High Voltage Senior Bowl Blitz

The High Voltage Bowl Blitz is a Chargers-specific blog that covered the team throughout Senior Bowl week. The blog features 20-plus entries and includes prospect interviews, coaches Q&As and updates on past, present and future Chargers players.

Five Guys We're Rooting for on Saturday

Friday, 8:00 p.m. (PT)

One of the tenets of journalism is to remain unbiased. However, after spending the week in Mobile with the nation's top senior prospects, I can't pretend to be unswayed by the undeniable charm of some of the players in attendance. Here's a look at the players who make it easy to root for them:

LB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri

The talkative Weatherspoon reminds me a lot of Carlos Polk in that he's always barking and trying to fire up his teammates. He backs up the talk with sound tackling and sideline-to-sideline range.

"All my life I've been the type of person that's always talking," he said. "Back when I was little I used to get 'Talks Excessively' on my report card, so growing up that's just kind of my role. And being on the defense, when you play linebacker, you're going to have to stand up in front of your teammates and command everyone's attention."

DL Tyson Alualu, California

In an effort to market themselves, some players jump at the chance to sing their own praises. Not Alualu. In fact, his biggest struggle during Senior Bowl week was dealing with teams that wanted him to talk about how good he can be.

It's not that Alualu is short on talent -- he's a penetrating lineman who blows up plays in the backfield -- it's just that he'd rather do his talking on the field.

"I'm still getting used to the whole interview process," he said. "There's a lot of bragging about yourself and I'm not too used to that. But I'm getting used to it and trying to be more open. I've also enjoyed meeting all the coaches. I don't know their reactions to what I can do but I hope that they know I'm giving it my all every play."

Mike Iupati is all business.
OL Mike Iupati, Idaho

Iupati was one of the most impressive prospects in Mobile, dominating his one-on-ones and showing versatility by playing inside and outside. He earned the praise of Coach Jim Schwartz, who compared him favorably to Chiefs LT Branden Albert.

Iupati also possess many of the positive traits that have become expected of Samoan football players: discipline, respect and humility.

"It comes from family," he said. "Out there, you play football just to take your anger out and have fun."

FB Rashawn Jackon, Virginia

This is the first prospect I met this year who made me want to shake his hand and say, "Congratulations, you actually get it."

Unlike the players who think they're big-time already (see Tate, Ben), Jackson is eager for the chance to compete in any capacity. He embraces the most thankless tasks of the game, such as playing in every phase on special teams and running into brick walls as a lead blocker.

"On the next level, I expect to be running into brick walls and, you know what, I'm going to knock it down," Jackson said. "I have the mentality that if I don't, somebody else will."

TE Jimmy Graham, Miami

The sky-scraping Graham (6-foot-8) left the hardwood and returned to the gridiron as a senior, where he caught five TDs for the Hurricanes. He's been dubbed by many as the next Antonio Gates, but unlike the others who've failed to live up to that billing, Graham is fully aware of the incredible amount of work he must put into his game.

"I've been playing basketball like a football player," Graham said. "I pretty much fouled out of every game in college."

Graham also expressed his desired to talk to Gates and "pick his brain" about how he made the transition so sensationally.

Five Things We Learned

Friday, 7:00 a.m. (PT)

Man, how nice it was to wake up in my own bed this morning. I actually lucked out with some incredible weather this year, but nonetheless, I think four days in Alabama was enough.

Most of the NFL coaches and scouts left the Senior Bowl on Thursday morning -- Wednesday was the last day of full-pads work, so they'd seen all they needed to -- so we followed them out of town about eight hours later.

After my four-day bash in the Bayou, here's what I think I know:

1) San Diego's top priority in the draft is to find a nose tackle. That doesn't mean A.J. Smith will draft a nose tackle in Round 1, but his draft plan will be structured around landing a nose tackle who can contribute immediately.

2) Speaking of San Diego's first-round pick, it would be a shock if that pick is not spent on a defensive player. No matter the team's situation at running back, the organization's primary concern this offseason is rebuilding the defense.

3) While Smith would love to find a power runner, he's looking at smaller, shiftier running backs as well. He knows he might have to replace Darren Sproles as well as LaDainiain Tomlinson. Smith could wind up drafting multiple running backs.

