Chargers Chat with Another Nose Tackle

When Jamal Williams signed with the Broncos, he left a 348-pound hole in the middle of San Diego's defense. A.J. Smith will try to fill the void on draft day and this player -- who met with the Chargers at the NFL Combine -- believes he is the answer.

Central Florida NT Torrell Troup is one of the few pure nose tackles in this year's draft. He measured in at the Combine at 6-foot-2, 314 pounds, but has played as heavy as 330 pounds and is prepared to do so again.

Troup played in a 4-3 defense with the Knights, but his skill-set has teams projecting him as a 3-4 nose at the next level. He believes the transition will be an easy one.

"I don't think it's gonna be that hard," he said. "I know it's different. I can hold the point of attack, I'm used to being double-teamed, I have good feet so I can stay with the center. I don't think it's gonna be a problem."

NT Torrell Troup
Troup's wide array of skills made him a popular player in Indianapolis.

"I think I met everybody except Oakland," he said.

His meeting with the Chargers was more significant than most, as that pairing is a distinct possibility. The Chargers need a tackle to replace Jamal Williams (Broncos) and Ian Scott (UFA), yet may not be able to address that position early with needs at running back, cornerback and linebacker.

If Troup's third-round projection holds true, he could represent the apex of need and value that Smith is seeking. That's especially true if the Chargers net an extra third-rounder for QB Charlie Whitehurst.

Troup promises to exceed the expectations of his draft projection.

"I take pride in my rush defense," he said. "I take pride in helping out my teammates. I'm not a selfish person. I will bring a great attitude to any defensive line."

Troup finished his UCF career with 108 tackles, 24 TFLs and six sacks. Those are hardly gaudy numbers, but nose tackles are known more for stuffing running lanes than stuffing the stat sheet.

"I was more of a guy who took on double-teams and let everybody else make plays, and everybody else did make plays," he said.

He could assume a similar role in San Diego, where he would be in a nose tackle rotation that will also feature Ryon Bingham and Ogemdi Nwagbuo. Troup certainly has the mind-set to fit in with that blue-collar group.

"You've got to love contact to play in the middle," he said. "You get hit every play. Sometimes the defensive end doesn't even get touched; in the middle you're gonna get touched every play. I love the contact in the middle.

"Some people want me to play 3-technique and I actually tell them I love contact, I love the middle, I love the nose."

Talk about Torrell Troup and other draft prospects in our Insider Draft Talk Forum.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the 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.

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