The Bolts had serveral positions that needed to be addressed as many teams usually do come draft time. Not only did a top 10 talent fall into their laps at #17 but they also addressed the defense with the first four round’s. That’s right first four! The 3 positions on the defensive side that needed the most attention where linebacker, defensive tackle, and the ever alluded safety position. All three where attended to and even one of them twice. Kyzir White from West Virginia was picked in the fourth round and word has it the team intends to move him to the strong side linebacker role from safety. Which is plausible seeing as how he was considered over sized for the position. Chances are slim he contributes much in year one. However the first three picks will indeed have the opportunity to be heavily involved right away. Derwin James who was selected in the first round will probably be a starter from day one. I have already done a write up on the future pro bowler so in this piece i will focus more on the other pieces aquired in this draft class.
Uchenna Nwosu out of USC was selected in the second round, and this is another pick to get heavily excited about. Nwosu is heavily versatile as most scouts where not sure weather he should be a down in the dirt defensive end or outside linebacker. Gus Bradley, defensive genius intends to use him as both depending on sub packages and in game situations. A local product from Carson California Uchenna didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school. So the case could be made that with only 4 years of football under his belt he will only get better especially in a system designed to utilise his versatility. its also of note that he was not only a team captain for USC but also voted team MVP at the end of the year. quite the accomplishment considering there was a top three quarterback on the team.
In the third round the Bolts selected Justin Jones of NC State. Jones came from a highly successful defensive line as he will move to the next level and have much of the same. He doesn’t carry much extra weight as most defensive lineman do. Jones will more then likely be a career rotational piece as he takes to many plays off however is highly effective when he doesn’t. Sound like anyone else? Cough Cough Cory Lugeit! However it sound be said that as much as the teams new defensive system works , the interior lineman are rotated a lot so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. After the draft ended the team also signed un drafted free agents Steven Richardson of Minnesota along with Bijohn Jackson of Arkansas of the same position.
After the splurg of defensive players in the first four rounds the team then went offense the rest of the way selecting Scott Quessenberry out of UCLA. Originally a center, the word has it he will move to guard as the team is set at the center position with the signing of Mike Poncey. After years of having one of the most miserable lines in football i say you can never have to many lineman. This new coaching staff has done a great job of turning the unit around rapidly with the signings of Russell Oakung and drafting three lineman last year. The team did’nt stop there however as they added some un drafted’s of note. Zachary Crabtree of Oklahoma State Who i think has a great chance to make the roster and i’m quite surprised dint get drafted. There is Chris Durant of William and Mary who was a four year starter and guard Trent Scott of Grambling State who only allowed 3 sacks his entire time in collage.
The sixth round selection was really the only head scratcher to me. That selection was Dylan Cantrell wide receiver out of Texas Tech. I feel the team is already set at the position unless they are planning on cutting Travis Benjamin who has under performed since being signed as a free agent. Even so the team has highly talented youngster Artavious Scott waiting in the wings as he signed as a un drafted free agent last year. I don’t know much about Cantrell other than he is a big bodied receiver which is a trait coveted by Rivers. I did read that he may be considered one of the better block wide outs this year, so that may be the logic here. I still say the team gives Artavious Scott a shot for playing time this year as he was scorching dudes in training camp last year against the saints and rams personal along with his own teammates.
Finishing the draft up was the selection of Justin Jackson running back out of Northwestern. Jackson runs with the style of a slasher however runs a bit to high and is susceptible to tacking hard hits. I’m not upset with this pick however i felt that if you wanted a change of pace back you could have grabbed a much better one a few rounds earlier however he could still turn out to be a nice surprise as he was streaky in his play. Also of note is that Jackson will have competition for a roster spot with fellow rookie who went un drafted but signed with the team. Those other backs are Detrez Newsome of western Carolina who is all time leader in yards in school history along with
The only regret i have is that the team should have spent a late round kick on Eddie Pinero who can kick from 80 yards out it practice. The biggest weakness on the team last year was the kicker position. A quarterback of the future would have been nice as well but they did bring in Nic Shimonek of Texas Tech after the draft finished. Oh well still a very impressive draft class and i look forward to next year……is it football season yet???