The San Diego Chargers made moves to improve their run defense tonight in the second and third rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. San Diego took former Connecticut Huskies defensive tackle Kendall Reyes with the 49th overall pick in round two. Reyes had 46 tackles and 4.5 sacks during his 2011 season with the Huskies. Antonio Garay led San Diego’s defensive linemen with 37 tackles during the 2011 season on a Chargers team that ranked 20th among teams against the run. The 6-4, 295 pound Reyes will be a much needed addition to help fix this problem.
The Chargers took former Louisiana State Tigers strong safety Brandon Taylor with the 73rd overall pick in round three. Taylor finished his 2011 season with 71 tackles, two interceptions and a sack. According to Pro Football Focus, Steve Gregory was one of the lowest rated safeties in the NFL. Gregory signed with the New England Patriots in the off-season, and San Diego added veteran Atari Bigby. However, Bigby will turn 31 years old in the first month of the season and missed nine games in 2008 as well as 12 games in 2010 for the Green Bay Packers.
San Diego desperately needed to add a pass rusher, which is why they chose Melvin Ingram last night with the 18th overall pick. The team still needs a better backup for Ryan Mathews, which may be addressed in round four. I expect the Chargers to go after a cornerback in round five, an inside linebacker in round six and a third string quarterback in round seven. Hopefully these moves will be steps in the right direction.