The LA Chargers draft I was really impressed with, and it starts with their first selection, Rashawn Slater. I thought this was a home run pick because this is a guy who was easily the second best offensive lineman in this class. Some analysts even thought he was on par with Penei Sewell, the number one offensive tackle that went to the Detroit Lions. I don't think he's as good as Sewell (we talked about that on some earlier podcast episodes) but nonetheless, this guy is a really, really solid prospect. The thing I liked about this pick was they got him at 13th overall and they didn't have to trade up and give up any draft capital to go get him. This was the 8th ranked player on my big board and so at 13, I think it's a great value and it fills a major need for the LA Chargers because they had the lowest graded offensive line in the NFL, as far as pass blocking last year. When you look at a guy like Justin Herbert, last year's Rookie of the Year who lit up the league as a rookie, he was playing behind the worst pass blocking line in the league. This was a huge need for LA. Slater is so technically sound and so polished of a prospect that he's ready to play right now. He checks every box that you're looking for as far as a prototypical offensive tackle for the NFL. At 6'4" and 304 lbs. out of Northwestern. He dominated Chase Young two years ago while he was at Ohio State. If you go back and watch that tape, it was impressive what what we saw in that game, because we know how good Chase Young. We watched how good this guy is now winning defensive Rookie of the Year and he tore up the NFL for the Washington football team. Slater dominated him in college, so this is a guy who's clearly shown, he can play against some of the best pass rushers that you could throw at him. I absolutely love this selection.
In the second round, LA filled another huge need for this team by taking Asante Samuel Jr, the cornerback out of Florida State. I thought the two positions they had to hit were offensive line (in particular tackle) and cornerback. For them to address those early in the draft and get these two players I thought were home runs. I thought Samuel was an absolute steal at number 47 in this draft. He was a guy that was right in that Top 25 or Top 30 type ranking and to be available 47 was shocking. I thought it was just a great pick, because he's a day one starter in my opinion. I understand the knock on him that he might be a little undersized at 5'10" and I wouldn't say his speed is elite, but I feel like he's fast enough and he has the tools that you're looking for when you watch his tape. Samuel has NFL DNA, his dad as we know played in the league for a long time so he's been extremely coached up for a young player. He's going to know what it takes to play at the next level. He has that really high football IQ, that I love in a young prospect. Samuel is a very instinctive player with great balance and body control. He's got ball skills. These were two awesome draft picks and they might have had one of the best drafts in the NFL. I was really excited about what they did in this draft and I'm giving them an "A" grade.