Bolts Plan Workouts With Two O-Linemen

With only one selection in the draft's top 150, the Chargers may have to wait until day two to address their needs on the offensive line. In preparation of such a scenario, A.J. Smith has reportedly set up private workouts for two O-linemen later this week. SDBoltReport.com tells you who they are and what they've done to capture the Bolts' attention.

The Chargers have private workouts set up for April 7 with OT David Hale (Weber State) and OL Jeremy Zuttah (Rutgers). Both are second-day prospects, which is a good indication that A.J. Smith will not stray from his preference for filling his O-line needs in the later rounds of the draft.

The popular sentiment is that a projected first-rounder like Gosder Cherilus would do wonders for the right tackle position, giving Jeromey Clary a run for the starting job. Clary has yet to completely prove himself, but is capable enough to sit on top of the depth chart if the Chargers wait to pick up an O-lineman until day two.

Zuttah (6'3", 295 pounds) is the kind of second-day pick whose position in the draft would not determine where he fits in on a roster. He can play tackle, guard or even center, which is the versatility the Chargers are going to need going forward. With Nick Hardwick undergoing surgery and a number of O-line members scheduled for free agency within the next two years, the Chargers need adaptable backups.

Hale (6'6", 308 pounds) also packs a versatile punch. A natural right tackle, he is the type of small-school player Smith likes and is explosive off the snap.

Hale and Zuttah have opposite downfalls. Hale plays a little too high, while Zuttah struggles to stay on his feet. Both need to work on their leverage in the trenches, although Zuttah has the right idea.

"Low man wins," Zuttah said.

Perhaps the smaller player does, too. Zuttah's former teammate, Ray Rice, is also one of the Chargers' players of interest.

"Ray Rice is a special player," Zuttah said. "He's already great. You just give Ray a little bit of room to work with and he'll make you look great."

A Rice-Zuttah combination would free San Diego's first-round pick for a defensive back or a defensive lineman.

Lightning Quicks

At the NFL Combine, SDBoltReport.com asked Zuttah what he would think about going up against Jamal Williams and the other top nose tackles at the next level.

"It's going to be an adjustment," Zuttah said. "You're used to guys being either big and strong or little and fast. Out here, they're both. It's going to take time to get used to, but I'm confident I have all the physical attributes that I'll be able to adjust."

Going against the anchor of the Chargers defense every day in practice would certainly help.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of Shawne Merriman, Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips and many others for Sixthman Communications.


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