San Diego Chargers Go Value Over Need, Pick Denzel Perryman


The Chargers entered the second round of the draft with glaring needs at outside linebacker, defensive tackle, offensive guard and safety. So call it a head-scratcher that GM Tom Telesco ignored each of those positions and instead opted for ILB Denzel Perryman, a tackling machine who will have to battle for playing time in San Diego.

San Diego has two plus starting inside linebackers in Manti Te’o and Donald Butler. Te’o came on strong over the second half of last season and is on the road to stardom. Butler had a slow start to the 2014 season, but he played better as the year wore on. He is also in the second year of a seven-year extension he signed last offseason (although it is really a three-year extension for all practical purposes).

There is no doubt Perryman is an outstanding player who presented great value with the No. 48 overall pick. He posted over 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons and showed a knack for blowing up running backs before they could gain any steam. Additionally, he projects as a demon on special teams, which is an area where the Chargers were lacking last season.

The player is great … the value is great … but with so many more pressing needs, it will be tough for Chargers fans not to look back at this pick and wonder, “what if?”

About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has spent more than 10 years as a team expert at, primarily covering the Chargers, Cardinals and Panthers. He has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and other venues.