STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 12: Devon Still #71 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after sacking Taylor Martinez #3 (not pictured) of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the game on November 12, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Representing the San Diego Chargers, killerjt with the 18th pick in Arrowhead Pride's 2012 NFL mock draft...
The San Diego Chargers do not have a glaring need on their team. According to Wonko from SB Nation's Bolts From the Blue, the Chargers are not in need of any starters. They need starting competition at DT, OG, and DE. Since the article was written, the Chargers re-signed DT Antonio Garay. This leaves the Chargers with just two needs entering the 2012 NFL draft. Stanford G David DeCastro is long gone, so the Chargers will wait until round two to address their need at guard.
The big problem with the Chargers is they do not have many impact players on their team. Their impact players are Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Antonio Gates, and Eric Weddle. All of these players are on the offensive side of the ball except for Weddle. Thus, the Chargers need another impact player on their defense.
Boltbeat.com said "We need a dominating dictating defense! That is what AJ Smith has been saying over and over again. Defense, Defense and DEFENSE!! We need impact players on the defensive side of the ball and we need to get more pressure on the quarterback."
AJ Smith used free agency to fill needs instead of going after the top players. The Chargers philosophy this free agency period has mirrored the Chiefs. Both teams lost some good players, but replaced then with quality people that were cheaper. This allowed both teams to fill all of their glaring needs.
The Chargers have question marks at left defensive end after
releasing DE Luis Castillo (Update by Joel: Castillo just re-signed) and not re-signing DE Tommie Harris. Re-signing Antonio Garay is enormous for the Chargers. According to Pro Football Focus, Garay was the top defensive tackles in 2010 at applying pressure per snap at an astounding 11.6 percent of the time. In 2011, Garay had a pass rushing productivity of 8.9 percent, which was second best among all defensive tackles in the league.
Cam Thomas is the backup at nose tackle and is a solid rotation player. In just 22 games as a rotational backup, Thomas has had four sacks and 20 tackles. Thomas has what it takes to rack-up over 20 sacks in his career, but his productivity will plummet if he has to play every snap. Antonio Garay is back for two more years, but the Chargers may use a late pick on a NT that can be a rotational player in three years. The other nose tackle on the team is Charlie Bryant who is an undrafted rookie who has not had a snap in an NFL game. Thus, the Chargers need a nose tackle that can replace Antonio Garay in three years.
Last year's first round pick Corey Liuget is a disappointment. Pro Football Focus did a story on run stop percentage for 3-4 defensive ends and Liuget came in last with a run stop percentage of just 2.5. Liuget also struggled at rushing the passer, as he had only one sack. Thus, theChargers need to buster there d-line to give Liuget every opportunity to live up to has high draft slot.
The RDE Vaughn Martin is slotted to take over the spot held by Luis Castillo. Martin received most of the playing time at RDE after Castillo was lost for the season due to injury in Week 1. Martin is a solid rotation player, but there is concern that he may volt for the CFL. Martin was raised in Toronto and London, Ontario. He attended the University of Western Ontario. On May 8, 2011 the Montreal Alouettes selected Martin in the 5th round of the 2011 CFL Draft. Thus, Martin is considering playing in the CFL, as he entered his name into the draft. The Chargers need a backup plan in case Martin bolts for the CFL. Currently, Jacques Cesaire is the rotational defensive end for the Chargers. Cesaire has been a solid player for almost ten years, but he is nearing the end of his playing career. Csaire will be 32 at the start of the 2012 season. The only other defensive end on the team is Damik Scafe who is an undrafted rookie who has not played in a NFL game. Thus, the chargers need insurance in case Martin bolts for the CFL. Even if Martin stays, the Charges still need a rotational defensive end.
With the 18 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select:
DE/DT Devon Still of Penn State
Still is coveted by many teams as he can play the three techniques in a 4-3 or a five technique in a 3-4. The Chargers defense runs mostly 3-4, so Still would play the five technique at defensive end. Still would provide the Chargers the flexibility of running 4-3 as he can also play inside. Thus, the Chargers would have a d-line like the Patriots that can play either scheme. This would give offensives nightmares as they have to stay on their toes as players are moving all over the field.
Still best companies to Miami defensive end Jared Odrick. Odrick played at Penn State as a defensive tackle. Odrick became a mentor for Still.The Dolphins selected Odrick in 2010 with the 28th pick. His first year was cut short after he broke his foot. He came back in 2011 and racked up six sacks as a five technique defensive end in a 34. Many, that fallow Penn State believes that Still will be just as good of a player as Odrick in the NFL. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN said "Still was as good or better than another Penn State defensive tackle, Jared Odrick, in 2009."
People that follow the Big Ten are higher on Still than most. Brian Bennett of ESPN called Still "Unblockable" and Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said, Still "caused just complete and total chaos in the backfield."
Still showed well at his pro day and the Combine, but he could have showed better as he is recovering from a turf toe injury than he suffered just before his Bowl game. At the Combine, Jeff Reynolds of NFLDraftScout.com quoted Still as saying, "I met with about 22 teams at the Combine and they all showed real high interest." At his pro day still ran a 4.95 second 40-yard dash which is very fast for a man of his size. Still's message to the NFL is "That I was able to go into every game and have an impact, whether I was making tackles or not,'' reported Bob Flounders of The Patriot-News.
Still comes from NFL blood. His family includes Art Still (defensive end, Kansas City Chiefs 1978-87, Buffalo Bills 1988-89) and Levon Kirkland (linebacker Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, 1992-2002).
Still's 2011 season was outstanding. He racked up 17 tackles for a loss and had 4.5 sacks. He was on the field for almost every snap with 710. In Penn States victory at Minnesota, Still was on the field for an astonishing 80 snaps. It is rare to see a d-lineman play this many snaps in 12 or 13 games. Other accolades include:
- ·2011 PSU Team MVP
- ·2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
- ·2011 Big Ten Lineman of the year
- ·2011 Consensus All- American
Finally, hear is a YouTube video of his dominating 2011 season. Warning, the song in the background is not safe for work.
Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)
18. San Diego Chargers - Penn State DT Devon Still
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