Chargers boost ‘backer depth with Gator aid

Prior to the draft, the Chargers faced an assortment of questions regarding how Donnie Edwards and Randall Godfrey would be replaced. Now, they have their answer. After selecting Anthony Waters four rounds earlier, San Diego concluded its 2007 draft by picking Brandon Siler, an intelligent and hardworking inside linebacker with excellent range and closing burst.

Siler (6-foot-2, 238 lbs.) left school after his junior season, expecting to be drafted somewhere on day one. While his tumble all the way down to pick No. 240 was surprising, it allowed it Chargers to land one of the draft's biggest teals.

During his three-year college career, he registered 218 total tackles, 30 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks. In 2006, he was named a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to college football's Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.

Siler has great speed for an inside linebacker, allowing him to make plays from sideline to sideline. Additionally, he is like a coach on the field, grasping not only his assignments but those of his teammates.

He is also surprisingly adept in passing situations, capable of shadowing a back or tight end in coverage and knifing through gaps when sent on a blitz.

In San Diego, Siler will join what is suddenly a red-hot competition for playing time at inside linebacker. He and Waters will compete with Tim Dobbins -- a fifth-round pick from 2006 – for time behind new starters Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm.

Also, Siler will be a valuable contributor on special teams.

Even though San Diego is a remarkably team, it appears that all six of its draft picks have a great chance of making the active roster. That means the Chargers cooked up a stellar draft, and Brandon Siler was the icing on the cake.

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