The Brandon Taylor trade cost a lot less but could prove equally significant. It was no secret the Chargers had to draft a safety and landing the draft's third-best prospect at No. 73 is a coup.
SS Brandon Taylor
He is an instinctive player who has a knack for being around the football. That skill will also come in handy on special teams, where he figures to be a major contributor.
Taylor will compete for the starting job at strong safety. Also in the mix are Atari Bigby, a six-year vet signed from the Seattle Seahawks earlier this offseason, and Darrell Stuckey, a special-teams star and 2010 fourth-round pick.
The selection is another example of Smith's fondness for LSU players. Taylor is the fourth LSU player Smith has drafted since 2007. Of the previous LSU selections, only Jacob Hester is still on the roster.
The Chargers have now used their first three picks all on defense.
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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.