In the 2012 NFL Draft it was widely known that the San Diego Chargers needed to address their most pressing issue; Defense. While the team has needs to be addressed on more than just the defensive side of the ball, the defense was a glaring weakness in the 2011 season. So, that is what the Chargers did in selecting three defensive studs who should be immediate factors in linebacker Melvin Ingram, defensive end Kendall Reyes, and safety Brandon Taylor.
Just how badly were the Chargers hurting on defense? In 2011 the Bolts ranked last in the league in third down conversions. Ranking last in the league is one thing, but the Chargers were even worse on third down than this indicates. They allowed opponents to convert on over 49% of third down opportunities, the worst mark since the 1995 season when the Cleveland Browns were worse. For San Diego it was their worst team effort since 1975.
Taking a look further into the numbers of 2011 the Chargers yielded an astounding 65% conversion rate to teams when they had 5 yards or less to go on 3rd down. These are number which are simply unacceptable in the National Football League. Promoting John Pagano to coordinator makes a lot more sense after taking a look at these numbers. With those numbers how could a team ever expect to be a winner in this league?
Hopefully the addition of some studs in Ingram, Reyes, and Taylor will help in changing the course of the bolts season in 2012, enabling the defense to get off the field and letting Rivers and co do some real damage.