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Team drafts guard to strengthen line
SAN DIEGO – The Chargers added needed depth and another option at guard, taking Penn State’s Johnnie Troutman in the fifth round.
Troutman, 6-foot-3 7/8 and 325 pounds, did not allow a full sack in 32 starts at left guard for Penn State and is known as a powerful run-blocker.
He’ll join a unit led by starting guards Tyronne Green and Louis Vasquez along with Brandyn Dombrowski in competition for a starting position. The team likes Green, who started eight games there in 2011, to replace the retired Kris Dielman.
Troutman talked with the Chargers’ scouts about Dielman, once undrafted, and can relate to his story as a fifth-round pick and former defensive lineman.
A two-way player in high school and recruited as a defensive tackle, Troutman put on 40 pounds prior to the 2008 season, prompting a move to guard.
“(Dielman) just proves through hard work and dedication that you can become one of the better players in the league,” Troutman said.
“I’m a very humble person. I come from kind of a rough background. Nothing was given to me as a kid. I know what hard work gets you.”
Troutman pumped out 35 bench press repetitions of 225 pounds back in ’09 and always has been a stout blocker. He believes his strength is at left guard, but feels he can play on either side.
“I would say my strength is my size, strength and power at the point of attack. I do well in the run game,” Troutman said. “I’m a taller guy, so sometimes I have to remind myself to stay low and keep my knee bend.”
Troutman played through a humbling season at Penn State in 2011 in the midst of an ugly scandal involving the university’s administrators and coaches, Joe Paterno’s abrupt firing and Paterno’s death.
“Through all the adversity that went on the past season, I know that when times get hard you’ve still got to go out, perform and do your job well, and I can do that,” Troutman said.