Chargers could use rising star

Over the last several years, the Chargers have found a player that may not have the stats associated with a starter but has the upside to be a Pro Bowler. Things are no different these days.

Oklahoma's Chris Chester, a 6'4, 300-pound offensive lineman from Oklahoma, raised his stock considerably at this year's Combine in Indianapolis. A tight end who converted to center late in his collegiate career, he's a versatile, athletic prospect who drew interview requests from over half of the NFL teams and should be selected in the upper half of the NFL Draft in April.

He has played center and guard, and that offer of versatility is a benefit as he moves forward. As a former tight end, Chester remains athletic and has been hailed as a player with immense upside.

Offensive line remains a definitive need for the Chargers and Chester is a player who may need a year to grow, offering a last run for Mike Goff and making a transition into Chester the following year. He is the prototypical Charger selection.

Question: Did any team at the Combine talk to you about being a tight end, instead of an offensive lineman?

Chris Chester: The Chiefs did. They said, if for some reason I don't come in right away and get a chance to play at center or guard, I could just be kind of a second tight end in situations so I can get on the field, make an impact and contribute while still working at center at guard.

Q: How much special teams work did you do during college? Were there any specific special teams that you feel you excelled at?

CC: I was on the punt cover team, kickoff return and field goal team as well. The team I liked the most was punt coverage. It was more or less pass set. I was pretty big. We saw a lot of DBs and a lot of smaller guys on the rush. So it was pretty easy to block for the punt team. But also I had good enough feet, where I could be effective in coverage.

Q: How much of an issue was your broken hand and knee injury from your senior year? Did that get brought up quite often during your interviews?

CC: Everyone asked about it because I ended up missing four games. But the injury itself was kind of a typical injury. I didn't even have an MRI on my knee. I was back pretty quick actually. It's usually a four to six weeks for recover, and I was back in four weeks. Also, I didn't have any surgery.

Q: When you had your interviews with the GM's, head coaches or coaches, what is it that you wanted to get across to them about you as a person?

CC: I've always had this kind of lineman mentality and this concept of football. My beliefs on football, especially as a lineman, it's always hard work. And I think that playing offensive line kind of exemplifies that hard work. It's something that always had a whole lot of respect for.

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