With so many holes to fill on the team, there have been many debates already on what direction the Chargers should go in the draft. The one glaring need is at the Nose Tackle position. Currently Sean Lissemore, who was brought in from Dallas in 2013, and Ryan Carrethers were taking turns at this spot. There does not seem to be a lot of depth at this position, and Lissemore can be perhaps better suited on the end of the line. San Diego needs someone who can take on two and perhaps three players; freeing up Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes to get into the backfield. With a long list of solid OL in this year’s draft, a desperate need of course, perhaps going after a high ranked D-Lineman would be the way to go with the 17th overall pick. The Bolts ranked 4th to last in sacks last year and opposing running backs seemed to find holes through the middle; just watch both games last year against Kansas City. A man who would look great in lightning bolt gear that could improve the defense promptly could be Eddie Goldman out of Florida State University.
Projected 40-yard dash: 4.8
*All pre-Combine unofficial estimations
As a junior in 2014, Eddie Goldman racked up 35 tackles with 8 tackles for loss and four sacks. Since arriving in Tallahassee in 2012, Eddie has played both Defensive End and Defensive Tackle; playing the tackle position last season. He played DT in 10 games as a true freshman, then moved to DE his sophomore year. His collegiate career stats equate to 62 tackles and 6 sacks.
Goldman’s measurables are deceiving as the weight/muscles distribution is even throughout his big frame. He plays low and is quick at the snap. He has the ability to beat his man quick in the middle and be on the quarterback before he’s done making his drop. With Eddie’s size and strength, he can easily be used at times to just be a cog – taking on a double team allowing the edge rushers and linebackers to burst through the line. Goldman has quick hands and gets them into the opposing man’s chest in a hurry – allowing his strength to push them back as if they were on skates. On the flip-side he was very rarely pushed back on his heels. With those speedy hands he is able to also either slap hands away or put a quick swim move on an opposing lineman. The biggest strength with Goldman is his ability to locate the ball quickly. With that talent, he is able to latch on to ball carriers as they attempt to run past him. When you add in his length and strong arms he can pull them down or pop the ball out.
I love this guy’s motor for a man his size, which was on display in the Rose Bowl against Oregon’s no-huddle offense. Eddie’s ability to play in any scheme and any position on the defensive line makes him very versatile. Even though he is more talented and known for his ability to stop the run than as a pass rusher, he does possess the strong leg drive to bull rush any interior lineman deep into the pocket; surprising Quarterbacks with his close-out quickness. The Seminoles have had a pretty stingy defense the last few years and ESPN’s Todd McShay was asked about Goldman. He stated, “He is dominant against the run and might be the best player on the FSU defense.” With his direct influence of any game, using his quickness, power and ball awareness, Eddie Goldman can be an immediate impact player on a line so desperate to improve.
As you can see in the highlight video below, he’s one of the most athletic men in the league at his size. If coached right, he could be a nightmare for opposing lineman.
Thanks for reading. Come back to BoltBlitz for more draft player profiles!!
(Thanks to tallahassee.com and galleryhip.com for the pictures)
Everyone and their dog has a mock draft out these days. The Greg One is not one to be left out of the fun, so here it is, people. I’ll be adding one more to the ever growing list of seven-round educated (and not-so educated) guesses called a mock draft. I have been keeping an eye on prospects and listening to the talking heads on tv and radio for some perspective. Mind you, these are the same pundits who predicted the Chargers would finish at the bottom of the AFC West last season while your friend The Greg One correctly predicted the Chargers record within one game (my guess was 10-6) and the Chargers making the playoffs when none of the ‘experts’ would. Sometimes the best information comes from someone close, passionate about their team but also sees their team realistically. Suck on that ESPN!
Also keep in mind that in my 2013 Chargers mock draft I was one pick away from being dead on. I had the Chargers choosing Alabama guard Chance Warmack as the Chargers selection and he was chosen one pick before the Chargers selected, going to Tennessee with the 10th pick right before the Chargers picked at 11. The Chargers took Alabama right tackle DJ Fluker and had a great season. Still, I had the position (offensive line) and even the school (Alabama) correct, which is more than Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay did. Now that I’ve built my pundit resume to impossible, only a dead on pick will do kind of level, here is my Chargers seven round mock draft!
Round One: Louis Nix III, DT Notre Dame. The Chargers have a gaping hole at defensive tackle after the departure of Cam Thomas this offseason. The Chargers are left with Sean Lissemore and the injured Kwame Geathers as the only nose tackles on the roster. There is no one of note left on the free agent market which makes this the biggest priority to fill through the draft, slightly ahead of the secondary. CB’s Justin Gilbert, Darqueze Dennard and Bradley Roby will be long gone as will safeties Ha Ha Clinton Dix and Calvin Pryor. Nix is the best pure nose tackle in the draft and will be reunited with teammate Manti Te’o, easing his transition to the team. Renewing the chemistry they had in college will be an added benefit on the field.
