Chargers Draft Review: Defensive Feeling

Prior to the draft, Chargers general manager A. J. Smith was defensive that his previous three drafts didn't match his previous work. Once this year's draft arrived, the Chargers decided to go defensive as well.

Four of the Chargers' first five picks were defensive players, led by end Corey Liuget getting snagged in the first round with the 18th pick overall.

It's obvious the Chargers' offense didn't need much help. So, in what was a good move, the Chargers went all-out trying to shore up the defense.

Liuget will be asked to be stout against the run. Marcus Gilchrist will be asked to keen against the pass.

Gilchrist came in at No. 50 overall and he adds depth to that position, as well as possibly being groomed to someday take over for Quentin Jammer.

Gilchrist is also being eyed as a possible returner.

At No. 61, Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton became a Charger. He is a thumper from the Big Ten and known for being physical and durable.

Finally, Rivers got another offensive weapon late in the third round by getting wide receiver Vincent Brown.


Defensive end Corey Liuget: The Chargers are in need of a presence along the front and Liuget could deliver it. The Chargers allowed 100 yards rushing in seven games last year and Liuget was drafted to address that shortcoming.


Wide receiver Vincent Brown: While a bit under the radar playing for San Diego State, Brown is a great route-runner and seems to have a knack for being able to haul in the difficult passes.

A closer look at the Chargers' picks:

DT Corey Liuget
Jerry Lai/US Presswire
Round 1/18 - Corey Liuget, DE, 6-2, 300, Illinois

It wasn't fake enthusiasm from the Chargers' brass when it was able to land this run-stuffer, hoping he can provide a physical presence up front.

Round 2/50 -- Marcus Gilchrist, DB, 5-10, 195, Clemson

Gilchrist's reputation is him featuring strength and football smarts. The Chargers also like his experience as a returner - especially with Darren Sproles likely leaving - and he could contribute in the nickel package.

Round 2/61 - Jonas Mouton, LB, 6-1, 239, Michigan

Mouton led the Big Ten in tackles playing on the weak side of a 4-3 alignment and was among the few highlights on a dismal Wolverine defense. He'll be pointed inside on the Chargers' 3-4 scheme.

Round 3/82 - Vincent Brown, WR, 5-11, 187, San Diego State

Brown is a precision route runner with forgiving hands and plays fast. Charlie Joiner, the NFL Hall of Famer and Chargers receivers coach, is a big Brown fan - enough said.

Round 3/89 - Shareece Wright, DB, 5-11, 185, University of Southern California

Wright missed most of the 2009 season because of poor grades. He rebounded with a strong senior season and then fared well in workouts leading up to the draft.

Round 6/183 - Jordan Todman, RB, 5-9, 203, Connecticut

Todman rushed for at least 100 yards in 10 of the Huskies' 12 games. The team is intrigued by the Big East Offensive Player of the Year after he opened eyes with his 4.40-time in the 40.

Round 6/201 - Steve Schilling, OL, 6-4, 308 Michigan

A versatile player, he started two seasons at right tackle and two at left guard.

Round 7/234 - Andrew Gachkar, OLB, 6-2, 233, Missouri

This second-team All-Big 12 player finished with 84 tackles, one shy of being the team leader.


--DE Cory Liuget said he's already heard from Philip Rivers, the team's star quarterback. "He welcomed me with open arms and told me the whole San Diego fan base and the team, the coaching staff, everyone wants me here," Liuget said. "I just told him I'm ready to contribute to winning football games and possibly getting a couple championships. That makes me feel pretty good that this organization and the guys around here really care and it shows that they're not about themselves. They're about the team and more than anything they want to win."

--WR Vincent Brown didn't have to travel far for his Chargers Park press conference. The San Diego State product was about five minutes from the facility when learning he was among the newest Chargers. "I was just excited; I couldn't stop smiling," Brown said. "They called my name on the TV and the whole room just went crazy from there."

--It was a bit of a surprise the Chargers didn't draft an edge linebacker in the early rounds. "We targeted a lot of outside linebackers," director of pro personnel Jimmy Raye said. "Some of them in the first round went before we picked, but we selected a quality defensive lineman we felt could really help us. We had outside linebackers on the list in the second round, and all the guys we targeted again went before we picked. We got in a situation where you have to start thinking about team building."

--While few of the drafted Chargers are expected to start, that doesn't mean they aren't expected to contribute. "You want guys on the 53-man roster who are going to dress on Sundays, to add value in several different ways," Raye said. "Sometimes that's as a starter. Other times, it's as a backup and a special teams player. To be a complete football team, you need all those roles filled. ... We believe we acquired players who will add a toughness and physicalness on special teams, and they would also add speed."

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