Chargers Strengthen Defense in NFL Draft
May 2, 2019
The Los Angeles Chargers entered the 2019 NFL draft with just a few holes to fill and filled them quite nicely in the three-day draft that started on April 25th and ended April 27th. Despite having a top ten defense in 2018, there were a few holes to be filled in the middle of the defense.
The Chargers used Notre Dame and a relative of NFL football royalty to help fill the key areas on defense. Here are the seven round results of the 2019 Charger draft:
Round 1 - Jerry Tillery, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame, 6'6", 295 - The Chargers needed help at defensive tackle, and they hope they have found it with Tillery in the first round. A three-year starter for Notre Dame.
He has a unique blend of tools and skills that don't come around very often. A freak athlete. The most physically imposing player of the 2019 NFL draft. Ourlads Scouting Services describes Tillery as a "Greek God when it comes to his towering presence over everybody else on the field."
Tillery will be penciled in to start alongside Brandon Mebane and is projected to be a three-technique defensive tackle. He played his final eight games with an undiagnosed torn labrum in his right shoulder suffered in the Stanford game. In the Stanford game, he had four sacks and a forced fumble. A very intelligent player, Tillery has a degree in economics.
Round 2 - Nasir Adderley, Safety, Delaware, 6'0". 206 - This is a pick that will help in multiple areas, starting at free safety. The Chargers need a ball-hawking safety and Adderley will be a good fit. He has solid ball skills and good range. Tackles in space well.
Adderley can offer immediate help on special teams. He also had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last season. Adderley's cousin, Herb Adderley, played cornerback in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Round 3 - Trey Pipkins, Offensive Tackle, Sioux Falls, 6'6", 310 - The Chargers reached into the Division II level of college football to draft Pipkins. A three-year starter from Apple Valley, Minnesota, Pipkins was a Division II All-American in 2018.
He is raw and a project but is also very athletic and a good fit for zone-based blocking scheme, which just happens to be what the Chargers use. Pipkins will add much needed depth to the Chargers offensive line in 2019. Pipkins played in the East West Shrine game and more than held his own with players from larger schools.
Round 4 - Drue Tranquill, Linebacker, Notre Dame, 6'0", 235 - Tranquill joins Notre Dame teammate Jerry Tillery, the Chargers first round pick, and former Notre Dame teammate Isaac Rochell, on the 2019 Chargers defense. Tranquill was a three-year starter at Notre Dame.
At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.57 forty, had a vertical leap of 37.5" and benched press 225 pounds 31 times. A tough and strong player with the speed to stay with vertical routes. Tranquill will add depth at linebacker and will help on special teams.
Round 5 - Easton Stick, Quarterback, North Dakota State, 6'1", 225 - Stick is the first quarterback drafted by the Chargers since 2013. The four-year starter from Omaha, Nebraska won three national championships in four years at the FCS level. Stick is a very good athlete with good accuracy. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.63 forty, was first among the quarterbacks in the 20-yard shuttle with a time of 4.05 seconds and in the 3-cone drill with a 6.65.
He played in a pro-style offense at North Dakota State, taking snaps from under center. He will not see many snaps this season with Philip Rivers as the starter at quarterback and veteran Tyrod Taylor as the backup. But in a few years, he could be taking snaps from under center as the starting quarterback of the Chargers.
Round 6 - Emeke Egbule, Linebacker, Houston, 6'2", 245 - The Chargers added more speed at linebacker with the addition Egbule. A two-year starter for Houston from Galena Park, Texas. He brings good size and has run a 4.65 in the forty. Egbule has a quick first step and long arms.
He has the versatility to be a solid pass rusher and has the ability to drop back in coverage. Egbule could play a hybrid-linebacker role for the Chargers. For now, he will add much needed depth at linebacker.
Round 7 - Cortez Broughton, Defensive Tackle, Cincinnati, 6'2", 290 pounds - A three-year starter from Warner-Robins, Georgia, Broughton was a first team All-Conference in the American Conference his senior year. He had 7.5 sacks last season with 18.5 tackles for losses. He has the strength to stack a double team and the quickness to penetrate up the field. A three-technique tackle that will add depth to the defensive line.