4) San Diego won't spent a high pick on an offensive tackle. The Chargers have more pressing needs (defensive line and running back, chief among them) and by the time they get around to an offensive tackle they'll be hard-pressed to find somebody they like more than Jeromey Clary or Brandyn Dombrowski.

5) The Chargers have a lot of depth at linebacker, especially with Antwan Applewhite and Jyles Tucker coming off injured-reserve, but don't be surprised if the team drafts a linebacker anyway. The Chargers aren't ruling out any prospects that could bring a physical presence to their defensive front-seven.

Q&A with Miami LB Darryl Sharpton

Thursday, 5:45 p.m. (PT)

Darryl Sharpton (6-foot, 235 pounds) is a physical inside 'backer who met with the Chargers during Senior Bowl week. The Chargers appear to already have a glut of inside linebackers -- Stephen Cooper, Brandon Siler, Kevin Burnett, Tim Dobbins -- but at this stage no warm-blooded defender is being ruled out.

Sharpton is more than just warm-blooded; he's one of the fieriest defenders at this year's Senior Bowl. We caught up with him following Wednesday's practice.

ML: How is your Senior Bowl week going so far?

DS: I feel like it's going good. I feel like I'm displaying my power and making plays. After that first snap I felt right back at home. There's good competition out here, but I'm doing my thing.

LB Darryl Sharpton loves to hit.
ML: Is there anyone on the offensive side that you're excited to practice against?

DS: There are a whole bunch of guys. I watch a lot of football and you see all these guys on Saturdays either after your game or before your game. Now, we get a chance to play against them. It's great to see (Auburn's) Ben Tate, Dexter [McCluster] from Ole Miss, it's good to play against all those guys that we've been following throughout the whole year.

ML: What one thing do you most need to prove to all the scouts in attendance?

DS: My speed. I'm pretty sure everyone knows how physical I am. I need to show my speed and my ability to read offenses and make plays.

ML: Is speed going to be your focus going into the NFL Combine?

DS: Yeah, I am going to try to run the best 40 I can and show everybody how fast I am. That's going to be one of my focuses along with all the other drills, along with my hips and getting back in coverage.

ML: Do you have a specific goal for your 40 time?

DS: Yeah, I have a personal goal. I'm not one to talk a lot of trash in the media. I have all my personal goals for all the drills and events. I'm going to do the best I can do and I think my best is top notch.

ML: Have you met with anyone from the Chargers?

DS: I've met with a lot of teams and a lot of scouts. But yeah, I'm pretty sure I met with the Chargers.

ML: Have any of your interviews stood out to you?

DS: They're all starting to blur together. Everybody wants to get to know me to see my skills and see what I can bring to the team. I just have to wait till draft time and see what happens.

Caught in the Act

Thursday, 12:20 p.m. (PT)

If a picture is indeed worth 1,000 words, then our Senior Bowl photo galleries are worth at least six figs. That's because we have well over 100 exclusive practice pics, with the latest installment being today's North Team gallery. Just above this slide show are links to the rest of the week's galleries.

Kudos to our photographer, Shana Siler, who was able to overcome being hit on by a handful or creepy agents and scouts to still get the job done.

Back into the Tigers' Den

Thursday, 11:10 a.m. (PT)

I spoke with a couple LSU players this week about the possibility of being reunited with the Tiger contingent in San Diego. The Chargers have four former LSU players on the roster: Buster Davis, Jacob Hester, Demetrius Byrd and Darry Beckwith.

LSU safety Harry Coleman (6-foot-2, 203 pounds) said he is friends with all four players. He was especially close with Hester during their time at LSU and still sends him texts on game days. He was also tight with Byrd, and although Coleman hasn't spoken with Byrd since his accident, Coleman heard through the grapevine that his former teammate is doing fine.

"I would love the opportunity to play for San Diego," Coleman said. "I keep up with San Diego because of all the [LSU] guys that play there."

Coleman had yet to interview with the Chargers when I spoke with him Tuesday. At that point, his interviews included the Browns, Ravens, Falcons and Seahawks.

"I'm a hard worker and I'm physical," Coleman said. "I love to play the game and I'll bring that passion to the team that drafts me."

Another Tiger for the Chargers?
I also spoke to Ciron Black (6-foot-4, 318 pounds). Like Coleman, the skilled offensive tackle is close with all four members of San Diego's LSU posse.

"I know all of them and I'm really good friends with all of them, actually," Black said. "I talk to Hester on Facebook. I haven't talked to Buster much since he left but when he was here we were really close. And of course, D-Byrd, me and him are really close."

