By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on April 16, 2014
After a three-year absence, the San Diego Chargers finally qualified for the playoffs and picked up the franchise's first postseason win since 2008 this past season. But they are still a flawed team in need of some major upgrades during May's draft. Here are five rumors surrounding the club as the draft approaches.
Left tackle King Dunlap, center Nick Hardwick, right guard Jeromey Clary, tackle Michael Harris and center/guard Rich Ohrnberger are all entering the final seasons of their respective contracts for the Chargers. Needless to say, San Diego should consider bolstering the offensive line during May's draft for the sake of the team's future.
In an immensely deep draft at the wide receiver position, the Chargers are rumored to be interested in adding to their receiver corps on day two. Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal offer the Chargers a productive trio, but a potential star like Indiana's Cody Latimer, who San Diego visited with on Wednesday, would be a tempting selection.
The Chargers' 29th-ranked pass defense would certainly benefit from the addition of a cornerback during May's draft, but perhaps a quicker path to improvement will be upgrading the club's pass rush. San Diego finished with just 35.0 sacks in 2013 -- good enough for 23rd in the NFL. Furthermore, Corey Liguit, with just 5.5 sacks, led the Chargers in quarterback takedowns. Georgia Tech linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu is one potential solution.
San Diego's aforementioned porous pass defense needs a potential No. 1 cornerback to accompany an improved rush. Which corner will the Chargers target? It could be Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller, according to one rumor. Fuller possesses an intriguing blend of size, speed and instincts that could translate into making an immediate impact. He will be difficult for the Chargers to pass on if he's still on the board in the first round.
Although the Chargers' pass defense was the club's Achilles' heel in 2013, the run defense is in desperate need of a true nose tackle. In order to run an effective 3-4 scheme, a double-team commanding nose who opens up lanes for the rest of the front seven is a necessity. Notre Dame's Louis Nix III fits that description and is a favorite to land in Southern California with the No. 25 overall pick.
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