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.