Chargers Go Defense Again, Grab Reyes

The Chargers, as expected, went defense again with their second-round selection. The surprise came in the position, as San Diego opted for DE Kendall Reyes instead of addressing the secondary. Reyes is a stellar run defender with good suddenness and hustle; he will be in the rotation on the defensive line, which continues its ongoing youth movement.

The selection of Kendall Reyes (6 foot 4, 299 lbs.) marks the fourth straight year A.J. Smith has drafted a D-lineman, joining Vaughn Martin (2009), Cam Thomas (2010) and Corey Liuget (2011). All four youngsters will be in the rotation along with veterans Antonio Garay, Luis Castillo and Jacques Cesaire.

Many are surprised the Bolts went defensive line so early with pressing needs at safety, cornerback and offensive tackle. However, it was a position that needed an influx of new blood. The other six players all return from last year's squad (although Castillo missed most the year) and were part of a unit that badly underperformed.

DE Kendall Reyes
Scott Boehm/Getty
Reyes has the skills to make an immediate difference. He has excellent footwork and short-area quickness. He makes a lot of hustle plays, both in the backfield and up and down the line of scrimmage. Additionally, he is relentless in pursuit and never gives up on plays, even when double-teamed.

He has the lower-body strength to anchor against the run and the refined technique to collapse the pocket and make plays in the backfield. Although he does not make as many flashy plays as Melvin Ingram, he is an experienced and productive player who will be ready for a sizable role on opening day.

A four-year contributor at Connecticut, his college numbers include 142 total tackles, 32.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 12 passes batted down and three forced fumbles. He was named first team All Big East in 2010 and 2011.

What do fans think of the Kendall Reyes pick? Find out inside 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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