Round Two: Kyle Van Noy DE/OLB BYU. The Chargers are keeping a close eye on Van Noy, who has had a visit with the team and has said he would love to play for the Chargers. Van Noy is a high motor, disruptive force blitzing from the edge. His specialty is rushing the passer but drops into coverage very well and is solid against the run. Van Noy will be a great addition from a depth standpoint and has outstanding veterans around him to learn from. Even with offenses designing plays to go away from him, Van Noy logged 68 tackles with 17.5 for loss, four sacks, two interceptions and seven batted balls.
Round Three: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama. Kouandjio stock is dropping after a sub-par showing at the combine including a failed physical. His surgically repaired knee has received a clean bill of health from the esteemed Dr. James Andrews. The Chargers will most likely trade up, sacrificing a late round pick (6 or 7) to get high enough in the order to make the selection, but taking advantage of another first round grade talent will be too impossible to ignore. The Chargers again reunite teammates as Kouandjio becomes the bookend on the left side to D.J. Fluker on the right side of the offensive line.
Round Four: The Chargers trade their pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the rights to wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The troubled wide receiver was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft after two seasons as an All-American receiver for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Blackmon is currently suspended following his second violation of the league’s substance abuse policy and was recently cited for a one-car incident when he ran his SUV into a guard rail and landed in a ditch last month. Fortunately, there was no alcohol involved which would’ve lengthened his suspension. Blackmon can apply to be reinstated before the start of the 2014 season but chances are the Jaguars may be looking to rid the locker room of his presence.
A change of scenery and a fresh start with a new, contending team can be the perfect scenario for the 24-year old Blackmon. A bona fide deep threat, he will provide the perfect complement to Keenan Allen. Blackmon was only making 1.2 million so a new contract will be easy for GM Tom Telesco to negotiate. If the opportunity is there, Telesco should make the deal.
Round Five: De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon. Telesco wants to improve team speed and you won’t find many in this draft faster than De’Anthony Thomas. At Oregon’s pro day Thomas posted a 4.34 and 4.35 40 yard dash times. Thomas is electric in the return game as he had four return touchdowns for Oregon in his three-year career. Thomas was a standout member of Oregon’s track and field team anchoring the 4×100 relay for the team that made it to the 2012 NCAA Championships. Thomas is a great 10-15 carries per game running back but does not have the body to be an every down back. He can be a specialty back in the vein of Darren Sproles or Danny Woodhead as he is a great receiver out of the backfield and operates best in space. Speaking of whom, Woodhead is on the second year of his two-year contract with the Chargers. Thomas would be a great insurance policy/heir apparent if Woodhead gets injured or leaves in free agency next season.
Round Six: Terrance Mitchell, DB Oregon. Mitchell’s stock dropped at the draft combine when he ran a 4.69 40-yard dash time. Mitchell is a little undersized at 5’11 but makes up for it with impressive ball skills and instincts. Mitchell stared 38 games for the Ducks and played in high-profile games against the best receivers the Pac-12 had to offer. Mitchell had five interceptions last season as a season-long starter. Mitchell’s excels in press coverage and knows how to use his hands and body in coverage. Mitchell is a playmaker who will also be a valuable contributor on special teams.
Round Seven: Michael Sam, DE Missouri. Sam was the story of the day for about a week when he came out, making him the first openly gay player to take the field in the NFL. However, the story didn’t do anything to his draft stock and he has been forgotten amidst all the draft hoopla. Sam would be a fantastic bargain here as the Chargers are woefully thin all across the defensive line. Like Te’o the year before him, San Diego will provide shelter from the harsh media scrutiny of other NFL cities and allow Sam to thrive.
The Chargers most likely won’t have a seventh round pick. I expect the seventh round pick to be used in a trade up scenario or in the Blackmon trade. Similarly, a team like the Ravens or Steelers will take Sam in an earlier round. However, he will be a late day three pick if he gets chosen at all. If he’s there the Chargers will take him but if he’s gone and the pick is not traded the Chargers will more than likely stash a quarterback like they did last season with Brad Sorensen.
I only took one defensive back because the Chargers will also gain the services of defensive back Stevie Williams, who was chosen with a fifth round pick in last season’s draft. Williams missed all season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The (mostly) unintentional coupling of past teammates will only serve to improve team chemistry and provide a mentor-like relationship in the cases of Fluker and Kouandjio; Te’o and Nix. The team adds valued speed with Blackmon and Thomas and the defense gets much-needed depth with a handful of blue chip prospects.
What do you think Boltfam?
The Greg One