Los Angeles Chargers NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Los Angeles Chargers Draft Picks (2018)
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Defensive Tackle
- Middle Linebacker
- Outside Linebacker
Last season after the 2017 draft, the Los Angeles Chargers were one of my draft winners as they drafted my top two interior offensive lineman in Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. Lamp didn’t get on the field last year but with both those guys in the fold in 2018 to go along with free agent acquisition Mike Pouncey, Russell Okung and Joe Barksdale, the Chargers offensive line looks to be the best group they’ve trotted on the field in quite some time. With all that said, I believe the Chargers did a great job in the 2018 NFL Draft by letting the draft come to them and selecting the best defensive player that fitted a need in the first 4 rounds. In 2017 the Chargers allowed the 2nd most rushing yards and the most yards per carry (4.9) in the NFL. Therefore bringing in the steal of the first round Derwin James at pick 17 does wonders for their run defense. James is defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s new Kam Chancellor that brings an Alpha Dog mentality and physicality to the defense. Nwosu and Jones are active defenders to help improve the Chargers defensive front and White, who made my top 5 safeties in the class is a sleeper in the 4th that can be a versatile chess piece and transition into a weak side linebacker in the pros. The Chargers had a plan and improved the middle of their defense in hopes to match all the talent they’ve have on the edge and perimeter.
My favorite pick in none other than Mr. Derwin James. The Chargers got a gift from the 15 teams ahead of them, who allowed a special talent like James to fall to a team that is tailor made for his skill set. With edge talent Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram wreaking havoc on quarterbacks in the passing game, the Chargers was missing an enforcer in the middle of the field. Enter James whose biggest gift is coming down hill with bad intentions. I believe he wasn’t always used the correct way at Florida State so hopefully the Chargers use James as an enforcer instead of using him as a high center fielder that doesn’t impact the running game. He is more Chancellor than Earl Thomas.
Fantasy Football Implications
The Chargers defense should be on your radar for leagues that draft team defenses. If James, Nwosu, Jones and White can do their jobs and shut down the run on early downs, then it will in turn do wonders for the Chargers exceptional pass rushers and lockdown corners on passing downs. More sacks and turnovers is fantasy football gold. IDP owners should target James, Bosa, Ingram, Denzel Perryman and Casey Hayward. The team didn’t address offensive weapons until later in the draft so fire up the usual names on offense with receiver Mike Williams as your sleeper.