Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces linebacker Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) as the 18th overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE
The Chargers 2012 Draft Class is getting good reviews by the draft pundits, and that's always interesting given the fact that A.J. Smith and Co. generally don't usually get glowing reviews for personnel moves.
2012 San Diego Chargers Draft Class
Melvin Ingram (Outside Linebacker) Round 1 (18) 6-2 / 265 pounds South Carolina
Kendall Reyes (Defensive End) Round 2 (49) 6-4 / 300 pounds Connecticut
Brandon Taylor (Strong Safety) Round 3 (73) 5-11 / 210 pounds LSU
Ladarius Green (Tight End) Round 4 (110) 6-6 / 238 pounds Louisiana Lafayette
Johnnie Troutman (Guard) Round 5 (149) 6-4 / 327 pounds Penn State
David Molk (Center) Round 7 (226) 6-2 / 287 pounds Michigan
Edwin “Rock” Baker (Running Back) Round 7 (250) 5-8 / 208 pounds Michigan State
As it turned out Melvin Ingram slid mostly because the Seahawks wanted some guy named Bruce Irvin (most had projected as 2nd or 3rd-rounder) and the Jets wanted Quinton Coples. The pick up of Ingram gave the Chargers a major boost in their overall grade, but of course getting production and value from the other seven draftees will be key.
Mel Kiper of ESPN gives the Chargers a B+ and the best overall grade in the AFC West. He states that Ingram was projected by him to be the seventh-best player available and to get him at 18 was a major value. He also sees Kendall Reyes at No. 49 as a value pick.
Dan McLellan of CBSSports.com gives the Chargers an A-. He writes, ": General manager A.J. Smith addressed the majority of the Chargers' most pressing needs without mortgaging next year's picks. Grade: A- minus.:
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated gives the Chargers an A ": I’m not sure how DE/OLB Melvin Ingram fell to 18, but the Chargers will reap the benefits for years. DT Kendall Reyes (49) and S Brandon Taylor (73) are perfect puzzle pieces at positions of need, too, so it’s hard to knock San Diego even for the odd pick of G Johnny Troutman (149). Grade: A"
FoxSports.com gives the Chargers a B "Their third-down defense was awful last season, and general manager A.J. Smith hopes he's fixed that with his first three picks, all of them potential starters. South Carolina linebacker Melvin Ingram is a pass rusher and so was UConn's Kendall Reyes at defensive end. LSU safety Brandon Taylor can cover and also play the deep middle"
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com gives the Chargers an A- "With star Antonio Gates struggling with durability in recent years, the Chargers may have found their seam-busting threat of the future with Louisiana-Lafayette's Ladarius Green as their most intriguing pick of the third day."
Chargers Director of Player Personnel Jimmy Raye on drafting Melvin Ingram "“The versatility. The pass-rushing ability. As you guys all know, we’ve talked about getting edge rushers and getting pressure on the quarterback for the last couple of months since the season ended. He is the type of player we felt like brought burst and energy and rush ability off the edge as well as inside, as an interior pass rusher. That type of versatility will bode well for our defense.”
Norv Turner on executing the off-season plan "As A.J. (Smith) would tell you, it’s an on-going thing. Like I said, through free agency, I think we have significantly gotten better. We’re going to continue tomorrow to keep working to get better. For me, it starts in May when we get on the field with our players and start doing the offseason work because we can improve a great deal. No question from an athleticism and talent level we’ve gotten a lot better."
Undrafted Free Agents
The following players have been either signed as UFA's or will be invited to training camp.
P Kyle Martens (Rice), LS Nick Guess (Tennessee), ILB Josh Linam (Central Florida), DE Logan Harrell (Fresno State), DT Eddie Brown (Texas A&M), DT Christian Tupou (USC
CB Greg Gatson (Arkansas), S Sean Cattouse (California), DB De’Andre Presley (Appalachian State) QB Jarrett Lee (LSU), Cordell Bell (Mississippi State), Charles Burton (Montana), Mike Harris (UCLA), RB Michael Hayes (Houston) Mike Willie (Arizona State), Paul Cox (Mississippi Valley State), Hubert Anyiam (Oklahoma State), Jason Barnes (South Carolina), Taylor Embree (UCLA), and Phillip Payne (UNLV).