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Saturday, April 25, 2009
San Diego pick is surprising but intriguing

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The San Diego Chargers continued the trend of surprise picks in the AFC West.

Followed by Kansas City's selection of Tyson Jackson at No. 3, Oakland's selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denver's selection of Knowshon Moreno, the Chargers took former Northern Illinois defensive end Larry English at No. 16.

It was no surprise San Diego added a defensive player. But the betting money was on USC linebacker Rey Maualuga and not English.

But English is an intriguing pick. He is an outstanding pass-rusher. He ran up the draft board after a strong offseason and a productive college career.

Expect him to be given the chance to make an immediate impact.

With Shawne Merriman coming back from a knee injury, the Chargers should have a great pass rush this season. Speaking of Merriman, this choice could have been made for the long-term as well.

Merriman could be gone as a free agent in the next two years. English could be groomed to replace him if Merriman bolts. If Merriman stays and English develops, the Chargers could have a nasty defense.

This was a fine pick although it was a bit unexpected.