San Diego Chargers: Grading Each Pick Of The 2015 NFL Draft
1 (15): Melvin Gordon - RB, Wisconsin
One of the most anticipated selections in the draft, the Chargers were so excited about Melvin Gordon that they had to trade up ahead of the Texans to secure him. His 40 at the combine may have been disappointing, but Gordon has as much explosiveness and burst as anybody in the draft. He is not a powerful runner, but he has enough size to sustain punishment, measuring in at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds. He will have to be more patient and more often run where the play sets him up to, but his best trait is his ability to make something about of nothing. That will come in handy as the Chargers' offensive line is a below average unit.
2 (16): Denzel Perryman - ILB, Miami
The biggest knock on Denzel Perryman is his size and his speed. There is no doubt that he can be a top tier run stopper in this league, but his value as a pass defender is questionable. A guy with his instincts and style of play should be able to improve and adapt to the game though, so he should make for an excellent starter. This was an odd pick, with guard and defensive line seeming to be more apparent of a need. However, Perryman gives them a force in the center of their defense.
3 (19): Craig Mager - CB, Texas State
This was the right position to pick, but the player picked was unsuspected. Craig Mager has great athleticism and enough size to be a starter on the perimeter or inside, but he needs to work on the intangible aspects of his game before he can step onto the field. He often reacts too slowly and seldom played tight, physical coverage. Outside of Jason Verrett, who himself is a little short, the Chargers lack corners capable of holding their own outside. Mager can be a starter in the future, but he will not be able to step in early on.
5 (17): Kyle Emanuel - OLB, North Dakota State
Kyle Emanuel's college production was of course inflated, playing at a smaller school, but he has some of the physical traits that NFL teams look for in edge rushers. Due to his inexperience against high-level competition, Emanuel is unlikely to be a starter anytime soon, but he has decent size, good burst, and plenty of quickness to turn to corner against tackles. He can work in a rotation with Melvin Ingram and Jerry Attaochu early on, as neither guy has really distinguished themselves as a quality starter. Attaochu is likely to keep a bigger role than him, but if Ingram fails to get better in his fourth year, Emanuel can overtake him sometime next season.
6 (16): Darius Philon - DT, Arkansas
Darius Philon lacks the size, 6-foot-1 and 298 pounds, to play nose, and is not a powerful run stopper, but he has a lot of burst for an interior lineman. His pass rushing prowess and playmaking ability could put him in a rotation early with Kendall Reyes, but his lacking overall skill set will keep him from earning anything more as the year progresses. He will have to get stronger and become more of a consistent threat to take on a bigger role, but he is capable of doing so year two or three. A possible second-day pick, Philon comes at a great value in the sixth round.