Why It Makes Sense
A good 3-4 defense needs a pass-rushing presence on both sides of the formation. While Larry English has potential and Antwan Barnes looks strong in a limited role, San Diego has yet to find a consistent complement to Shaun Phillips.
Ryan Kerrigan, who like Phillips went to Purdue, may be the bookend the Chargers desire. He comes off a dominant season in which he recorded 12.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss. He is no one-year wonder, either, as the year prior he had 13 sacks, 18.5 TFLs and seven forced fumbles.
He has impressive speed and a vast array of pass-rush moves, which should allow him to make an early impact. Also, despite playing defensive end in college, he exhibits the athleticism to drop into coverage, which will be necessary as he makes the move to outside linebacker.
DE/OLB Ryan Kerrigan
In 2010, the Bolts led the NFL is pass defense and finished second with 47 sacks, so adding another pass rusher may not be a top priority.
Additionally, the Chargers may be wary about drafting another defensive end and moving him to outside linebacker, a transition English is still struggling with. The team may be better re-upping Barnes and going with Phillips, English, Barnes and Antwan Applewhite. Jyles Tucker is in the mix, too, and could be a factor if he stays healthy.
Even if the Chargers like the idea of adding a pass rusher, it is no lock that picking Kerrigan at No. 18 provides great value. Scouts have questioned how well his pass-rushing skills will translate to the NFL, as he is not as explosive as some of the other prospects in the draft.
What Kerrigan Has to Say
"I'm someone who is relentless and will pursue the ball until I get there. I believe my relentlessness and my versatility are the things that set me apart." -- Ryan Kerrigan
To see SDBoltReport.com's full, exclusive interview with Kerrigan, click here.
Michael Lombardo is a member of Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His work has been published by NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports.