San Diego Chargers: Why Ryan Carrethers was their best pick

Carrethers, Ryan

The San Diego Chargers were not a force on defense last year. The Bolts surrendered the second-highest yards per play, ranked 23rd in total defense and 29th in pass defense.

Let’s put it this way: they were no Seattle Seahawks.

While Philip Rivers had a revival season throwing passes to Rookie of the Year candidate Keenan Allen, the defense floundered.

It was to no one’s surprise that San Diego went with a defensive back in the first round this year, taking Jason Verett from TCU. He can definitely step in and make an impact, but not one as big as another one of their draft picks.

Ryan Carrethers, a 6-foot-2, 337-pound behemoth from Arkansas State, can make a 337-pound impact on this defense, and as soon as this season. The fifth-round pick may not be flashy- he won’t rack up many sacks with his 5.5-second forty speed- but he’s an ideal fit with San Diego’s defense.

A 3-4 nose tackle is supposed to do one thing: clog up the middle of the field, drawing double teams along the way. Carrethers can certainly do this with his monster frame and solid block-shedding skills.

He is a run stuffer, and has surprising agility for a man of his size, as you can see in this video of him at the combine.  He doesn’t look that good doing it, but for a 340-pounder, he’s got quick feet and is agile enough to shed blocks and get to running backs in the hole.

San Diego has one bona fide stud on the line in Corey Liuget, but he is more of a 3-4 DE (as opposed to DT) in my mind. He racked up 5.5 sacks last year and could do even more damage with Carrethers drawing attention in the trenches.

Other than Liuget, the Chargers have a group of largely unproven guys on the d-line, and Carrethers could make an immediate impact. Is he the best player the Chargers selected in the draft? Probably not, but he may be the biggest immediate upgrade.

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  • Bolty

    I call BS here. First of all, the Chargers seem to have no respect for the NT position. They want us to be happy with Lissemore starting there, burn a 4th round draft pick, and then pick Carrethers over the much higher graded Daniel McCullers who was the better pick at that time and has competed well against Alabama and has over 36″ arms and thus the reach and hand size to actually grab RBs. Why didn’t you list Carrethers’ weaknesses? All of which you can see on film against lesser competition. We have to now be Polliannic about this pick and hope he does well assuming he stays healthy. But, let’s not get all happy joy joy because the Chargers threw a dart and found someone with a pulse to fill the NT spot in the 5th round. I’ll be happy when I see him 1) tie up 2 blockers and keep Teo from getting blown up by a FB or another blocker that he cannot seem to shed and 2) see Carrethers plug the sieve that we call a “run defense” and actually help the team stop the 6-9 yards gained on every running play. Also, maybe Palepoi will make this team and fire up Geathers and others. No more excuses for that run defense mess!

  • Bill Giordano

    Well done Scott. I love this pick. If Carrethers becomes a force in the middle, it gives the Chargers the kind of monster nose tackle they’ve been missing since Jamal Williams retired. And, more pressure from the front 7 means more big play opportunities for the secondary.

    • ScottPeceny

      I completely agree Bill. Some of the reason the Chargers struggled against the pass last years was because of a poor pass rush. In the 3-4 system, a nose tackle that demands a double team is a must against the run, but also against the pass so Liuget and co can get 1-on-1 matchups

  • Thomas L. Webber

    Nice article Scott…time will prove if you were right in your assessment!! I do hope you are!!

    Go Charger’s!!

    The Long Distance Charger Fan reporting in from Damascus, Syria this week…