2018 NFL Draft Grades: Los Angeles Chargers get Defensive

Los Angeles Chargers 2018 NFL Draft Grade: C7

The Los Angeles Chargers added a lot of depth on their defense but only got one player who is truly what you would call an impact player. The Bolts reached a full two rounds on two of their selections. That always is a recipe for a lower final grade.

Round 1 – Pick 17   Derwin James – S – Florida State – Jr

Derwin James is the best defensive player in this draft. I had him as the third best player overall. James could be a lockdown corner, a dominant safety, or even a nickel linebacker. James has man cover skills, tremendous range, and is an excellent pass rusher off the edge. He is an athletic freak as well. It doesn’t matter where LA plays James, he will succeed.

Round 2 – Pick 48   Uchenna Nwosu – EDGE – Southern Cal – Sr

Nwosu is a very good edge rusher but he has size limitations. He will have to stand up in their 34 scheme and he struggled with that conversion at the Senior Bowl. This is why I had a 4th round grade on him. As a rusher on passing downs, Nwosu could have early success.

Round 3 – Pick 84   Justin Jones – DL – NC State – Sr

Justin Jones was part of a tremendous defensive front with the Wolfpack. Jones is not a great athlete but he will likely be the reserve nose tackle this season.

Round 4 – Pick 119   Kyzir White – S – West Virginia – Sr

Kyzir White (younger brother of Bears’ WR Kevin) is a heat-seeking missile on the back end. He has coverage limitations which is why I thought the 5th/6th round would have been a better spot. He should play special teams as a rookie and be the 4th or 5th safety.

Round 5 – Pick 153 Scott Quessenberry – C – UCLA – Sr

Quessenberry is a multi-year starter for the Bruins. Center is his natural position but he can also play guard. I believe he will back up all three interior positions as a rook.

Round 6 – Pick 191 Dylan Cantrell – WR – Texas Tech – Sr

Cantrell is a height/weight/speed specimen at wide receiver. He was productive as a Red Raider. The depth chart is working against him, however, and he will have to contribute on special teams to be on the 53.

Round 7 – Pick 251 Justin Jackson – RB – Northwestern – Sr

Jackson was highly productive at Northwestern. He is a decent athlete. Jackson also doesn’t turn the ball over often. He will compete with last year’s camp sensation Austin Ekeler and Andre Williams for carries behind Melvin Gordon.

Notable UDFA:

Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech; Nic Shimonek, QB, Texas Tech; Zachary Crabtree, OT, Oklahoma State

I had a 4th round grade on Facyson. I believe he has the man cover skills necessary to make an NFL impact. Cornerback is one of the Chargers deeper positions so he is likely a practice squad target. Speaking of the practice squad, that is likely where Shimonek ends up unless he ends up beating out Cardale Jones. They are not very deep at offensive tackle so Crabtree has a real shot to make it.


The Los Angeles Chargers made zero draft day trades, staying put in every spot they had pre-draft. They didn’t get a future QB but they did add the best defensive player in the draft. The value was not great by any means, but I can overlook it with this team. The Chargers could be one of the better teams in the AFC this year.

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Brian Bosarge
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