The San Diego Chargers have a lot of needs going into this year’s NFL Draft and most notably it’s on the defensive side of the ball. With the No. 25 pick in the draft, I think the Chargers should select a defensive tackle and Louis Nix III out of Notre Dame fits the bill. Most believe San Diego should pick a cornerback in the first round, but I don’t think any of the top cornerbacks will be available at 25 and the Chargers have a bigger need on the defensive line.
Also, San Diego has had a bad history of defensive back busts in the first couple rounds dating back to 2000. Rodgers Beckett (2nd Rnd., 43rd Overall), Terrance Kiel (2nd Rnd., 62 Overall), Drayton Florence (2nd Rnd., 46th Overall), Sammy Davis (1st Rnd., 30th Overall) and Antoine Cason (1st Rnd., 27th Overall) never lived up to their hype or potential. Antonio Cromartie (1st Rnd., 19th Overall) seemed primed for a Pro Bowl career in San Diego, but off the field problems lead to his eventual trade to the New York Jets. Since 2000, the only defensive backs that have panned out for San Diego have been Quentin Jammer (1st Rnd., 5th Overall) and Eric Weddle (2nd Rnd., 37th Overall). This years draft is extremely deep at the cornerback position, so the Chargers would be better off selecting Nix with their first round pick and addressing their secondary later.
With the loss of Cam Thomas to the Pittsburgh Steelers, this leaves the Chargers with only one true nose tackle on the roster in undrafted rookie Kwame Geathers. This literally leaves a giant hole on the defensive line. Having a legitimate nose tackle that can stuff the run and offer pass rush ability is a key part in John Pagano’s 3-4 scheme.
Nix has the prototypical size to be a dominant nose tackle in the NFL (6’2″, 331 lbs & 33″ arms). He’s an instinctive player that recognizes play development very well. Nix has good quickness and explosion off the line of scrimmage that allows him to shoot the A-gap and provide immediate pressure in the backfield.
His strength and long arms allows him bottle up ball carriers and get his hands into passing lanes. Nix has a great motor, shown in his relentless pursuit of ball carries and playing a majority of the snaps for the Fighting Irish.
Nix’s size and skill set portrays him as the most natural nose tackle prospect in this year’s draft. He has the potential to be a dominate force on the Chargers’ defensive line and has the ability to anchor their defense. Nix is a perfect fit in San Diego’s defense.