Beckwith would have been a middle-round prospect if not for concerns about his reoccurring knee injuries. If he can stay healthy, the Chargers have an absolute steal on their hands. He has the aggressiveness and instincts to shut down the inside running game, as well as the athleticism to make plays in coverage. It helps his cause that the Chargers need better play from their inside linebackers.
"It's a great franchise," said Beckwith of the Chargers in this exclusive interview. "There are some great people there. I think it's a good opportunity and a good fit."
|Safety C.J. Spillman |
A.J. Smith didn't address the team's need at safety until the sixth round, which leaves the door open for Spillman. He is a complete safety who is smooth in coverage and very capable against the run. He was extremely productive at Marshall, averaging more than 90 tackles per season over his final three years, and is skilled enough to compete for a backup job.
3. WR Greg Carr, Florida State (6-foot-5, 215 pounds)
The Chargers used their seventh-round pick on LSU WR Demetrius Byrd, a selection that was likely more sentimental than practical. Byrd, who was involved in a serious car accident just over a week ago, may not be able to rebound and make the roster. If Byrd doesn't make it and the team parts ways with Kassim Osgood, who is on the trading block, that would open the door for Carr. The tall receiver has excellent body control and is capable of making difficult catches.
"When we were struggling, [Carr] was the guy we were able to go to on third down to pull us through with the slants," said FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.
4. OT Dan Gay, Baylor (6-foot-4, 308 pounds)
The Chargers placed their focus on the interior offensive line on draft day, leaving a possible spot to be won at offensive tackle. Gay showed up on the radar during the East-West Shrine game and -- although he was overshadowed by fellow Baylor tackle and No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith -- proved he can be a solid player in his own right. He brings the ability to mirror and slide at offensive tackle, as well as the versatility to move inside to guard if needed.
5. TE Kory Sperry, Colorado State (6-foot-5, 238 pounds)
Sperry's odds of sticking around increased on Monday when the Chargers released 2007 fourth-round pick Scott Chandler. Sperry is an excellent pass-catching tight end with the ability to separate from defenders and find soft spots in zone coverage. He offers little as a blocker, but that's what Brandon Manumaleuna and Kris Wilson are for. If Sperry can make plays between the hashes, he should earn a spot on the practice squad at the very least.
|TE Kory Sperry|