Could see himself in San Diego

With the off-season now officially underway, the Chargers have set out to strengthen the weaknesses from last year's lineup. Seeing as their offense contains five players with Pro Bowl experience, and their secondary contains five players that are former first or second round draft picks, it makes sense that the team's focus is on making improvements in the defensive front seven.

One player who could help them do just that is Marcus Lawrence, a six foot three, 236 lb. senior linebacker from South Carolina.

Lawrence is a versatile linebacker, and his ability to play all of the 'backer positions left scouts at the combine debating where he fits best.

"The majority of the teams, like the Raiders, think I would be an outside linebacker," Lawrence said. "But there are some other teams, like Kansas City, that like me as a middle."

A number of other teams held meetings with Lawrence, who is being sought after so ardently due to his ability to shut down the run, while being able to provide help in coverage as well. The Broncos, Jets, Giants, Panthers and Saints all met with Lawrence, and he feels as if they all came away impressed.

The Chargers did not hold a meeting with Lawrence, although that can be explained in part by the Chargers' intense focus on defensive lineman while at the combine.

Although Lawrence did not have a chance to impress the Chargers via interview, he took full advantage of his opportunity to show them what he could do on the field.

"I think it went really well," said Lawrence of his overall showing at the combine. "I did a lot of good things."

The Bolts did have someone at the South Carolina Pro Day on Wednesday but it was unclear whether they sought out Lawrence at that time.

Draft experts had originally projected Lawrence to be selected anywhere betweens rounds three and six. Lawrence, however, left the combine with the impression that he had raised his stock to the point where he would be selected "anywhere between the second and the third."

Because the Chargers do not have a third round draft pick, they would have to select Lawrence with their pick late in the second round if they want a legitimate shot at drafting him, assuming his projections hold true. However, should the Chargers draft him this April, Lawrence feels he would be an excellent fit as an outside linebacker in the Chargers 3-4 defensive alignment.

"To be honest, I wish I had a chance to rush the passer a lot more," Lawrence said. "Before I was in college, and back when I was in junior college, I was an outside linebacker. They gave me a chance to rush the passer a lot and I was pretty good at it."

Lawrence is familiar with the Chargers beyond their defensive alignment. "I know Kevin House, he was there for a little bit and he went to South Carolina" said Lawrence, referring to the former Chargers' cornerback. "Then there's Andrew Pinnock, I've talked to him a little bit and he seems to like San Diego a lot. I'm pretty sure I'd like it too."

Michael Lombardo can be reached at Lombardo@SanDiegoSports.net

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