a change of pace back to Austin Ekeler.
Drue Tranquill was the 130th overall pick in 2019, inside linebacker out of Notre Dame. Tranquill was drafted to fill a possible special teams role, as well as give more depth to the linebacking corps with his versatility. Now with the release of Thomas Davis Sr., and Jatavis Brown gone to free agency, Tranquill has moved into the role of one of the Chargers premier linebackers going into the 2020 season.
Kyzir White was taken with the 119th overall pick in 2018, a safety from West Virginia. White showing good run-stopping ability was converted by the Chargers to fit as a weak outside linebacker. Hit with injuries during the 2019 season, White is looking to the 2020 season to hopefully be more productive and successful.
Rayshawn Jenkins was the 113th overall pick in 2017, a free safety from Miami. Jenkins was drafted as a developmental player, but after starting 16 games and appearing in the Chargers postseason appearances, Jenkins has proven to be a key part of the Chargers defensive secondary.
In round five of the 2020 draft, the Chargers selected wide receiver Joe Reed out of the University of Virginia. Reed can be used as a return specialist, but also should be able to get reps on the offense as a slot receiver. He also has the ability to be a deep threat and stretch the field.
In 2019, the Chargers drafted Easton Stick 166th overall, quarterback out of North Dakota. Stick was the replacement for Carson Wentz and lived up to the expectations for the Bison. The Chargers looked at Stick as a backup to Philip Rivers and Tyrod Taylor.
In 2018, the Charges picked 155th overall, and they selected center Scott Quessenberry from UCLA. Quessenberry has the ability to play guard or center and was drafted to a line already showing depth. Since being drafted, Quessenberry has started at center when Mike Pouncey has been injured. He is a very versatile player and adds great depth.
In 2017, the Chargers picked 151st overall and selected Desmond King, defensive back from Iowa. King showed a high football I.Q. when drafted, and has been a very versatile player for the Bolts. He can cover the outside, slot, and even play some safety.
In 2020, with the 186th overall pick, the Chargers selected Alohi Gilman, safety out of Notre Dame. Gilman shows aggressiveness in his play to the ball, but also shows inconsistency. Gilman can possibly start as a special teams player, but if he wants to see the field, he will have to become more consistent and finish his plays.
In 2019, with the 200th overall pick, the Chargers drafted Emeke Egbule, linebacker from Houston. Egbule was not a big impact on the defense and only saw the field if there were injuries.
In 2018, Dylan Cantrell was selected at 191st overall, wide receiver from Texas Tech. Cantrell originally made the practice squad heading into the 2018 season. Since then, he was waived by the Chargers and has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, converting to tight end.
In 2017, Sam Tevi was picked 190th overall, offensive tackle from Utah. Tevi was the third offensive lineman drafted by the Chargers in 2017. As a developmental pick, Tevi was being looked at to backup the current tackles, and play as a possible swing offensive lineman. Tevi started and played 14 games in the 2019 season, but the Chargers are still not confident in Tevi as a starter.
The 7th round is the final round of the draft and is still considered a developmental round. Most guys drafted in the 7th round have an uphill battle in making the team and usually become practice squad players. They also find themselves in competition against undrafted free agents.
At 220th overall, the Chargers selected K.J. Hill, wide receiver out of Ohio State. Hill is not a natural speed guy but has shown he is a good possession wide receiver. Coming off a college career where he set a school record in receptions, Hill will be looked to as a possible slot receiver for the Chargers.
In 2019, Cortez Broughton was the 242nd overall pick, defensive tackle out of Cincinnati. He led the Bearcats defense in tackles and made the ACC first-team all-conference. Broughton was looked to as a three-technique defensive tackle. He played limited reps in 2019 and will need to make some plays in pre-season to keep his roster spot in 2020.
In 2018, Justin Jackson was selected 251st overall, running back out of Northwestern. Jackson showed during the 2019 season that he is a viable second or third option back while stepping up during Melvin Gordon’s hold out. Justin will have competition for that spot going into the 2020 season with the drafting of Joshua Kelley from UCLA.
In 2017, Isaac Rochell was drafted 225th overall, defensive tackle from Notre Dame. Rochell is a versatile defensive lineman that demonstrated he can play anywhere on the defensive line including defensive end. Initially not making the final roster as a developmental player, he signed as a practice squad player, and eventually played 16 games during the 2018 season. Rochell re-signed with the Chargers and will return for the 2020 season.