Randall's Power, Versatility Tempt SD

San Diego has selected a defensive lineman in each of the last three drafts. That trend figures to continue, especially if the Chargers lose Antonio Garay and/or Tommie Harris in free agency. Watch for Kheeston Randall, the run stopper from Texas. His power and versatility could make him a key addition.

Kheeston Randall (6 foot 5, 305 lbs.) made a name for himself by shutting down the run as a defensive tackle at Texas. His career totals include 89 total tackles and 18.5 tackles for loss.

However, scouts who have studied his game film believe he has a bright future as a 3-4 defensive end. He is strong enough to tie up multiple blockers and flashes just enough wiggle to fight into the backfield as a pass rusher.

At the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala, Randall received as much interest from 3-4 teams as he did from teams that run a 4-3.

DL Kheeston Randall
Brian Bahr/Getty
"Obviously I played mostly nose at Texas, nose and three-technique," he said. "At times they let me play on the end, so I can pretty much do all three. It's just a matter of where they want me to play. In a 3-4 I definitely see myself on the outside."

That's where the Chargers would see Randall, as well. Defensive line coach Don Johnson likes to rotate his players liberally, so Randall would be a nice piece to a puzzle that will also feature Corey Liuget, Vaughn Martin and veteran Jacques Cesaire. Another veteran, Luis Castillo, may be released because of his salary ($4.975 million) and marginal production.

Randall feels he could fit in with the Chargers, despite San Diego's near-exclusive use of a three-man front.

"We did a lot of practicing with both schemes under both Will Muschamp and Manny Diaz," he said. "I'm pretty versatile in both schemes."

That versatility was on display throughout Senior Bowl week, where Randall and the South team defensive line dominated the offensive linemen during every practice. Randall and other members of the team's defensive front, including North Carolina's duo of Quinton Coples and Tydreke Powell, built an instant camaraderie through studying together in meetings and socializing between practices and interviews.

Randall, who had three tackles in the Senior Bowl game, cherished the chance to compete with players who are the best in their respective regions. But his main motivation for competing in the all-star game was simple.

"It's just about playing football," he said. "You get three or four days of actual practice and practice can only make you better. I feel like that's the biggest benefit."

The fact that those practices are conducted by NFL coaches doesn't hurt, either.

"You can get used to getting coached by those guys," he said. "The way they talk, the way they form things, the terminology and stuff like that."

Randall feels he is ready to make the leap to football's biggest stage. He's already been studying tape on a few defensive linemen with similar body types, especially Kevin Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch, and feels he can incorporate some of their style into his own.

A projected third- or fourth-round pick, Randall is confident he will be a steal for whatever team drafts him.

"I'm a guy who is going to work hard, play special teams, play defense, be in the community where I'm at, and be involved in the city," he said. "I'm not going to have any off-the-field issues and I'm going to hustle every day in practice, learn my playbook and just do what I need to do."

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Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com 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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