Chargers select Shawne Merriman 12th overall

With the Chargers first pick in the first round, 12th overall, acquired from the New York Giants in exchange for Eli Manning, San Diego selects Shawne Merriman from the University of Maryland. The Chargers next selection is in the first round, 28th overall.

Following an evaluation by the NFL Committee on college player prospects, which notes Shawne Merriman should be no worse than an early second-round draft selection, the junior defensive standout quickly made the decision to enter the 2005 college player draft.

He quickly rose up the draft boards as the days turned to April. Nicknamed "Lights Out" becuase of his ability to hit and knock players out of the game, Merriman recorded 85 tackles, 17 for a loss, with 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles as a junior.

At 6-foot-4, 272 pounds, Merriman will likely line up at both defensive end and outside linebacker in the Chargers 3-4 scheme.

In 38 games at Maryland, Merriman started 17 times. He recorded 189 tackles (125 solos) with 22 sacks for minus-127 yards, 33½ stops for losses of 170 yards, 27 quarterback pressures, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. His 22 career sacks rank second on the school's career-record list, topped only by Mike Corvino (24, 1979-82).

Lightning Quicks:

The first 19 players chosen by A.J. Smith through his first two drafts are currently on the San Diego Chargers roster.

The Chargers will pick again in round one, 28th overall.

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