Los Angeles Chargers Draft: Top 5 Linebacker Targets

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In his time with the San Francisco 49ers, Jim Harbaugh had a dynamic duo of middle linebackers, NaVorro Bowman and Hall of Famer, Patrick Willis. With the Los Angeles Chargers that is far from the case. They added Denzel Perryman and Troy Dye in free agency. They will join second-year Daiyan Henley and Nick Niemann as the complete linebacker depth for the Chargers.

2024 is not thought of as the best linebacker class, but the Chargers will need to add talent to the second level of their defense if they expect to take a shot at making the playoffs.

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Round 3: Pick 69

Junior Colson, Michigan: Colson is a player Harbaugh could build his defense around. Possibly the best stat to mention is just five missed tackles in 15 games. He was tied for second in the country in missed tackle percentage.

Colson embodies the classic run and cover linebacker archetype, showcasing solid athleticism. He’s steadily improving his skills as a run defender as he progresses in his game.

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Round 4: Pick 105

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Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State: Eichenberg shows promise in coverage and displays smooth athleticism, making him effective against the pass. However, to evolve into a complete every-down linebacker, he needs to enhance his play strength and proficiency in taking on blocks against the run.

Round 4: Pick 110

Marist Liufau, Notre Dame: Drafting Liufau here may be a bit of a stretch, but as one of the class’s best coverage linebackers, pairing him with Derwin James would allow James freedom to rush the passer.

He isn’t ready to take on three-down responsibilities but brings a good football IQ and field awareness as well as a go-getter motor.

Round 5: Pick 140

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JD Bertrand, Notre Dame: Bertrand’s best abilities are intangible. He was named team captain of the Fighting Irish the last two seasons and despite not being the most athletic player on the defense, he made the most tackles last season, indicative of his competitive toughness and high football IQ.

Round 6: Pick 181

Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington: To find Ulofoshio’s athleticism at this point in the draft is nearly impossible. His level of development doesn’t match his experience. He earned a starting job in his sixth season at Washington. His production was great, but thrived on his athleticism rather than technique.

He gives coaches plenty to work with but will have to prove his development on special teams.

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