San Diego Chargers 2012 Draft: Pick Analysis and Predictions

Padraig O' Halloran @@PodgeOHCorrespondent IApril 28, 2012

San Diego Chargers 2012 Draft: Pick Analysis and Predictions

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    After three days and 253 picks, the 2012 NFL Draft is finally complete.

    As expected, Andrew Luck was the first overall pick and will be leading the Indianapolis Colts in their post-Peyton era.

    This year's Mr. Irrelevant was quarterback Chandler Harnish, who was selected by the Colts with the 253rd pick.

    The Chargers struck gold in the Round 1. When South Carolina's Melvin Ingram surprisingly fell all the way to No. 18, the team didn't waste much time in selecting the former Gamecock.

    But how did the rest of the Chargers' draft turn out? Here's a quick recap.

Round 1: Pick No. 18

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    Melvin Ingram, Outside Linebacker, South Carolina

    Pick Analysis: The Chargers couldn't be happier with this pick as they landed the best pass-rusher in the draft without having to trade up to do so.

    What will he bring to the team? He brings speed and toughness coming off the edge and should help improve the team's sack totals for 2012.

    Verdict: Ingram was a fantastic pick. I'm expecting big things from him in his rookie season. 

    Grade: A

Round 2: Pick No. 49

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    Kendall Reyes, Defensive Tackle-Defensive End, UConn

    Pick analysis: The defensive line now appears set with the addition of Reyes, who will become a solid contributor to the Chargers' run defense.

    What will he bring to the team? He brings a mean streak and adds plenty of power to the defensive line.

    Verdict: Reyes will likely play as a defensive end in the Chargers 3-4 front and play alongside Corey Liuget, last year's first-round pick.

    Grade: B

Round 3: Pick No. 78

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    Brandon Taylor, Safety, LSU

    Pick Analysis: Safety was a need, so the Chargers decided to reach a little for Taylor in Round 3.

    What will he bring to the team? He brings a physical presence to the secondary and will be asked to help out in run support.

    Verdict: Taylor will likely challenge Atari Bigby for a starting spot at strong safety alongside Eric Weddle.

    Grade: C

Round 4: Pick No. 110

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    Ladarius Green, Tight End, Louisiana-Lafayette 

    Pick Analysis: It was a surprising move to add another tight end, but Green could become the eventual successor to Antonio Gates.

    What will he bring to the team? He brings much-needed speed to the tight end position. At 6' 6" and 238 pounds, he could be a valuable red-zone target for Philip Rivers.

    Verdict: Green is still a work in progress, but if he can get the right coaching and learns from a future Hall of Famer in Antonio Gates, he could turn out to be a Round 4 steal.

    Grade: B

Round 5: Pick No. 149

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    Johnnie Troutman, Guard, Penn State

    Pick Analysis: After going defense for the first three picks, the team went for offense with this pick, adding another body to block for quarterback Philip Rivers.

    What will he bring to the team? He brings needed toughness and strength to the interior line and will add depth at guard.

    Verdict: Troutman faces a battle to make the team at training camp, but he should earn a spot as a backup for starting guards Tyronne Green and Louis Vasquez.

    Grade: C

Round 7: Pick No. 226

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    David Molk, Center, Michigan

    Pick Analysis: The offensive line is improved again with this pick, as the Chargers draft a Michigan offensive lineman for the second straight year.

    What will he bring to the team? He brings experience and strength. He had an impressive career at Michigan and had 41 bench-press repetitions at the combine.

    Verdict: Molk could turn out to be a steal in Round 7. He's a former winner of the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation's top college center, and will challenge Colin Baxter to serve as Nick Hardwick's backup.

    Grade: B

Round 7: Pick No. 250

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    Edwin Baker, Running Back, Michigan State

    Pick Analysis: With their final pick, the Chargers decided to take a running back to provide a backup for starter Ryan Mathews.

    What will he bring to the team? He brings a nice combination of speed and strength and will challenge Curtis Brinkley for carries.

    Verdict: Baker will have to have a solid training camp/preseason if he is going to make the final roster. He faces an uphill battle.

    Grade: C

Overall Verdict

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    If first impressions mean anything, the Chargers appear to have a solid rookie class for the upcoming season.

    Melvin Ingram and Kendall Reyes should see plenty of playing time early on, and other players like Ladarius Green and David Molk look to have plenty of promise for the future.

    I have to give credit to A.J. Smith, Norv Turner and company for a job well done. (I think that's the first time I ever congratulated A.J. Smith or Norv Turner on anything).

    Overall Grade: B+

    That's my recap of the Chargers draft. Let's hope these rookies can help the team return to the playoffs this season.

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