Black would love to be reunited with his friends on the Chargers' roster. He filled out a questionnaire for the Chargers this week, and although he had yet to interview with the team when I spoke with him on Tueday, he hoped to do so soon.

"It would be an honor and a blessing [to come to San Diego]," Black said. "I watch them all the time. They have a tremendous offensive line and to be a part of it would be an honor."

As of Tuesday, Black had interviewed with the Cowboys, Eagles, Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens and Colts.

Q&A with Virginia FB Rashawn Jackson

Thursday, 6:30 a.m. (PT)

The Chargers have a dilemma at fullback. Mike Tolbert and Jacob Hester are both versatile players who contribute to the passing game and special teams, yet they're both below average when it comes to opening running lanes.

That's not the case for Virginia FB Rashawn Jackson (6-foot-1, 245 pounds), a punishing lead blocker and absolutely the best interview here at the Senior Bowl. I caught up with him after Wednesday morning's practice.

ML: How did Wednesday's practice go for you?

RJ: Practice today was not something we could brag about offensively. I don't think it was anything to be proud of, but if we keep working hard we'll get better. It was just that [Tuesday] we had such a good practice and we didn't want to come out here and have a subpar practice, because then we're not moving forward. Personally, I think I did a good job of keeping my energy high. Obviously, I'm a fullback so I'm not getting too many reps, but the reps that I've taken I've made the most of the opportunity. It's just a great opportunity for me to come out here and compete with these guys who are all great athletes. It's a true blessing.

Jackson can spark a running game.
ML: Talk about the pass-protection drills. It seems like those are really spirited.

RJ: It's just mano-a-mano. Of course you're going to win some and lose some, so it's all about how you respond. Usually I get really emotional with those pass-rush and one-on-one drills because it means a lot to me. I take this personally, especially when it comes to the game of football. Like I said, this is a great opportunity to fine tune some things and prepare our skills to carry us over to the next level. It's definitely a blessing.

ML: Your position has evolved in the NFL, as fullbacks now do a lot more than just run into brick walls as lead blockers. How do you see yourself as a modern-era fullback?

RJ: I'll still run into a wall, man, I don't give a [blank]. My situation is different than a lot of other fullbacks. At UVA, as my career went on, I had more and more opportunities to catch and run the ball. Some of those opportunities were the result of bad things like injuries and things like that you'd never want to happen. But I'm a guy who will be as unselfish as possible and do whatever I can to step in and help the team win. On the next level, I expect to be running into brick walls and, you know what, I'm going to knock it down. I have the mentality that if I don't, somebody else will. Obviously, people think very highly of me and I don't want to let anyone down. Personally, I don't want to let myself down. I've come so far and failure is not an option for me.

ML: Can you talk about your role on special teams?

RJ: I've played all special teams. I've played kickoff, kickoff coverage, punt, punt return and field goal, so I have experience in all fields. I definitely can get better, I'm not saying I can't get any better, but with special teams it's 90 percent want-to and 10 percent mental and technique. If that's what I have to do to help a team win then I'm going to do what I have to. Whatever opportunities the coaches give me, they can be reassured I am going to take advantage of them.

ML: How have your interviews with NFL teams been going? Have any stood out?

RJ: They all stand out to me because this is a very important time. I spoke to a number of teams: Falcons, 49ers, Jets, Jaguars, Rams, Tampa Bay, Texans and Cardinals, to name a few.

ML: Is there any one running back you would love to block for at the next level?

RJ: I love Frank Gore and I think he's a great back. He's very determined and I want to make him a 1,000-yard rusher. Actually, a 2,000-yard rusher, because he's already a 1,000-yard rusher. But wherever I go I just want to help the team win.

Tell Them What Else They've Won!

Wednesday, 9:45 p.m. (PT)

For more Chargers updates from today's Senior Bowl action, be sure to check out the Insiders Draft Talk Forum. Today's tidbits hit on Antonio Gates, Shawne Merriman and others. Also, there are interviews in here not available anywhere else on the site, so be sure to visit daily to ensure you don't miss anything.

I know I've made it when...

Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. (PT)

I know I've made it when I appear in Charlie Bernstein's Senior Bowl Blog. It's the bottom three updates where I'm made famous, or infamous, in this instance. And for the record, it's not true...except for the part about the cats.

