- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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In a recent conference call, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay discussed two players who the San Diego Chargers could possibly look at with the No. 18 pick: Illinois pass-rusher Whitney Mercilus and Stanford guard David DeCastro.
I think Mercilus is a player who fills a greater immediate need than DeCastro. However, DeCastro is a special talent who may be difficult for San Diego to pass up under the right circumstances. However, the Chargers do appear to be comfortable with the idea of with moving forward in the post-Kris Dielman era with Tyronne Green.
Merculis, if taken by San Diego, would immediately be given a chance to help a pass-rush that needs to be spruced up.
Here are McShay’s thoughts on Merculis: “He was relentless as a pass rusher, all over the place, flying around the field.
I don't think he's an elite athlete, but he certainly has the combination of size at 6-foot-3 1/2, 261 pounds, and the burst you look for to get after the quarterback.
Then you talk about the 16 sacks he had this past year, and nine forced fumbles. To me, that is one of the underrated statistics. I'm not a big stat guy, but I always look to see with these defensive ends, arm length, obviously sacks, and force fumbles … I think Whitney Mercilus has a chance to become an impact player at the next level. “
McShay on DeCastro: “He has a chance to be one of the elite guards, and right away. He's as ready as I think I've ever evaluated a player in terms of being ready to come in and play at a high level.
I wrote ‘balance’ down about 90 times when I was watching his tape. Everything's in balance and under control. He’s instinctive. He’s absolutely just nasty. Tough, physical, just plays with the temperament you're looking for. Competes, highly respected by his teammates, and just everything.
Again, he's the elite of the elite when it comes to guard. But I don't think the athleticism is there, I don’t think the length is there, and the arm length you look for in a tackle is there. I think you're making a mistake if you try to make him something he's not, rather than let him do what he does best and become a Pro Bowl level offensive guard.”
I wouldn’t be shocked if one of these two players is available at No. 18, so the Chargers could be in good shape either way.
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