The Los Angeles Chargers 2019 NFL Draft Grade
The 2019 NFL Draft ended with the Los Angeles Chargers showing their true intentions for the 2019-20 season. After suffering another catastrophic loss to the New England Patriots in the playoff’s, the Chargers goal was to upgrade their defense. By selecting a stellar defensive tackle in the first round, the coaching staff made sure the defensive line will no longer be the weak link.
In total, this year’s draft included the drafting of six players on defense and one player on offense. The top position’s drafted included multiple linebackers and defensive tackles. The drafting of defensive tackle Jerry Tillery in the first round helped solidify an already questionable position. Tillery’s athleticism and willingness to commit to the run will translate well in the NFL.
The second round pick of free safety Nasir Adderley is what made this draft so unique. The anticipation of Adderley playing alongside safety Derwin James will be a glorious sight to witness.
The Chargers also added an unfamiliar offensive tackle and linebackers that showed great promise and ability on film while in college. Overall, these draft picks have a high probability of getting some considerable playing time due to the Chargers needs. Let’s break it down the Los Angeles Chargers 2019 NFL Draft Grade.
Best Pick: DT Jerry Tillery | FS Nasir Adderley
The Chargers drafted some talented player’s, but these two guys can’t be overlooked. They are just that good.
Having a first round pick is definitely a luxury and the Chargers chose wisely in drafting defensive tackle Jerry Tillery at pick No. 28. Drafting Tillery brought a much-needed sigh of relief. Primarily, due to so many questions surrounding that position for the Chargers. The Chargers lacked size and youth on the defensive line. Drafting a run-stuffing powerful player out of Notre Dame was definitely a great start to the draft weekend. The similarities between Tillery and Aaron Donald are quite uncanny.
To enhance an already promising secondary, in the second round at pick No. 60, the Bolts struck gold. By picking free safety Nasir Adderley out of Delaware, the Chargers are now ready to compete with the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West Division. The drafting of Adderley once again showed how committed the coaching staff is to winning a Super Bowl. The selection of safety Derwin James last year was phenomenal, pairing James with Adderley is just ridiculous.
Best Value/Sleeper: QB Easton Stick
The Chargers have been fortunate enough to have a potential Hall of Famer on their roster for well over 10 years. As much as we all enjoy Philip Rivers slinging the football around, picking a potential replacement ahead of all the warning signs of decline was paramount. Drafting North Dakota State’s Easton Stick in the fifth round at pick No. 166 is exactly what teams like the Chargers can do when the quarterback position is already secure.
Easton will have to compete with the newly acquired quarterback and potential No. 2 QB Tyrod Taylor. Most likely, he won’t be starting anytime soon. Barring any setbacks, Taylor will be the backup and Easton can be groomed to be an insurance policy for the near future. Similar to Taylor, Easton is an all-around athlete who can possibly be, a Kordell Stewart caliber of player. Not overwhelmingly great at one thing, but really good at a whole bunch of other things. On the plus side, having another mobile quarterback on the roster is a fringe benefit.
Biggest Reach/Head Scratcher: OT Trey Pipkins
The drafting of an offensive tackle in the third round at pick No. 91 was not a bad decision. Ideally, with an aging starting quarterback on the roster, drafting an offensive lineman based on need was a given. Sure, the Bolts quarterback Philip Rivers can still produce at a high level. But, he can’t do it lying on his back being sacked or under duress. The question that boggled so many people was the selection of Trey Pipkins out of Sioux Falls.
As a listed right tackle, Pipkins will most likely play behind Russell Okung on the depth chart. Pipkins has the tangibles to be a quality tackle for the Chargers. On the other hand, his showing during training camp will have to be promising. What made the selection of Pipkins a head-scratcher was the availability of other offensive lineman leading up to the third round. If the goal was to draft a potential replacement or backup with anticipation of that player starting in two years, then Pipkins was a safe pick.
Biggest Need Filled: FS Nasir Adderley
With the release of former starting free safety Jahleel Addae, the Chargers had to fill this position quickly. Addae brought stability to the secondary but found himself on the outside looking in. After the Chargers early exit from the playoffs, his tenure with the team was in question.
Adderley is a baller who can suit up right now and play in an NFL game. Similar to Derwin James, both these player’s are extremely comfortable on the football. Adderley is a solid tackler who can play the ball extremely well in the air. Combining Adderley with James in the secondary will be the sole reason why the Chargers secondary excels next season.
Projected Day One Starters: DT Jerry Tillery | FS Nasir Adderley | LB Emeke Egbule
Tillery and Adderley, based on their drafting, will be day one starters. There is no question based on their abilities and elite level talent. Their additions to the Chargers defense will be utilized early on the field.
Tillery will most likely get schooled a little bit more on how to use his hands against stronger centers and guards in the NFL.
Adderley will have a chance to get tutored by James in the secondary. If they develop a strong communication on the field, the Chargers secondary will be utterly dangerous.
Emeke Egbule is a player the Chargers will absolutely enjoy having on the roster. Egbule can basically do it all. There is a possibility he can be a starting linebacker, which would be perfect for this team. But, where he will definitely start and excel will be on special teams. Egbule moves extremely well on the field and has great speed. The Chargers filling the backup role once held by Kyle Emanuel was another important decision finalized by the team.
The Rest: LB Drue Tranquill | DT Cortez Broughton
Drue Tranquill drafted in the fourth round, pick No. 130 is a player that will be watched closely. Unfortunately, not because of his ability to convert from safety to an effective linebacker, Tranquill has had two ACL surgeries to both knee’s, those injuries limited his playing time at Notre Dame. This was a risky pick by the Chargers, but an understandable one. Tranquill was a two-time captain at Notre Dame, so his leadership skills are an asset to have in the locker room. As a pro, his workload will have to be limited, just to make sure his body can withstand the brutal punishment of the NFL.
Drafting Cincinnati’s defensive tackle Cortez Broughton in the seventh round at pick No. 242 meant the Chargers have officially filled their depth chart at that position. Broughton is quick, aggressive to the ball, and could be a great rotation player for the Chargers. He is currently walking into a perfect scenario. The Bolts must rebuild their defensive line, so Broughton will most likely see some game time, most likely, only on limited snaps. If he brings that same collegiate energy to the Chargers training camp, he may find himself becoming an intricate part of the defense.
Overall Grade: B+
The 2019 draft for the Chargers went according to plan. Drafting elite talent on the defensive line could easily be the best part of the draft. Adding another talented safety is what made this draft grade extremely high. The Chargers coaching and scouting staff continue to do an amazing job drafting with anticipation of challenging various other teams in the AFC. This draft was completely dominated by the new addition of defensive player’s. There is no question with a stronger defense, the Chargers will be able to maintain an advantage over all their competitor’s.