McCardell is the Man

Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. (PT)

Following up on Tuesday's post titled "Former Chargers Stars Looking for Work," Keenan McCardell has been named the Redskins' new receivers coach.

The Staying Power of Peelle

Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. (PT)

I ran into Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith in the lobby of the Mobile Convention Center today. Of course, I had to ask him about a certain former Charger who is now an integral part of his offense. No, I'm not talking about Michael "The Burner" Turner, rather former Chargers TE Justin Peelle.

Peelle flies with the Falcons.
"Peelle is still here and a big part of our offense," said Smith. "He comes in with our 12th-man package when we go two tight ends. He's a good player."

Peelle contributes to the Falcons the same way he did the Chargers: he is an outlet receiver, a special-teams contributor and a sidekick to a future Hall of Famer.

"Of course, now we have Tony Gonzalez," said Smith, who recognized that Peelle now plays off of Gonzalez the same way he did Antonio Gates from 2003-2005.

Peele joined the Falcons in 2008 and has 27 catches for 274 yards and four touchdowns during his stint with the team. San Diego's fourth-round pick out of Oregon in 2002 is now entering his ninth season in the league.

Take it to the Banks

Wednesday, 2:50 p.m. (PT)

Gary Banks hard at work.
At today's South Team practice, I met up with Troy tight ends coach Josh Pruitt. Before joining the coaching ranks, Pruitt played tight end at Troy in 2006 and 2007 alongside Chargers WR Gary Banks.

Pruitt had glowing praise for his former Trojans teammate. When Pruitt first arrived at the University of Troy as an out-of-towner, it was Banks who took him in and helped him feel at home.

"He's a good Christian man," said Pruitt of Banks. "He never stops working."

Banks last called Pruitt after Troy's 44-41 OT loss to Central Michigan in the GMAC Bowl, which took place right here in Mobile, Ala. The two remain close.

"He still moves around really well for his age," said Pruitt of the 28-year-old Banks.

Q&A with DL Jared Odrick

Wednesday, 11:20 a.m. (PT)

Penn State DL Jared Odrick could be a player of great interest to the Chargers if he falls to the bottom of the second round. He has the prototypical build for a 3-4 defensive end (6-foot-5, 296 pounds) and boasts the combination of power and quickness to make plays in the backfield (seven sacks and 11 TFLs in 2009).

He spoke with us following Tuesday morning's practice and confirmed the Chargers have indeed shown interest in him.

Jared Odrick is an imposing presence.
ML: How did [Tuesday's] practice go for you? It seemed more intense than Monday.

JO: Yeah, we tried to go full speed both [Tuesday] and [Monday]. The offense came out with a little more firepower [Tuesday] and we had to match it; I think we did that in the second half of the scrimmage.

ML: Does the increased intensity help you put on a better show in front of the scouts?

JO: Of course. You get into game mode and you see how people perform when other people are stepping up to the plate.

ML: What are your goals for the week?

JO: [I want to show people] that I'm a consistent player. Every down I'm going to try to make a play and every down I'm going to fight to do my job.

ML: Who are some of the teams you've had a chance to meet with?

JO: A lot...let's just say a lot.

ML: Can I assume you've talked with people from San Diego?

JO: Yes I have, I've met with the Chargers.

ML: Any goals for the Senior Bowl game itself?

JO: Everybody out here, especially on defense, everybody is shooting for that defensive MVP. If that's not in your mind, why are you here? We're working as a team to win the game and then do as good as you can for your own self.

Q&A with DE/OLB Brandon Graham

Wednesday, 10:50 a.m. (PT)

The Chargers spoke with Michigan DE Brandon Graham earlier this week. Graham (6-foot-1, 263 pounds), who projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, is a candidate to spark as Chargers pass rush that was hit-and-miss last year; he posted 28 sacks over his final three seasons as a Wolverine.

We caught up with Graham for a quick interview following Wednesday's practice.

Brandon Graham is a pass-rushing force.
ML: Talk about today's practice. The defense seemed even more fired up than usual.

BG: We tried to do good for the last part of practice, you know. This may be the last time we (defensive linemen) ever play together. We tried to go out there with intensity and set the tone and that's what we did today.

ML: How much friendly competition is there on the defensive line?

BG: It's the best defensive line I've been a part of. This is the most fired up I've ever seen an all-star team. We're ready to win Saturday.

