NFL Draft

Chargers Draft Primer: Past Meets Present


The Chargers have several holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Fortunately, the team already has a blueprint in place for how to best address each lacking position.

Every type of player the Chargers are seeking has already been drafted by the franchise once before. For example, the team needs to draft players like …

DE Igor Olshansky (Second Round, 2004)

A powerful run defender, Olshansky was able to drive opposing linemen into the backfield and shutdown running lanes. He was a bit of a hothead, but that helped give the defense an edge it sorely needed. He was a prototypical 3-4 defensive end, working hard to keep his linebackers clean.

2016 Doppelgänger: Illinois DE Jihad Ward

OG Scott Mruczkowski (Seventh Round, 2005)

Mruczkowski was a super sub on San Diego’s interior offensive line, splitting time at center and guard. He only started 16 games in his eight-year career (including 13 in 2009), but he appeared in 83 contests altogether. He even played a few snaps at tackle when team went to its jumbo package. Because of Mruczkowski’s flexibility, the Chargers did not have to shuffle players across the offensive line every time somebody went down.

2016 Doppelgänger: Michigan C Graham Glasgow

ILB Tim Dobbins (Fifth Round, 2006)

A physical, inside-the-box linebacker, Dobbins excelled at sifting through traffic and playing downhill. He was a physical force and punishing tackler, both on defense and special teams. Additionally, he played with great leverage and effort. Dobbins never started more than six games in a season yet racked up over 250 career tackles.

2016 Doppelgänger: Stanford ILB Blake Martinez

TE Justin Peelle (Fourth Round, 2002)

Over the course of his 10-year career, Peelle provided everything a team could ask of its No. 2 tight end: tenacious in-line blocking, productivity on special teams, and the occasional clutch catch as a receiver. He was also a strong leader in the clubhouse, which is why it’s no surprise he’s currently coaching tight ends in Philadelphia.

2016 Doppelgänger: Iowa TE Henry Krieger-Coble Iowa

SS Terrence Kiel (Second Round, 2003)

People will remember Kiel, who died in a car accident in 2008, for his off-the-field troubles as much as anything else. However, there was a lot to like about what he did between the hashes. He was an exceptional coverage safety while still being solid in run defense. He was drafted just 16 picks after Drayton Florence, another playmaking defensive back the Chargers would love to replicate in this year’s draft.

2016 Doppelgänger: Middle Tennessee S Kevin Byard

FB Jacob Hester (Third Round, 2008)

The former fullback Chargers fans most often clamor for is Lorenzo Neal, but pure, bulldozing fullbacks have gone the way of the dinosaur. Hester is a better example of the modern fullback, one who not only opens running lanes from the I formation, but also runs, catches, blocks and covers kicks.

2016 Doppelgänger: Northwestern FB Dan Vitale

About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for and has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports, Football Insiders and MySpace Sports.

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