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Chargers pick strongest OL

Posted Apr 28, 2012

SAN DIEGO – The Chargers secured the strongest offensive lineman in the draft Saturday, drafting Michigan center David Molk in the seventh round.

Molk, the Rimington Award winner as college football’s best center in 2011, also was a consensus first-team All-American.

He also bench pressed 225 pounds 41 times at the NFL Scouting Combine, the most among offensive linemen and second among all participants.

"As far as how I think the weight room applies to football, I think there's a pretty strong connection, especially at offensive line and especially in the middle," Molk said. "It's kind of a strength battle. It's in your face. You have a guy an inch away from you every single snap, so the strongest man usually has the advantage."

Molk started 41 games at center for Michigan, where he played with tackle Stephen Schilling, a sixth-round pick by the Chargers last season.

“I don’t know, frankly, from how this whole process went, if it matters at all,” Molk said when asked about his college accolades.

The 6-foot-1, 298-pound center couldn’t conceal his competitive nature after being taken in the last round and feels intent on proving his worth at the NFL level.

He twice was named first-team All-Big Ten, a conference known for producing NFL offensive linemen.

A foot injury limited Molk in drills at the Combine, but he’s 100 percent and has been doing every drill for more than four weeks.

“There are always obstacles that I’ve had to face. There’s always limitations that people put on me and there’s always something that people can say that I don’t do well enough and something that I don’t have that sets me back, and it’s just proving them wrong over and over and over again until finally there’s nowhere else to go,” Molk said.

Long-time starting center Nick Hardwick will remain in San Diego for at least two more seasons, and second-year player Colin Baxter also remains on the roster at center. Molk said Saturday he’s excited to learn from Hardwick’s experience.

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