ML: Do you reach out to any NFL players for advice about the pre-draft process?

BG: Yeah, LaMarr Woodley. I've talked to him a little bit just to let him know what's going on and stuff like that. I was going to call [Larry] Foote, but I didn't get around to it because I had too many interviews [Tuesday] night. But Woodley is kind of like my mentor and somebody I look up to because I took everything he knows and tried to use it.

ML: Who are some of the NFL teams you've interviewed with?

BG: I interviewed with a lot of teams, too many to name.

ML: Do you know if you've met with anyone from San Diego?

BG: Yeah, I talked to the Chargers.

ML: What are your goals for the rest of the week?

BG: Just to finish strong and go home. I want to get on the plane and feel good about myself, knowing I gave it my all.

Q&A with LB Koa Misi

Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. (PT)

Utah's Koa Misi (6-foot-3, 263 pounds) is one of the more versatile players in this year's draft class. He played defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker during his time with the Utes, but likely projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level.

Koa Misi at Tuesday's practice.
Misi is willing to play inside or outside. Like another former Utah star, Chargers safety Eric Weddle, Misi is using his ability to contribute all over the field as his calling card.

ML: Do you know Eric Weddle?

KM: Yes, I know him. We didn't cross over [at Utah], but I definitely know who he is.

ML: You and Weddle are both versatile defenders. Is that something they put an emphasis on at Utah?

KM: No, not really. My coaches just had me play a couple different positions and I just fell into it. I kind of like moving around a lot.

ML: Do you have a preference between a 3-4 and a 4-3? Where do you fit best?

KM: As of right now, I'm told that a 3-4 is a better fit for me, but I can play either one.

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. (PT)

GM A.J. Smith (middle, black jacket) and the San Diego Chargers scouts take in Tuesday's South Team practice session. (Shana Siler/SDBoltReport.com)

Q&A with Cal DL Tyson Alualu

Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. (PT)

We check in with Cal's Tyson Alualu, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound D-lineman with active hands and a non-stop motor. He talks of his Senior Bowl experience, his pro-level projections and much more.

ML: How has your Senior Bowl week gone so far?

TA: I didn't expect this. It's very hectic. There are a lot of people at our hotel, a lot of scouts. But it's something we have to deal with; this is our job interview. It's going well now. I'm just excited to be here and to show the coaches what I can do.

Cal D-lineman Tyson Alualu.
ML: How have your interviews been going?

TA: I've done interviews with some scouts. I'm still getting used to the whole interview process. There's a lot of bragging about yourself and I'm not too used to that. But I'm getting used to it and trying to be more open. I've also enjoyed meeting all the coaches. I don't know their reactions to what I can do but I hope that they know I'm giving it my all every play.

ML: Who are some of the teams you've had a chance to meet with?

TA: There are a whole bunch of teams: the Saints, Vikings, Patriots and a few others.

ML: What scheme do you feel you fit in best?

TA: I feel I can fit in any scheme. I've done it before in college from a 4-3 scheme playing end or three-technique or a 3-4 playing strong-side defensive end. I play pretty much all the positions on the line from D-end to nose tackle. I feel comfortable playing any position; I'm just excited to see where I end up.

ML: Any goals for the rest of the week?

TA: To compete against players from the elite teams in college and to improve myself as a player. I'm competing against a bunch of great athletes and just doing my best.

Former Chargers Stars Looking for Work

Tuesday, 3:15 p.m. (PT)

Former Chargers players Marlon McCree, Carlos Polk and Keenan McCardell are all at the Senior Bowl looking for work. Although all three look as if they could still step on the field and contribute, they are looking for jobs off the field.

McCree, who played with the Chargers in 2006 and 2007, is looking for a front-office job where he can scout players.

"I've always been a real student of the game, so scouting players makes a lot of sense for me," he said.

McCree was known as a highly intellectual player who helped the Chargers' young defensive backs mature. San Diego ranked No. 28 in pass defense the year before McCree arrived and No. 13 after his first season with the club.

He is also spending time on his project, the Help a Child Save a Dream Foundation. For more information on this terrific cause, visit www.helpachildsaveadream.org.

Carlos Polk knows how to fire up players.
Polk, who was twice named San Diego's Special Teams Player of the Year, is looking for work as an assistant coach for either linebackers or special teams. He currently works as an assistant coach at Grossmont College, where he coaches the team's linebackers.

