Last season the Chargers drafted three offensive players in the first three rounds. This draft the Chargers flipped the script and went defensive in their first three rounds. In day 2, they selected USC linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and in the third round North Carolina State defensive lineman Justin Jones.
Two things that stood out to Chargers GM Tom Telesco about Nwosu was he showed up to Chargers Park on his day off to meet with some of the coaches, so they could get to know him. The second thing that impressed him was Nwosu’s leadership.
“Leadership is everything,” said Nwosu. “That is how you establish a team. A good team has to have leadership, without it a team can’t get anywhere.”
The 6-2 240 pound linebacker is a hometown kid, who was born in LA and went to school in LA, now he will play his professional ball in LA. He was the co-MVP last season, with QB Sam Darnold, for the Trojans after recording 75 tackles and 9.5 sacks.
“It means a lot to be around the people that supported me my whole life and play right down the street from my parents’ house,” said Nwosu about being able to stay home.
Nwosu will play the OTTO spot in Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme, which currently is penciled in to be Kyle Emanuel’s spot.
Justin Jones is a senior defensive tackle that played all four years at NC State. In his senior year he had 34 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. He played on a very special defensive line lead by Bradley Chubb, who was drafted fifth overall by the Denver Broncos.
“It’s a pretty strong group,” said Jones on the Chargers defensive line, “I have to bring my A game. They have high standards there especially on that D-line. I am glad to have an opportunity to be a part of it.”
Jones played the three technique in a 4-3 scheme in college, so that means he played Corey Liuget’s spot in college. Liuget was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, so Jones could be plugged in, but he has a lot of competition in front of him.
“They had an excellent defensive line at NC State this year,” said Chargers general manager Tom Telesco. “He was one of the more productive players for them. He is a really good size and strength, but he plays really hard.”
The Chargers drafted two players they believe will be workhorses and add to an already talented defensive group. As legendary head coach Bear Bryant would say, “offense sells tickets, defense wins championships.”