Given the fact that the Chargers are facing the 2015 season without pass rusher Dwight Freeney (un-signed after expired contract) and Jarret Johnson (retired), the Bolts have an opening on defense. Alvin “Bud” Dupree, the big defensive end out of Kentucky, is the guy to fill the void.
Weight: 269 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.56 seconds
Bud Dupree is one of those long and powerful defensive ends who can also be an outside linebacker in John Pagano’s 3-4 defense. He is agile and quick off the snap; relentless, whether he is going after the quarterback or dropping into space and playing zone. Standing 6-foot-4, he has a huge body to use in coverage. He is also capable of rushing from multiple stances. Those qualities will bring a bit more nastiness to the Charger defense.
Dupree has experience playing the linebacker position from the strong-side, the weak-side and on the inside. This is beneficial to San Diego as he fits right in with the “next man up” mentality that Mike McCoy speaks about. Bud recorded 23.5 career sacks and 247 tackles (36 for loss).
NFL comparison: Michael Bennett (Seattle Seahawks) and Jamie Collins (New England Patriots).
Several NFL draft previews are suggesting that Bud Dupree is moving up the boards because of an impressive Combine and Pro Day performance. The term “freakish athlete” could easily be used to describe him. That being said, it appears that he will certainly be a first round selection. With Dupree’s incredible abilities, Tom Telesco could make an easy choice by selecting the pass rushers at the 17th selection. What do you think about Bud Dupree wearing a blue and gold jersey?
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It’s no secret that the Chargers offensive line still needs some work. Arguably, the 2014 season may have had better days with a healthy, yet talented line. In order for the team to see the playoffs in 2015, Tom Telesco needs to address the offensive line first and foremost.
With less than five weeks until the 2015 NFL Draft, fans are becoming increasingly more vocal as to who their favorite team should draft in the first round. For the Bolts, the first round pick should be reserved for offensive tackle like Ereck Flowers.
Weight: 329 lbs
40-yard dash: 5.31 sec
What’s not to like about this guy? First off, he is huge. Standing at 6-foot-6, his height alone fits the mold of what San Diego needs to block for Philip Rivers. His 40-yard time wasn’t the best at this year’s Combine, but it definitely wasn’t the worst. He has broad shoulders and a low stance which adds to his run blocking talent.
He has quick feet and the ability to scramble if beaten. The speed he possesses off the line allows him to power and drive through blockers. Additionally, he has played both tackle positions. The diversity and ability to play more than one position is what Telesco seems to be looking for in players lately.
Flowers’ run blocking is exceptional, however his pass blocking needs work. He has the talent and quickness to be a high performing tackle in the NFL, yet has some balance issues. He tends to get beaten by smaller defensive ends due to poor stance and balance.
With his huge frame and competitiveness, there’s no reason why Flowers can’t become a starter in the league. Some of his downfalls can easily be improved upon by some advanced coaching. When it comes down to it, the Chargers still have some gaps to fill on the offensive line. If the Bolts draft Ereck Flowers, the line will finally look like a contending unit.
Let’s not kid ourselves, the Chargers offense is not going to click on all cylinders until the offensive line is not as…well….offensive. The big men were hard to watch last season. Normally, when an offensive line has a problem, it is either that they cannot run block, or they cannot pass block. The 2014 Chargers offensive line could do neither. Ranked 30th in the league in rushing yards with just 3.3 YPC was bad enough. Now add 37 sacks and God knows how many hits on Quarterback Philip Rivers! That is not how a team gets to the Super Bowl.
Fortunately, Chargers General Manager, Tom Telesco, understands this problem and will certainly address the o-line in free agency. If not, there are options in the draft that could fall to the Bolts first round pick at number 17.
If Pitt’s Offensive Tackle (OT), T.J. Clemmings is still on the board at number 17, do not expect Telesco to take much time to scribble his name down and turn it in. Clemmings is a large, ruthless blocker who is projected to start in the NFL in his rookie season. Let’s take a closer look.
Height: 6’ 5”
Weight: 309 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 5.34 Sec.
T.J. Clemmings is just the kind of OT that the Chargers are looking for. He has great size, speed, agility and a lovely nasty streak that makes defenders know that they are in for a long day when they see him across the line.
Clemmings shows that he can pass and run block at either OT position. Obviously, with King Dunlap getting an extension, the Chargers are not looking for a Left Tackle (LT). That being said, Clemmings could be the LT of the future after getting some seasoning on the right side.
I know what you are thinking. What about D.J. Fluker? Of course Clemmings will have to beat Fluker out in order to get the starting nod at RT. If he is able to do that in camp, Fluker will just slide over to Right Guard (RG) and make one very formidable right side. If not, I’m sure that Clemmings would fit nicely at the RG position. Either way, it is an upgrade over last season.
Although comparisons are often unfair to young athletes, NFL.com has Texans LT Duane Brown as the best comparison in the NFL for Clemmings.
I project Clemmings to be a first round draft pick. He would be an outstanding pick for the Chargers at 17, but there is a good chance he will be gone by then as he is seen as a lineman with perhaps the most upside of all linemen in the draft. Freakish potential Left Tackles do not last long on draft day.
Alright Chargers fans, what do you think? How would you feel about drafting Clemmings at 17 of the first round? Personally, I would be just fine with it.
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Though he is rated as the number 2 running back on CBSSports, some have viewed him otherwise. Some experts have even put him outside of their top five. I believe Johnathan Franklin will be a great tailback in the league. Let’s see what the UCLA product brings to the table.
40 Yard Dash: 4.49 Seconds
Bench Press (225 Lbs): 18 Reps
60 Yard Shuttle: 11.33 Seconds
Possesses NFL caliber speed as well as the ability to make defenders miss in tight spaces. One cut back who explodes through holes. Great vision and patience to make the right decision behind the line of scrimmage. Does not shy away from contact and has great balance to stay up after a hit.
Doesn’t have elite speed to help him outrun defenders. Ball security is an issue as well as average upper body strength. Needs to work on pass protection.
Franklin is an immediate impact type of back. With proper coaching, there is no doubt he will be a pro bowler at this level. I’d love the Chargers to pick him up, but this maybe a reach as we have other needs to address. Take a look for yourself at Johnathan Franklin.
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