SDBoltReport.com Insiders: Draft Projections

SDBoltReport.com gives its Insiders a chance to show what they've learned and roll out some Chargers draft projections of their own. Up first is Patrick Donnelly, whose mock draft kicks off with an intriguing trade.

A.J. Smith comes rumbling out of the gate and trades down to the No. 37 spot with the Atlanta Falcons. Why Atlanta? Tampa Bay decides to pass on Brian Brohm at No. 20, leaving him sliding in the late first round. Atlanta desperately needs a QB for the future and it was more than willing to part with its picks at No. 37 and No. 68. It may sound crazy, but this franchise is desperate.

Round Two: DT Red Bryant, Texas A&M

Yes, this is a bit high, but the main reason the kid is sliding in the draft is because of a knee injury in November. The kid is a true nose tackle at 6 foot 4, 326 pounds. He also has experience playing end. We all know A.J. is willing to draft a guy based on upside and this kid has a lot of it. He plays in a tough run-based conference and excels at pushing the pile. Sound familiar?

Round Three, A: CB Charles Godfrey, Iowa

Listed at 6 foot 1, 208 pounds, Godfrey is a physical corner who is solid against the run and dominant on special teams. On top of his prototypical size, he has the wheels (4.35-second 40) to match up against quick receivers. Godfrey also gets to the football, as he is one of the interception leaders in the Big Ten with five. It doesn't hurt, either, that he has experience at free safety.

Round Three, B: OLB Ezra Butler, Nevada

He is not a well known small-school prospect. Listed at 6 foot 2, 250 pounds, Butler runs a blistering 4.48-second 40, which is amazing for an individual that size. He's registered 12-plus sacks over the last two years. This might be a slight reach, and the big-time experience is not there, but the kid has the intangibles the Chargers are looking for. Plus, he has speed, speed and more speed. He would excel on special teams and has time to learn from the best.

Round Five: RB Xavier Omon, NW Missouri St.

This is the magical fifth-round running back selection. Yes, this pick reeks of Bobby Beathard, but this guy can flat out play. Listed at 5 foot 11, 220 pounds, Omon has the power to punish defenders and the grace to make people miss. He rushed for 2,300-plus yards in 2007 and more than 7,000 yards in four years. He is a very durable, 300-plus carry back. Obviously, we don't need 300 carries but this prospect could turn out just as valuable as Michael Turner.

Round Six: OT/G Brandon Keith, Northern Iowa

Listed at 6 foot 5, 349 pounds, Keith is an excellent athlete with very long arms. He seamlessly drops back into pass protection and shows good knee bend, which is important against quicker ends. The No. 1 reason I'm high on this kid and I wouldn't be surprised to see him rise into the fifth round is the guy is a road-grader. He can also play guard, which is an obvious bonus for the Chargers. This is really two picks in one in my view. He would be an awesome addition for the Chargers. Buddy Ryan thought very highly of him. Keith just played in the Texas versus the Nation all-star game -- Ryan hosts the event.

Round Seven: C Doug Legursky, Marshall

I don't think the Chargers were thrilled with the play of Cory Withrow at center when Nick Hardwick was out. Clearly, the Chargers lost the physical presence that Hardwick provides. Legursky started 32 straight games for Marshall, so durability and strength are his main assets. He is one of the strongest athletes in all of college football. Legursky squats 705 pounds, so he has the strength and power to match up against larger defensive tackles such as Albert Haynesworth. Legursky is an excellent backup and true center.


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