2012 NFL Draft - San Diego Chargers

Posted Apr 28, 2012

San Diego Chargers - AFC West, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects

San Diego Chargers

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 San Diego Draft Breakdown
- 2010 San Diego Draft Breakdown

The Draft Was ... terrific. Everyone was looking for a hybrid pass rusher like Melvin Ingram, and the Chargers got him in a good spot in the first round. DT Kendall Reyes was a nice value selection in the second, while TE Ladarius Green was a steal – remember the name now, fantasy owners – in the fourth. C David Molk and RB Edwin Baker are excellent seventh round chances to take.
Best Value Pick: C David Molk, Michigan, 7th round
Worst Value Pick: S Brandon Taylor, LSU, 3rd round
They Should've ... addressed the offensive line earlier than the fifth round. Taylor was a reach in the third and passed on blot-out-the-sun guard Brandon Brooks, who went three picks later to Houston.
Division Draft Ranking: 1
Overall Draft Ranking: 2

First Round

DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina (OLB) 6-2, 265
Overall Pick No. 18 CFN Overall Ranking: 11
CFN Analysis: Perfect. After misfiring on Larry English, the Chargers have been looking for a Merriman-like pass rusher to fill the void on the outside. A terrific value pick for a defender with top ten overall talent, he's a disruptive force and a pass rusher who makes big things happen. With his bulk, size, and athleticism it's all there to be a special playmaker who'll go to the right team at a great time. This is a phenomenal value pick.

The guy makes things happen. He might not have the right body type, and he might be a bit of a tweener without a defined position, but whether he's at outside linebacker, a 3-4 end, or as a 4-3 speed rusher, he's going to get behind the line and he's going to be disruptive. Smooth as silk, he cuts and flows like a much smaller player, but there's nothing finesse about his game. He'll take on bigger blockers and he'll fight to make a play. The main concerns are about appearances. He's a bit too short, a bit too squatter, and he looks more like a pumped up linebacker than a true end. There's also the question about the résumé with just one really strong year to go on. There's a spot for him in just about any defense, but it's going to take some out-of-the-box thinking to figure out exactly what to do with him.
CFN Projection: First Round

Second Round

DT Kendall Reyes, Connecticut 6-4, 299
Overall Pick No. 49 CFN Overall Ranking: 59
CFN Analysis: Plug him into the inside of the Charger line and he'll be a rock against the run. He'll work like an end in the San Diego D, but he can be moved around to fill a variety of roles and he can move just enough to make a few decent plays in the backfield. With Melvin Ingram in the first round and now with Reyes in this spot, the front seven was a major area targeted and San Diego got too extremely solid players. This was the right pick at the right time.

With a great frame and a good body, he can play in almost any system and has the potential to get bigger and stronger with at least ten more pounds of good weight. More than anything else, he's a great character guy and a tremendous leader who a coaching staff will love to have as a key part of the defense. However, while he's athletic and strong – cranking up 36 reps on the bench - he can be erased and engulfed by bigger, stronger blockers. Okay as a collegian, he wasn't special and is more of a prospect than a producer. Great in offseason workouts, and a favorite personality-wise, he'll make himself into a good pro, but probably not an elite one.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round

S Brandon Taylor, LSU (SS) 5-11, 209
Overall Pick No. 73 CFN Overall Ranking: 204
CFN Analysis: This was way, way, way too early for a Charger defense that doesn't have a glaring need at safety. Overall the secondary could stand to be better, but it could've been addressed later on in the draft. The hope is that Taylor can be a run stopper and be a decent complementary safety next to Eric Weddle.

There were question marks about him as a prospect before going into the offseason, and he didn't help himself despite running a nice 4.54 40, but he's not quite built like an NFL strong safety and doesn't have much room to rock up. A mediocre athlete, he's not going to be able to fly around with the speedier receivers, and his speed and quickness in the short drills was horrible. Throw in his mediocre tackle skills and there are plenty of concerns about what he can grow into. However, he's a smart, tough leader who works his tail off to make himself into a player. He'll never take a play off and he'll never give an uneven effort, but he could use some fine-tuning to be a decent part of a rotation.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

Fourth Round

TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette 6-6, 238
Overall Pick No. 110 CFN Overall Ranking: 78
Purely a receiving tight end, he's a blossoming wide receiver who'll be put in an H-Back hybrid role. Really, really, REALLY fast, he's a sub-4.5 runner and he knows how to use his size and his athleticism to destroy his man. While he's not going to huge anyone just because he's too lanky, he's going to do everything asked of him and he's going to bust his tail to make sure he works with the coaching staff. As long as everyone knows what he's going to be, and as long as there aren't expectations for big blocks for the ground game, he could be a terrific target who'll exploit one-on-one coverage. Some offensive coordinator will be ecstatic in the middle of the draft to get the Ragin' Cajun.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fifth Round

OG Johnnie Troutman, Penn State 6-4, 325
Overall Pick No. 149 CFN Overall Ranking: 202

Out of central casting, he has the ideal frame, the right arms, and the right size for a tackle, but he's able to use his tools well as a guard. A good, smart run blocker who doesn't make any mistakes and packs a whale of a pop, he was a key part of the Nittany Lion line. However, he can't move, doesn't have any athleticism, and seemed like he was operating in slow motion in workouts. There was a DUI issue and he has injury concerns, but he could turn out to be a fine run blocker if all he's asked to do is move the pile.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

Seventh Round

C David Molk, Michigan 6-1, 298
Overall Pick No. 226 CFN Overall Ranking: 103

Undersized, he makes up for his lack of height and bulk by battling hard and being really, really strong with 41 reps on the bench at the Combine. A terrific leader and fighter, he's smart, tough, and as dependable as they come. But can he hold up? He's not going to be bulky enough like some teams might want, and he doesn't blast away on the interior working more as a shoving blocker. Quick, he gets off the ball in a hurry and succeeds by being three steps ahead of the guy in front of him. He's not for everyone and has to be in a scheme where all he has to do is wall off his man, but he's a good football player who'd be a sure-thing first rounder if he was 6-3 and 315.
CFN Projection: Third Round 

Seventh Round

RB Edwin Baker, Michigan State (Jr.) 5-8, 204
Overall Pick No. 250  CFN Overall Ranking: 147
Terrific after doing the work needed to prepare himself for offseason workouts, coming up with a 4.47, he showed off the wheels to go along with the strength. Lineman strong, he's bounces off tacklers and isn't afraid to run through them if needed, but he's at his best when he's able to zip through a hole by making one cut and flying. He'll block, he'll do what's needed to make something happen, and he could be an ultra-productive part of a tandem in the right offense. However, he's not a great receiver, he's not ultra-quick in workouts, and he's not an elite runner. His workload was diminished over the second half of last year and he turned out to be just a complementary back instead of a featured star.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round