Chargers Draft Prospectus XIX

As we inch into the final days before the Draft we have some unfinished business to take care of. With the tragic events that have landed cornerback Dennis Weathersby in the hospital Sunday, the Draft boards get jumbled again as the need for cornerback help is heightened year in and year out in the NFL. The San Diego Chargers are no different.

So many options are available on what the Chargers will do. It seems unlikely they will go cornerback or safety in round one, and in round two there seems to be a feeling of defensive tackle or possibly safety depending on how the first round plays out. That leaves round three, round four or five as possible places to pickup a cornerback.

John Butler always claimed, "You can never have too many cornerbacks." That is especially true in the tough AFC West. Ryan McNeil could be used at cornerback or safety, so the Chargers continue to keep their options open.

Still when you have the worst defense against the pass and live in a division full of stud receivers, there is a great need to get better yourselves. Waiting until the middle rounds seems a bit long, but it may have to do.

Charles Tillman of La-Lafayette fits the hybrid mold of cornerback/safeties, the growing trend among college players this year. Tillman was an All-Conference selection as a senior totaling 100 tackles, 2 interceptions and breaking up 8 passes.

Four-year starter, team captain and the "coach on the field," according to the Louisiana-Lafayette staff. Tillman spends considerable time in the film room preparing for his opponents.

Tillman finished his career with 284 tackles (182 solos) with two sacks, nine stops behind the line of scrimmage, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, twelve interceptions, 31 pass deflections and three blocked kicks.

Charles Tillman
Cornerback
Louisiana-Lafayette
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207
40 Times: 4.43/4.49
Vertical Jump: 40"
Broad Jump: 10' 11"
Bench Press: 12 reps
Bench (high): 285
Squat: 405
Short Shuttle: 3.89
Three-Cone Drill: 7.05

"Solid secondary prospect, best on the inside. Light on his feet, moves well laterally and quick reading or anticipating the action. Disciplined, plays assignment football and takes good angles to the ball carrier. Defends the play sideline-to-sideline, redirects to the action and quick supporting . Strong at the point and slows receivers at the line with jams or brings ball carriers down on initial contact. Better at free safety facing the quarterback and could eventually start in a two deep cover scheme." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Tillman has a good frame with solid muscle mass and development, shows agility, balance, quickness and flexibility driving out of his backpedal and is a tough and physical collision tackler who is a hard worker in the weight room and football field.

He has a good short area burst to mirror receivers and can accelerate off his turn to maintain stride with the opponent on deep routes. He shows proper pass drop technique to break on the ball and uses his hands effectively to jam the receivers at the line. Tillman gets a good jump on the ball and uses his leaping ability to go after the ball at its highest point, anticipates the pass quickly, and shows good pursuit speed.

A very vocal leader on the field, Tillman sacrificed personal success for that of the team by moving from left cornerback to free safety midway through his final campaign.

"I think there is no question that Charles Tillman is an NFL caliber player," said Ragin' Cajuns head coach Rickey Bustle. "NFL teams need to decide which position is better for him (free safety or cornerback). I've talked to almost every pro scout since we moved Tillman to free safety and they all think that being able to play another position has helped him."

The Bolts see his leadership and ability as qualities they aspire for out of their draft picks. Tillman has slowly been garnering more attention of late and it could push him up round.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link: Denis Savage

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