Known as one of the most vocal players on San Diego's roster, Polk knows what it takes to inspire players.

"Sometimes you have to have an attitude of 'punch 'em in the mouth'" he said.

Polk is still close with many Chargers linebackers and talked about one player with many similar traits: Brandon Siler.

"He got some starts there at the end of the season," Polk said. "He's a good young player. He's really playing down hill."

McCardell, who had 137 of his 883 career receptions in a Chargers uniform, hopes to become a receivers coach. He got a taste last season when, through the NFL's Minority Coaching Fellowship, he helped coach the New York Giants' receivers in training camp.

McCardell also coached some of the receivers last week at the East-West Shrine Game. According to Scout.com's Charlie Bernstein, who covered all the Shrine Game practices, McCardell showed a knack for coaching and helped young receivers make tangible improvements in their technique.

"When you play in the league as long as I did, it's only natural to want to get into coaching," McCardell said.

I also spoke with McCardell about Ramses Barden, the Cal Poly product who I saw at last year's Senior Bowl and compared to Vincent Jackson. McCardell can compare and contrast the two better than anybody, since he played with Jackson and coached Barden, who was selected by the Giants in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

"Vincent is faster than Ramses," McCardell said. "But Ramses knows he has to play faster, so he's going to be OK. Now that he's had a whole season to learn the ropes, I think he'll be fine. He knows how to use his body to create separation."

McCardell knows a thing or two about creating separation, as he racked up more than 11,000 receiving yards during his distinguished career.

McCardell, Polk and McCree were all sitting with the staff of the Seattle Seahawks, hoping to cling on with Pete Carroll's new group. Unfortunately, their best chance for employment may have fallen wayside when their old coach, Marty Schottenheimer, showed no interest in the Buffalo Bills job when it was vacant. All three would have been given strong consideration for places on Schottenheimer's staff.

Another former Chargers coach, ex-secondary coach Brian Stewart, was recently named the head coach at the University of Houston and has expressed interest in bringing on McCree in some capacity.

Intensity Picks Up on the D-Line

Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. (PT)

This is my fourth year covering the Senior Bowl and I've never seen a positional coach as fired up as Lions assistant defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. He has the North Team's defensive linemen ready to run through walls for him, constantly reminding them it's "time to go make some money."

On Tuesday, no one made more money than Michigan DL Brandon Graham, who showed an impressive array of pass-rush moves and the ability to bull-rush his way into the quarterback's lap.

Graham (6-foot-1, 263 pounds) could be a pass-rushing defensive lineman for a Chargers team on which no D-lineman had more than three sacks in 2009.

Graham grew stronger as the practice got more physical, making life miserable for Utah RT Zane Beadles.

Chargers Scouts Out in Force

Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. (PT)

No longer forced to choose between watching the North Team or the South Team, the Chargers had at least seven scouts present for Tuesday morning's North Team practice. Among them was GM A.J. Smith, who sat in the middle of the bleachers on the south side of Ladd-Peebles Stadium, directly above the offensive linemen and defensive linemen.

Once practice was over, one of Smith's scouts had a lengthy conversation with Louisiana Tech's D'Anthony Smith. The beefy D'Anthony Smith (6-foot, 300 pounds) was impressive in Tuesday's workout, playing mostly defensive tackle but also recording a sack as a nose tackle in a 3-4 alignment.

The Chargers scout asked D'Anthony Smith about his history of playing a "true nose." While he admitted his limited experience in that role, he was adamant about his ability to succeed in that capacity.

D'Anthony Smith will likely be a middle-round pick in this year's draft.

Q&A with Virginia Tech OT Ed Wang

Monday, 8:30 p.m. (PT)

Ed Wang (6-foot-5, 315 pounds) is the type of intelligent, gritty offensive lineman that GM A.J. Smith loves to target in the latter rounds of the draft. I spoke with him today about his Senior Bowl experience and more.

ML: Has Senior Bowl week been what you expected so far?

EW: Yeah, it's been everything I expected. The first day was really hectic with all the tests and meetings and everything...learning new plays. [Monday's] practice was just picking up on what [the Lions coaches] wanted. But it's been good.

OL Ed Wang (L) goes to work.
ML: How are the tempo and physicality of these practices?

EW: Oh, man. It's upbeat and up-tempo. That's what I expected, but it was everything everyone said it was.

