Los Angeles Chargers: Draft Grades and Recap


During this week’s NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers built up assets to help construct the future of their franchise.

The last time the Los Angeles Chargers took the field, they were dominated by the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. The defense could not get off the field, and quarterback Philip Rivers was harassed all game long. Heading into the offseason, it is clear that Los Angeles needs to improve on defense. Here’s what they did to address those needs:

Round 1, Selection 28

Jerry Tillery, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame


Grade: A-

Measuring in at 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds, Tillery instantly gives the Chargers size and length along the defensive front. At Notre Dame, Tillery had seven sacks and two forced fumbles in his senior year. It’s an excellent pick for L.A., as they get an instant impact player on a defense that needs, well, impact players. The only concern is health related. Tillery had surgery to repair a torn labrum while at Notre Dame.


Round 2, Selection 28

Nasir Adderley, Safety, Delaware

Grade: A+

Nasir Adderley was one of the most coveted safeties in the draft. Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah called Adderley the “perfect complement” to Chargers’ safety Derwin James. In his senior year at Delaware, Adderley recorded 87 tackles, seven pass breakups, and four interceptions. Adderley is a Week One starter. Los Angeles hits another home run with this safety pick.


Round 3, Selection 27

Trey Pipkins, Offensive Tackle, Sioux Falls

Grade: C 

Pipkins is a good example of a reach. He would have likely been available in later rounds. This pick could pan out to be a great one, but Pipkins will likely have to sit and learn for a few years. That is usually a sound strategy, but the Chargers need help on the offensive line right away. This pick will not accomplish that goal. Pipkins does have quite a bit of upside, though, as he only surrendered two sacks in 43 games played. The level of competition is suspect, however, as Sioux Falls is a Division II school.

Round 4, Selection 28

Drue Tranquill, Linebacker,  Notre Dame 

Grade: B-

Tranquil joins his former Notre Dame teammate Jerry Tillery on the Chargers. Tranquill is a run and cover player and will be solid on special teams for L.A. He is the third defensive player in the Charger draft haul. Clearly, the Chargers knew what needed to be improved after last year’s playoff debacle in New England. In his senior year at Notre Dame, Tranquill recorded 86 tackles and 3.5 sacks. The main concern for Tranquill, much like Tillery, is health. He tore his ACL in both knees while in college, so that downgrades the pick grade a bit.

Round 5, Selection 28

Easton Stick, Quarterback, North Dakota State

Grade: C

Easton Stick is a talented quarterback out of North Dakota State. He was the backup to Carson Wentz and won two Division II national titles in three seasons as a starter. Why, then, is the pick only a C? Two words: Philip Rivers. Rivers has started 200 consecutive games and is not slowing down at all. Stick will get the benefit of sitting and watching one of the all-time great quarterbacks, but that is all he will do. Lost Angeles could have used this pick to make an immediate impact on the team. Stick may become a great NFL quarterback just like his predecessor, Carson Wentz, did, but it will likely be years before he sees significant playing time.

Round 6, Selection 27

Emeke Egbule, Defensive End, Houston

Grade: C

If the goal of this pick was to generate pressure off of the edge, this pick was a miss. Egbule only recorded two sacks in his final year in Houston. He also recorded 69 total tackles. He will likely serve a backup role in the defensive line rotation.

Round 7, Selection 28

Cortez Broughton, Defensive Tackle, Cincinnati

Grade: B

It’s difficult to say with any certainty the impact a seventh-round pick will have on a team, but Broughton was a quality selection. In his final year at Cincinnati, Broughton recorded 51 tackles, including 17 for loss. He also recorded two sacks. At 6-foot-2 and 293 pounds, Broughton is a little undersized but will bring a high motor to the defensive front for the Chargers.

The Los Angeles Chargers made defense a priority in this year’s draft. If the new talent contributes the way the should, L.A. could finally get over the hump in the playoffs this year, especially if they can find a way to consistently protect Philip Rivers.


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