Source: Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP)—The San Diego Chargers got defensive on the second day of the draft.
One day after they picked a defensive lineman with their first-round selection, the Chargers took three more defenders and a wide receiver on Friday.
The Chargers took cornerback Marcus Gilchrist(notes) with the first of San Diego’s two second-round draft picks. Gilchrist, 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, started at free safety for Clemson in 2009 and at cornerback in 2010.
“He’s a very good cover corner,” said Chargers coach Norv Turner, who’s interested in seeing Gilchrist return punts and kicks as well.
Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton, also selected in the second round, led the Big Ten Conference with 117 tackles. At 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, Mouton will compete for an inside linebacker job in the 3-4 defense.
Like Gilchrist, he’ll audition on special teams, a Chargers weakness in 2010. “He absolutely will be an outstanding special teams player,” Turner said.
The Chargers drafted two players from nearby schools in the third round: San Diego State wide receiver Vincent Brown and USC cornerback Shareece Wright.
Brown averaged 19.6 yards per catch last season, and his 23 career touchdowns rank fifth in school history. San Diego State and the Chargers share the same stadium, and Brown needed only five minutes to get to Chargers Park on Friday night for his introductory press conference.
When the Chargers told him they’d drafted him, Brown struggled to keep the news from his girlfriend and others present. “I got the phone call, and I tried to keep it hush-hush and not let everybody know,” he said. “I was just excited. I couldn’t stop smiling. I was just amazed.”
Said Turner: “Vincent has a style that fits what we like to do offensively.”
Wright started 15 of 40 games in a career sidetracked by a hairline fracture of the neck in 2008 and academic ineligibility in 2009.
Turner implied that the 2011 schedule reinforced the decision to draft two cornerbacks Friday. “We play a lot of teams that are going to spread us out next year, a lot of teams that play three or four wide receivers,” he said, “and that’s something we’ve got to be prepared to handle.”
On Thursday night, the Chargers took Illinois defensive lineman Corey Liuget(notes) with the 18th overall pick.
Liuget, who had never been to San Diego until Friday, was at Chargers Park before the second round began. He said the Chargers weren’t among the teams that he thought might draft him, but he intends to reward them quickly.
“I expect to be playing opening week,” he said. “I’m going to work my tail off to be in a position where the coaches want me on the field.”
Turner said Liuget will play end in the three-man front and may line up inside on third down.
Liuget had a career-best season in 2010 that impressed some, but not all, NFL scouts.
“I got a third-round grade from several scouts,” he said, “but I honestly believed I was a first-round talent. I knew some team somewhere would see my true potential.”