ML: What was it like to work under a pro coaching staff for the first time?

EW: It was great. Not many people get the chance to get taught by a pro coaching staff or to play in the pros. It was a great opportunity.

ML: What is the most important thing for you to do between now and the draft?

EW: I want to finish strong [at the Senior Bowl] and then train hard for the Combine. Then, I'll go to my Pro Day and show out and take it from there.

ML: Have you had a chance to meet with any teams yet?

EW: I've met with a bunch of teams...too many to remember.

ML: Were the Chargers one of those teams?

EW: Yes, I talked to the Chargers briefly [on Sunday].

Two Prospects Impress Chargers Scouts

Monday, 6:30 p.m. (PT)

RB LeGarrette Blount at the 2010 Senior Bowl.
Two prospects who could fill glaring needs for the Chargers stood out in Monday's North Team practice. Austen Lane, the 6-foot-6, 267-pound defensive end from Murray State, dominated in one-on-one drills. He had his way with Notre Dame RT Sam Young and showed an impressive combination of power and leverage.

On the other side of the ball, Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount ran with a purpose. He exploded through holes and attacked defenders in a way no Chargers running back has done since Natrone Means.

Unfortunately, this is the same Blount who was suspended for a good chunk of the season for punching a Boise State player in the face. The Chargers, despite their need for a power running back, are already at their hothead threshold.

Another Horned Frog?

Monday, 10:55 a.m. (PT)

TCU LB Daryl Washington was one of the most active defenders in today's North Team practice, making a living in the opposing backfield. The Chargers took notice, as after practice a San Diego scout pulled Washington aside, spoke with him and arranged a more in-depth interview for later in the week.

Washington shares an alma mater with one of the best players in Chargers history. That man, LaDainian Tomlinson, visited TCU last season to give his former college team a pep talk.

"L.T. is obviously one of the greatest running backs to ever play," Washington said. "It's always fun to have an alumni come back to the school, represent and talk to the young guys.

"Everybody listens because he's been there and done that. He understands the game and knows what he's talking about."

So, would Washington like to play on the same team as Tomlinson next season, be that in San Diego or somewhere else?

"I'll play for whoever will give me an opportunity," he said.

Coming Soon

Monday, 10:55 a.m. (PT)

I reeled in our first batch of exclusive interviews as players trickled out of the Mobile Convention Center Ballroom following their weigh-ins. Unfortunately, practice is set to begin shortly so I need to run off an cover that. But as soon as practice is over, I'll head straight back to the media room to drop some of those Q&A's in this blog.

As requested by our fans in the message boards, I targeted players who could help beef up San Diego's defensive front-seven.

Chargers Scouts Observe Weigh-In

Monday, 10:30 a.m. (PT)

While the Chargers' coaching staff is hard at work in Miami, the team's scouting department is in Mobile, Ala. to scout the abundance of talent at the Senior Bowl. The team had at least four scouts in attendance for today's weigh-ins, including Director of College Scouting John Spanos and Assistant Director of College Scouting Mike Biehl.

San Diego's scouts are covering all their bases and plan to meet with all of the attendees in some capacity by week's end.

Ready to Take Flight

Sunday, 7:30 p.m. (PT)

The action starts at 10:30 a.m. on Monday with the National Scouting Weigh-In at the Mobile Convention Center Ballroom. The players will all strip down to their skivvies -- no doubt, their least favorite part of the week -- and get measured in front of a room full of coaches and scouts from the NFL and CFL.

OG Tyronne Green at the 2009 Senior Bowl.
As the players trickle out of the ballroom (fully dressed, thankfully), we'll pick off as many as possible for brief interviews.

That afternoon, the players will split up for their first practice of the week. Monday is the only day that the North Team and South Team practice simultaneously; we'll be at the North Team practice and we'll let you know how many Chargers scouts make the same choice.

Monday night is media night, where we'll dine with the players from both teams and get the chance to chat with them in depth. This is also where we'll pursue some volunteers to let us track them throughout the entire pre-draft process.

It all starts Monday in Mobile and we'll have it all covered right here in the new High Voltage Senior Bowl Blitz. Be sure to bookmark this page and check it regularly, as it will be updated several times per day throughout Senior Bowl week.

Talk about this year's Senior Bowl news and gossip inside our Draft Talk Forum.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

SD Super Chargers Top Stories

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