Bolts Chat Up Another D-Line Prospect

The San Diego Chargers have two picks in both the second and third rounds and indications are at least one of those selections will be spent on the defensive line. A.J. Smith is sorting through the possibilities and is zeroing in on a final list of candidates. One of those linemen visited last week and could be tabbed as the replacement to Jacques Cesaire.

The Chargers visited with Clemson DT Jarvis Jenkins on April 11, according to's Brent Sobleski. Jenkins (6-foot-4, 310 pounds) comes off a season in which he garnered first-team All-ACC honors by posting 51 tackles -- including nine for a loss -- and 16 quarterback pressures.

Jenkins, likely a second- or third-round pick, played defensive tackle at Clemson but projects as a defensive end in San Diego's 3-4 scheme. He certainly has the athleticism and strength to play the five-technique, as he showed during his pro day, running a 4.75 short shuttle and posting 21 reps of the 225-pound bench press.

DL Jarvis Jenkins
Kevin C. Cox/Getty
Jenkins starred on Clemson's defensive line along with projected first-round pick Da'Quan Bowers. He would be paired with another dominant pass rusher in San Diego, as edge rusher Shaun Phillips comes off an 11-sack, Pro Bowl season.

The Chargers need help on the defensive line, where veterans Jacques Cesaire and Travis Johnson are set to become unrestricted free agents. Even if those two return, San Diego wants to bolster a run defense that gave up 251 rushing yards in a critical December loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Also, the Chargers will open the season at home against Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. It was Peterson who set the single-game rushing record (297 yards) in a game against the Chargers in 2007; adding Jenkins would go a long way towards guarding against a repeat performance.

In addition to helping on defense (he has 114 career tackles), Jenkins would fill a glaring need on special teams. He set a school record by blocking four kicks during his time at Clemson.

How can the Chargers shore up their D-line? Talk about it in the message boards.

Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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