The San Diego Chargers chose Jonas Mouton in round two of the 2011 NFL Draft. Mouton made an All-Big Ten Conference second team for the Michigan Wolverines in 2010 when he led the Big Ten with 117 tackles which included 8.5 tackles that resulted in a loss of yards.
According to Michael Gehlken of utsandiego.com, Chargers GM Tom Telesco said “I want to see what Jonas can do. Jonas was a good football player in college. I haven’t seen him play a whole lot here other than in the preseason. I thought he played well in the preseason, so I’m looking forward to seeing him get more reps.”
Mouton was placed on injured reserve in week three of the 2011 season and made his NFL debut against the Cincinnati Bengals last year when he recorded a tackle.
There could be more playing time for Mouton this season based on Telesco’s comments. San Diego’s front office released veteran linebacker Takeo Spikes and Demorrio Williams is an unrestricted free agent.
Mouton’s shoulder injury hindered him in 2011 while he was not chosen to replace Spikes after Spikes was ejected in the 2012 regular season finale against the Oakland Raiders.
San Diego’s front office is going with a youth movement on defense because Spikes was released while Derek Cox will more than likely be the replacement for Quentin Jammer at cornerback. Shaun Phillips led San Diego in sacks in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, but the 31 year old is not expected to be brought back. Veteran nose tackle Antonio Garay was released by the front office earlier this week.
Some of these moves were made to add more salary cap space for San Diego because the team was about $5 million under the cap heading into the off-season. Telesco sounds like he believes in Mouton, but it will be up to Mouton to impress the coaching staff enough to receive significant playing time in 2013.