2015 Draft in Review: San Diego Chargers
The NFL draft is over and it suddenly seems like a long time to wait for the next meaningful event on the NFL calendar. But frankly we’re still excited trying to break down what it all means for each team and so we’re going to share some of that excitement.
That’s right, every team is going to have each pick broken down as well as a look at their undrafted free agents with the San Diego Chargers up next. How did they do?
Round 1: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
The Chargers gave up fourth- and fifth-round picks to move up two spots to ensure they could draft the nation’s leading rusher. Although Gordon lacks that elite breakaway speed, he excels at the second level with great lateral agility and vision. Gordon was our top-graded back in 2014 and led the draft class with 74 missed tackles forced. Not a bad value here for Gordon, but giving up the two picks to fill a position of need is a bit much.
Depth Chart Fit: Should immediately be their workhorse back. May initially be limited on third down as he works on pass protection and receiving, especially if the Chargers want to continue to use Danny Woodhead in that role.
Round 2: Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami (FL)
Perryman jumps out on film because of his physical playing style, but he did not grade as well as his production may suggest. Perryman was fifth among linebackers in the draft with an 11.8 Run Stop Percentage against Power 5 opponents, but he actually graded negatively in run defense. He can quickly pursue ball carriers to take them down, but struggles to get off blocks once engaged and needs more help from his defensive line to keep him clean than other linebackers. We like that the Chargers are addressing the position, but a round too early for Perryman in our eyes.
Depth Chart Fit: Will compete for playing time over Donald Butler or Manti Te’o.
Round 3: Craig Mager, CB, Texas State
Mager is not a bad player as he did grade positively in coverage and against the run for us. However, his coverage grade ranked 39th in the CB draft class with almost the entirety of his play coming against the Sun Belt. The third round was entirely too early for Mager, especially considering some of the cornerbacks that were still available.
Depth Chart Fit: Expect Mager to largely be a special teams contributor this year but could work his way in as the dime cornerback.
Round 5: Kyle Emanuel, ED, North Dakota State
Played in just one game against FBS competition, but had a good showing against Iowa State with two sacks, a hit, and four hurries on 37 pass rushes.
Depth Chart Fit: Emanuel gives the Chargers some much needed depth at OLB and could see time as a situational pass rusher.
Round 6: Darius Philon, DI, Arkansas
Philon is an interesting prospect who left school early and probably was drafted later than he expected. He was a well-rounded player for Arkansas who finished in the Top 20 of interior defensive lineman in the draft in both run defense and pass rushing.
Depth Chart Fit: Philon will fit as a backup defensive end in San Diego’s 3-4 scheme and could grow into a bigger role down the road.
Ryan Mueller, ED, Kansas State: Undersized for an edge defender, Mueller graded among the Top 15 at the position, with solid grades against the run and as a pass rusher. His 48 pressures from the left side were the second-most in the draft class.
Jahwan Edwards, RB, Akron: Powerful runner who earned the fourth-highest rushing grade of the RB draft class.
Titus Davis, WR, Central Michigan: Only played 531 snaps at Central Michigan but still earned the ninth-highest receiving grade in the WR draft class. His 3.46 Yards Per Route Run ranked seventh.
Cole Stoudt, QB, Clemson: Struggled for most of the year with his only positive passing grade all season coming against Oklahoma in Clemson’s bowl game. His 20.4% Accuracy Percentage on passes targeted 20-plus yards downfield was the lowest in the nation.
Dreamius Smith, RB, West Virginia: Forced 15 missed tackles on 80 carries, but three fumbles helped him earn a negative rushing grade.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Western Oregon: Out of Western Oregon, did not play against FBS opposition.
Demetrious Wilson, WR, Arkansas: Had 17 receptions for 220 yards and one drop. Only 47.2% of passes thrown to Wilson were completed in his limited playing time.
Eric Frohnapfel, TE, Marshall: His 7.5% drop rate ranked 15th out of 42 qualifying TEs from the draft class.
Brian Parker, TE, Albany: Out of Albany, did not play against FBS opposition.
Cameron Clemmons, T, Western Kentucky: Earned positive grades on the season as a run blocker and in pass protection, but gave up one hit and seven hurries on 29 snaps in the Shrine Bowl.
Tyreek Burwell, G, Cincinnati: Earned the eighth-highest run blocking grade among left guards. Allowed just five total pressures on 246 pass blocking snaps.
Ben Beckwith, G, Mississippi State: Allowed 17 pressures for a 97.0 Pass Blocking Efficiency that ranked 57th out of 80 draft-eligible guards.
Cameron Botticelli, DI, Minnesota: Average run defender but his 7.6 Pass Rushing Productivity ranked 11th out of 92 qualifying defensive/nose tackles in the draft class.
Brock Hekking, ED, Nevada: Struggled to hold his own against the run, including eight missed tackles, but did earn above-average pass rush grades in 10 of 13 games.
Chi Chi Ariguzo, LB, Northwestern: Liability against the run as he missed 11 tackles on his way to a run defense grade that ranked tied for 146th out of 148 off-ball linebackers in the draft class.
Curtis Grant, LB, Ohio State: Was up and down against the run, but allowed just 10 completions on 238 snaps in coverage.
Nick Dzunbar, LB, Cal Poly: Out of Cal Poly, played in just one FBS game versus New Mexico State. He made 13 tackles and four assists, including five stops, but also missed four tackles.
Gordon Hill, LB/S, Sacred Heart: Out of Sacred Heart, did not play against FBS opposition.
John Lowdermilk, S, Iowa: Sufficient in coverage but takes poor angles in run pursuit and missed 11 tackles. Graded 60th out of 61 safeties in run defense versus Power 5 opponents.
Manuel Asprilla, CB, Boston College: Started the season well but tailed off late. Had the fourth-highest coverage grade through Week 10 among draft-eligible cornerbacks before allowing 20 receptions over his last four games.
Josh Lambo, K, Texas A&M: Earned an average grade as a field goal kicker. Made all 10 field goals under 40 yards but just 3 of 5 on kicks 40-plus yards. Only had two kickoffs, one of which was a touchback.
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