SAN DIEGO --Picking the first player other than a quarterback in this year’s NFL draft, the San Diego Chargers selected Ohio State product Joey Bosa No. 3 overall. It’s the first time the franchise selected a defensive lineman in the first round since taking Corey Liuget No. 18 overall in the 2011 draft. However, with the Chargers employing a 3-4 alignment, Bosa could be making a move to outside linebacker -- as did Melvin Ingram, a college defensive lineman who was San Diego's first-round pick in 2012.
My take: Bosa fills San Diego’s most glaring need, which is help along the defensive line. Bosa finished with 26 career sacks and was a stout run defender for the Buckeyes. He’ll combine with fellow defensive end Liuget and nose tackle Brandon Mebane to create a formidable defensive front for the Chargers.
“San Diego is going to be awesome,” Bosa said after being selected. “I can’t wait to play for the Chargers, and I’m going to give them everything I have.”
Run defense should improve: The Chargers allowed 4.8 yards per carry last season, second worst in the NFL. San Diego also allowed 2,000 rushing yards for the first time since 2003 and gave up at least 17 rushing touchdowns for the first time since 1985, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. Bosa is strong against the run, and along with the addition of Mebane, San Diego’s defensive line should be much better at keeping linebackers Manti Te'o and Denzel Perryman clean, allowing them to scrape to the football.
Curb appeal: Bosa is a tremendous talent. He finished with more tackles for loss (51) than any player in the nation over the past three seasons. But Bosa also gives San Diego a marketable personality in a year when the Chargers are trying to get a stadium built.
What’s next: The Chargers have two picks on Day 2 of the draft, with the No. 35 pick in the second round and the No. 66 overall pick in the third round. San Diego should use those selections to help fill deficiencies at offensive line, safety and tight end. Last year, the Chargers snagged perhaps the team’s best player from the 2015 draft in the second round in Perryman.