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San Diego Chargers - AFC West
Northern Illinois DE Larry English
Northern Illinois DE Larry English
Posted Apr 27, 2009

San Diego Chargers - AFC West, 2009 Draft Selections & Prospects

San Diego Chargers

 - 2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Rd | 7th Rd

CFN 2009 Draft Central & Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis


16 16 1st Round 
Larry English, OLB Northern Illinois (DE)  6-2, 255

He’s the type of player that no one’s quite sure exactly what to do with, but everyone wants him. He’s not big enough to be a regular defensive end and he’s not fast enough to be a star outside linebacker, but he could flourish in a 3-4 linebacker role or as a 4-3 end if he’s asked to become a pass rusher. With a full-tilt motor, he needed to be double and triple teamed on every play after he grew into a star at NIU, and while his numbers might not have been great, he needed so much attention that he earned MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors two years in a row. More than fine whenever he went against the better talents, he was fine in Senior Bowl practices, he shouldn’t have a problem going from the MAC to the NFL.
CFN Value Rank:
Second Round    CFN Position Rank: 3
14 78 3rd Round  
Louis Vasquez, OG Texas Tech 6-6, 335

Strong. Freakishly strong. He’s a load and can’t move, but pass protection isn’t too much of an issue considering the offense he played in. Now he’ll have a chance to prove he can become a power run blocker and put all his strength to good use. He needs some coaching to get out of his spread blocking habits, but he has good upside in the right attack.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 7
13 113 4th Round
Vaughn Martin, DT 6-3, 330 Western Ontario
The Canadian is a massive inside presence who'll sit in the middle of the line and clog things up. He's not athletic and he's not going to get into the backfield, but he's strong enough to more than hold his own in any alignment. A major developmental prospect, he hasn't been playing football all that long and need a ton of work. However, the upside is there to make him an interesting low-risk flier.

CFN Value Rank:
Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 39
33 133 4th Round
Tyronne Green, OG Auburn 6-2, 310
The former defensive tackle turned into a good college blocker. A good athlete, he needs a lot of refinement on his overall game as an offensive lineman and might need to work to find a position. Once in a while he’ll be a dominant blocker, but he doesn’t do it enough. He’s not nearly consistent enough to pound away with any power and could end up playing at center. With all his issues, he’s a good prospect worth developing.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 5
34 134 4th Round
Gartrell Johnson, RB Colorado State 5-10, 220
A power back who plays faster than he times, he’ll pound away and will beat up defenders who dare to tackle him. He has thighs the size of a small country and they’re always pounding away. A great leader with high character, he won’t mope if he has a reduced role and is only a short yardage specialist. While he won’t be a star, he simply doesn’t have the speed, he could be a closer on late drives. He’s the last back a tired defense will want to face.
CFN Value Rank:
Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 17
12 148 5th Round
Brandon Hughes, CB Oregon State 5-11, 180
In a slow class of corners, the 4.4 Hughes ran at the Combine, along with his 36.5” vertical leap, made him stand out. He’s not all that strong and he doesn’t provide any sort of a pop, but he’s more than willing to help out against the run and he doesn’t shy away from contact. While he has the basic skills, even if he does need to hit the weights, he doesn’t have much in the way of football sense. He’s not a playmaker, picking off just three passes for the Beavers, and he doesn’t seem to around the ball enough. However, he’s a good character guy who’ll work hard and will take to coaching, so if someone is willing and able to spend the time to improve his instincts, he could be a real find.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 13
16 189 6th Round
Kevin Ellison, SS USC 6-1, 225

Projected by some as a possible outside linebacker because of his speed, or lack of it, he’ll have to try to find a role early on. A great leader who’s well respected as an ultra-intense, ultra-reliable defender, he works harder than everyone else and will do whatever is needed to improve. Witness his Combine performance on the bench with a ridiculous 32 reps. He’ll make a whale of a coach someday, but he doesn’t have the speed to be even remotely considered at free safety and he’ll be limited as a strong safety. A knee problem doesn’t help the cause. He’ll make a team on character and will be a tough cut, but he just might have the intangibles to stick.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 17
15 224 7th Round
Demetrius Byrd, WR LSU 6-1, 200
Purely as a football prospect, he's the epitome of the million-dollar talent with a ten-cent head. He has it all with size, speed, and tremendous upside, but the big question is his healthy after a near-fatal car accident. He's expected to recover and eventually be back to normal, but he's not expected to be back soon. When healthy, he can hit the home run, find the hole in the seam, and do big things when he gets the ball on the move. However, he’s not a refined route runner, will drop passes, and didn’t produce like a superstar receiver he should’ve become. He was plenty good, and he’ll be solid for someone on raw skills alone, but he could be great. Special. If it all kicks in and if he finds the desire to become the NFL’s best receiver, it’s all there for him. The world is his if he wants it ... and if he can recover.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round
   CFN Position Rank: 9


The Draft Was ... Whatever. Antoine Cason was one of the underrated corner prospects, but he was still taken way too high. Jacob Hester is a fullback, and although San Diego can use a thunderback, he was taken ahead of Jamaal Charles and Steve Slaton.
Best Value Pick: DeJuan Tribble, CB Boston College. 6th round. Considered too short to be a higher choice, he's a player who can be a solid contributor in the rotation. He'll be a great No. 3 or No. 4 corner.
Biggest Reach: Marcus Thomas, RB UTEP. 5th round. Does he do anything all that well? He's not fast like Michael Turner was, and he while he has size, he's not the type of back who can carry the load if something happens to L.T.
They Should've ... Grabbed one of the high-end receivers. They were all there on the board, and while WR wasn't a need, how much better would the passing game have looked with Devin Thomas, James Hardy or Malcolm Kelly to complement Chris Chambers and Antonio Gates?


27 27 1st Round    Antoine Cason, CB/FS Arizona
Arguably the best defensive back in the Pac 10 for the last four years, Cason was a consistently great playmaker doing a little of everything well from making 253 career tackles to picking off 15 throws to breaking up 37 passes, including 19 in his senior year alone.  Not a blazer, but with good size, he could end up moving to free safety. He'll find a spot somewhere and will be a longtime starter, but he's not going to be a superstar.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round    CFN Position Rank:
6 69 3rd Round (from New England)   Jacob Hester, FB LSU  
A great runner, a good scorer, and a nice receiver, he's a do-it-all fullback who'll be a nice piece to the puzzle. If nothing else he'll be a fan favorite and a star on special teams.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round   CFN Position Rank: 1
31 166 5th Round Marcus Thomas, RB UTEP
A tremendous prospect who was the really, really big recruit who was supposed to turn around UTEP, he produced well but never carried the team. He's a big-sized runner with decent hands for the passing game, but he's not a special back by any stretch and isn't going to be more than a decent emergency backup.

CFN Value Rank:
Free Agent      CFN Position Rank: 27
26 192 6th Round  DeJuan Tribble, CB Boston College
Too small at just 5-8 and 196 pounds, and too slow with a 4.69 40, he doesn't have the measurables to make much of an impact. However, he's a good ball-hawker, was a good starter for the last three years at a high level, and plays quicker than he is.  He should make for a good backup and a key nickel defender, but he'll be picked on if he has to start.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round 
CFN Position Rank: 23
27 234 7th Round  Corey Clark, OT/OG Texas A&M
A big body at 6-6 and 310 pounds, he can push people around and is decent for the running game. He's not an athlete and can't pass protect at an NFL level, and he doesn't play nearly as physical on a consistent basis as he probably should. He'll be better if he moves inside to guard.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent   CFN Position Rank: 28