Found May 01, 2012 on Fox Sports San Diego:
April is often called the liars month in the NFL, as so much disinformation is dispersed that it can make one head's swim. But Chargers general manager A. J. Smith, facing a sink-or-swim season in regard to his job security, was true to his word. After being active in free agency to shore up holes on offense, the Chargers turned to defense during the draft. Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram was the biggest catch, a pass-rusher from South Carolina who'll give the team's coaches a versatile player to tinker with. But on the heels of Ingram came defensive tackle Kendall Reyes from Connecticut and strong safety Brandon Taylor by way of LSU. Reyes will likely be slid outside in the Chargers' 3-4 setup, and Taylor could battle newcomer Atari Bigby for a starting job. The team's final four picks were offensive players two linemen - as it was clear the Chargers were using this draft to get better on defense. BEST PICK Outside linebacker Melvin Ingram: With the NFL's worst third-down defense last season, it was imperative the team improve on passing downs. With Ingram, they got their man and just maybe he supplies a jolt to the Bolts' pass rush. With 21.5 sacks in his last two seasons at South Carolina, Ingram could help resurrect the team's ability to get after quarterbacks. COULD SURPRISE Strong safety Brandon Taylor: In Taylor, the Chargers get a hard-hitting, no-nonsense player from the SEC. Taylor played corner his first two seasons, so he knows how to cover. A closer look at the Chargers' picks: Round 118 - Melvin Ingram, OLB, 6-1, 195, South Carolina Eager to find someone to disrupt opposing quarterbacks, the Chargers were ecstatic to get their mitts on Ingram after he tumbled down the board. Ingram has the versatility that allows him to line up in various spots, although the Chargers are eyeing him as a situational pass-rusher, at least in the early stages of next year. He will be given every chance to see the field quickly. Round 249 - Kendall Reyes, DE, 6-4, 295, Connecticut Reyes, in the Chargers' 3-4, is headed toward defensive end. With the team unsure about Luis Castillo's return from a leg injury and the inexperience of Vaughn Martin, Reyes could hit the field sooner than later. Round 373 - Brandon Taylor, DB, 6-0, 195 LSU The team didn't address this spot in free agency or in the first two rounds. So they traded up five spots to get Taylor, a key part of the Tigers' stingy defense. Round 4110 - Ladarius Green, TE, 6-6, 238, Louisiana-Lafayette Antonio Gates has some tire wear remaining, but he's not getting younger and has been slowed by injuries. In Green, the Chargers might have Gates' eventual replacement Round 5149 - Johnnie Troutman, G, 6-4, 325, Penn State Looking for depth, and maybe more, the Chargers tabbed this sturdy man from the Nittany Lions. Round 7226 - David Monk, C, 6-1, 298, Michigan Was named the 2011 Rimington Trophy winner as the nation's best center. Monk was a four-year starter, although it remains to be seen if his size translates into the NFL. Round 7250 - Edwin Baker, RB, 5-8, 204, Michigan State The team's final pick went for depth, as Baker could be in line to back up Ryan Mathews. The Chargers say it every year, but maybe this year they really mean it: they got the player they wanted in the draft's first round. Melvin Ingram, the University of South Carolina standout, was selected No. 18 by the Chargers on Thursday. Eager to fix a third-down defense which was the NFL's worst last year, the team turned to Ingram to cleanse that blemish. "That was the key for us so obviously you can talk about a lot of different areas, a lot of different things," Turner said. "But to me we have improved a great deal as a football team through free agency and improved today by adding a player the caliber of Melvin." Ingram moved around at South Carolina, playing along every defensive level, save the secondary. But it's on the edge where he will line up most in the in the Chargers' 3-4, asked to supply a push to the pocket. "This was the right pick for us," Turner said. The Chargers said they were surprised Ingram was at No. 18, and they might not be fibbing. It was believed the rush on those getting after quarterbacks would come earlier, but with a tsunami of offensive players being drafted, it came later than expected. That worked in the Chargers favor, as they dedicated most of their earlier offseason work to shoring up the offense. So it was clear they wanted to aid a defense which fell on hard times, and they could hardly contain their glee that Ingram was there at their spot. "That was the great thing for us because in all the mocks we saw, the things we did in our work outs, that Melvin would be gone a lot earlier," said Jimmy Raye, the team's director of pro personnel. "We were excited when he came down the board." Raye said the Chargers toyed with trading up, but it wasn't required the way the draft was unfolding. "We always are considering everything," he said. "We thought about going up, of course, but we decided to stay where we were. We had a cluster of players we felt good about and when he was there, we felt good about it." That good feeling could be extended if Ingram pans out. He left South Carolina with 21.5 sacks, the fourth-most in school history. His 10 sacks last year tied the team's single-season mark. "My No. 1 goal is to come in and work hard and make an impact as soon as possible," Ingram said. He added 15 tackles for losses last year, and the Chargers are all eyes about that. But when seeing their depth chart, there seems to be an overload of outside linebackers: Larry English, Antwan Barnes, and Shaun Phillips. And that's fine with Turner. "An impact player doesn't have to be on the field every down," Turner reminded. He's right. And the Chargers hope they got right on Thursday, making a move that will return them to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Draft Grades: San Diego Chargers

A.J. Smith and Norv Turner’s jobs are on the line, so this was a critical draft for the San Diego Chargers. Entering the draft, there were rumors about the Chargers trading up, which made sense if Smith and Turner felt they needed to land an impact player to help save their jobs. But they stayed put on draft day, and it payed off. It was difficult to imagine a scenario in which...

