Bolts Follow 'Backer from Combine to Pro Day

The Bolts finished last season with 19 fewer sacks than the year prior. Looking to reverse that trend, A.J. Smith has honed in on a pass-rushing 'backer to add to his arsenal. The Bolts met with this prospect at the NFL Combine and were one of only four teams in attendance at his recent Pro Day. Find out more in this exclusive.

The Bolts appear to have locked in on UNLV defensive end Jeremy Geathers. The Chargers were one of only four teams to send a scout to his Pro Day on March 5, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders were also in attendance.

Geathers' primary objective for his Pro Day was to improve his speed, which is imperative if he is to make the transition to outside linebacker in San Diego's 3-4 scheme. He showed himself well, recording times 40 times of 4.74 and 4.83. Less than a month earlier at the NFL Combine, Geathers was clocked at 4.95 and 4.88.

Geathers (6'2", 248 pounds) only partook in the running drills at his Pro Day, allowing his Combine numbers and game films to speak for themselves.

"I really feel like I'm a complete player," Geathers said. "I just really want to work on just studying my defensive scheme and studying opponents."

DE Jeremy Geathers
Miller Safrit/

It is a telling fact that the Chargers were impressed enough by Geathers during their meeting at the Combine that they sent a scout out to his Pro Day, despite his limited participation. Geathers is projected to be a late-round pick, which is all the Bolts can afford to spend on additional linebacker help.

Geathers' transition to the NFL will be eased by his family ties. His cousin, Robert Geathers, is a defensive end with the Cincinnati Bengals. Jeremy's father, Jumpy Geathers, was a 13-year NFL veteran who made his rounds with the New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons. Jumpy ended his career with the Denver Broncos in 1996.

Jumpy has told his son to "go in there and be yourself and everything will take care of itself."

A.J. Smith has an affinity for second-generation stars. Charlie Whitehurst, who Smith tabbed with a third-round pick in 2006, is the son of former Green Bay Packers quarterback David Whitehurst (1976-83).

Smith also has a fondness for versatile defenders who can get after the quarterback. If Geathers falls until the final two rounds of the draft, Smith may see him as the safest Las Vegas gamble a general manager can make.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. He has followed the Chargers for more than 14 years and covered the team since 2003.

BoltsReport Top Stories