First-round prospect visiting Chargers

The draft is drawing near and the San Diego Chargers are shortening their list of potential targets. Believe it or not, that list includes players who don't play wide receiver or safety. has confirmed that the team has set up a meeting for Wed., April 4 with a top linebacker prospect, one A.J. Smith will strongly consider if he falls to the Chargers at the bottom of round one.

Paul Posluszny (6-foot-2, 237 lbs.), a linebacker from Penn State, will be coming to get reacquainted with Chargers officials. He met with San Diego scouts during Senior Bowl week and apparently impressed enough to merit a closer look.

A run-stuffing inside ‘backer, Posluszny would help stabilize San Diego's position of highest offseason turnover. Inside linebacker Donnie Edwards left as a free agent and Randall Godfrey is expected to do the same.

"Paul is just a smart, tough, good football player who is a good athlete and has a great sense for the game," Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno said. "He knows how to play it and he is a delight to have on your team."

The Chargers are drawn to Posluszny's playmaking abilities. During his four years at Penn State, he recorded 372 tackles, nine sacks and 35 tackles for a loss. He won the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defender after the 2005 and 2006 seasons and was named first team All-America both years.

It is debatable whether the team's need at inside linebacker merits first-round attention. Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm each signed five-year extensions in 2006 and have been groomed over the last four seasons to inherit the starting roles they are currently penciled into.

Additionally, the team drafted Tim Dobbins in the fifth round of last year's draft and he seems primed for an expanded role as well.

However, General Manager A.J. Smith is an advocate of drafting the best player available. If Posluszny lasts all the way the No. 30, Smith may be hard-pressed to find a better talent on his board.

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