Chargers fan spotlight: Dave Peters aka BoogaP

While making my standard rounds through my favorite Chargers websites this weekend waiting for each of the rounds of the Draft to start, I came across a very interesting set of articles. This series is called Fan Perspective and it gives fans a very rare opportunity, the chance to be interviewed like the players. I thought this was a wonderful idea as it gives fans a chance...

Junior Seau dies in apparent suicide

BallertainmentJunior Seau dead at 43 After early reports of a shooting at his Oceanside, CA residence, it has been confirmed that Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau has died. According to TMZ: Cops are currently at Seau’s home — located in San Diego County — and were seen talking with a man who was inside the house and appeared distraught. We’re told Seau sent text messages...

Police: Junior Seau found dead at California home

Former NFL star Junior Seau was found dead at his home Wednesday, authorities said. Police Lt. Karen Laser confirmed the death but released no other details. U-T San Diego reported that a 911 call came from the home at 10 a.m. Seau was a standout linebacker with the University of Southern California before going to the San Diego Chargers, whom he led to the Super Bowl following...

San Diego Chargers Great Junior Seau Dead From Apparent Suicide

According to a report from TMZ.com, former San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots star, Junior Seau, was found dead of an apparent suicide.  He played 20 seasons in the NFL and most believe will be worth of Hall of Fame consideration at some point.  Certainly from his frustrating play against the Denver Broncos for most of those 20 years would be enough for that. Seau leaves...

Junior Seau DEAD; police investigating shooting at residence

Former San Diego Chargers all-pro linebacker Junior Seau was found dead at him home Wednesday, according to reports from TMZ: NFL legend Junior Seau was found dead in his home in Oceanside, CA … and cops are investigating a shooting … multiple law enforcement sources tell TMZ. Cops are currently at Seau’s home just outside [...]

Junior Seau: Jan 19, 1969-May 2nd, 2012

It is with great sadness to announce the death of 43 year old, NFL great, Junior Seau. The future hall of famer was found dead at his home in Oceanside, CA today by his current girlfriend. The early reports are that Seau took his own life with a shotgun to the chest. The reports will continue and I am sure we will know more soon. Yet, I want to recognize the man I remember. The man...

Longtime NFL Linebacker Junior Seau dead at 43

In a sad report from TMZ, we’ve learned that former NFL Linebacker, Junior Seau has passed away from a self inflicted gunshot wound in his California home. He was 43. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that there was a 911 phone call made around 10 AM this morning from Seau’s home. Seau was drafted 5th overall in the 1990 NFL Draft. He was a part of 12 Pro Bowls, and played...

Report: Junior Seau found dead in his home

Sad news to report in the NFL. TMZ and various media outlets are reporting that former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau has been found dead in his home in Oceanside, Calif. According to the TMZ report, police are investigating a shooting, according to several of their law enforcement sources. According to those same sources Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to...

San Diego Chargers: 2012 NFL Draft Grades

It is evident that the San Diego Chargers are tired of drafting from the middle of each round every April, and it's time they lean one way or the other. Recent regular seasons indicate that they might as well tank in favor of selecting USC's Matt Barkley No. 1 overall next year and trading him for a new General Manager and Head Coach. 2012's edition, on the other hand...

RIP Junior Seau

When I was just a young girl living in New Orleans, trying to figure out why the team I loved sucked so bad and growing to love and understand the game of football, I can remember attaching myself to players on teams other than my beloved Saints. Sure I admired the Joe Montanas, Dan Marinos and Emmit Smiths of the league. But then, there were players like the Steelers’ Rod Woodson...

Junior Seau Passes Away

One of the most charismatic and intense NFL linebackers of all time, Junio Seau, has died at age 43 due to a gun shot wound. Seau was found dead in his home in San Diego early this morning. Police are still investigating Seau’s death, but early world is that it’s a potential suicide. Questions about Seau’s mental state first came up in 2010 when he drove his SUV off of a cliff...

Jonathan Vilma, Junior Seau, and the NFLPA

It came out a a few hours ago today that several Saints players would be getting some time off this season due to their roles in the Saints bounty program. Jonathan Vilma is the largest transgressor, staring down a one-year suspension. Meanwhile, the NFLPA, the players' union, is protesting the suspensions. Meanwhile, water is still wet.So instead of just saying, "Ya know...

Junior Seau Tribute 1969 - 2012

A look back at Junior Seau's career. RIP
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.