A versatile performer, Kyle Emanuel, has been a key cog in the Chargers’ linebacking corps.
A fifth-round draft pick out of North Dakota State, Emanuel played in 31 of 32 games during his first two seasons and tallied 79 stops.
At NDSU, Emanuel won the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award as the Football Championship Subdivision’s top defensive player. He led the FCS with 19.5 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss. The Schuyler, Neb., native enrolled at NDSU after being overlooked by his home state’s schools despite an all-state prep career. It was a fortuitous move as the Bison went 58-3 during his career in the process of capturing four conference titles and four NCAA championships.
It didn’t take long for Emanuel to prove that he belonged in the NFL. In his very first regular-season game in the Bolts’ 2015 opener versus Detroit, Emanuel recorded an interception, a pressure that led to another, a 13-yard sack and two tackles for loss.
This year, Emanuel will have some familiarity as new Chargers Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley both played and coached at North Dakota State.
Shortly after being drafted by the Chargers last May, Emanuel gained notoriety when he sent a tweet seeking congratulations from Hollywood starlet Julianne Hough, who wasted little time in obliging the request from the Chargers’ newest linebacker
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Fifth-round pick (153) by Chargers, May 2, 2015.
2017: Started 11 of 16 games played…Totaled 37 tackles (15 solo), 1.5 sacks, an INT and three passes defensed...Part of a defensive unit that ranked tied for fifth in the NFL with 43 sacks…Contributed on 153 special teams plays, registering three special teams tackles on punt coverage...at Denver (Sept. 11): Started at OLB, playing 30 snaps on defense…Made five tackles (three solo)...vs. Miami (Sept. 17): Appeared on 12 defensive snaps...Registered three tackles (one solo) and a pass defensed...Broke up a pass early in the third quarter from QB Jay Cutler intended for WR DeVante Parker...vs. Kansas City (Sept. 24): Played 20 defensive snaps, posting a solo tackle...Added a special teams tackle on punt coverage that pinned the Chiefs inside their own 20...vs. Philadelphia (Oct. 1): Started the 16th game of his career at OLB, his second of the season...Posted three assisted tackles on 17 defensive snaps…at New York Giants (Oct. 8): Started at OLB, registering three tackles (one solo)…Saw action on 21 defensive snaps…at Oakland (Oct. 15): Appeared on 17 plays on defense and 12 on special teams, posting three assisted tackles…vs. Denver (Oct. 22): Started at OLB, appearing on 17 defensive snaps…Totaled four tackles (three solo), including the 100th of his career, and a pass defensed…Added a special teams tackle on punt coverage…Late in the third quarter, broke up a pass from QB Trevor Siemian intended for TE Virgil Green deep along the right sideline…at New England (Oct. 29): Posted two tackles (one solo) on defense, seeing action on 28 defensive snaps and 16 on special teams…at Jacksonville (Nov. 12): Saw action on 40 defensive snaps in the 40th game of his career, starting at OLB…Registered a sack, bringing his career total to 2.5…On the play, put a swim-move on FB Tommy Bohanon to reach QB Blake Bortles for a four-yard sack…vs. Buffalo (Nov. 19): Assisted on a tackle and posted a special teams tackle after opening the game at OLB…Provided a block for ILB Korey Toomer on his 59-yard pick-six in the first quarter…Appeared on 20 plays on defense…at Dallas (Nov. 23): Started at OLB and played 14 defensive snaps, finishing with two assisted tackles…vs. Cleveland (Dec. 3): Posted two tackles (one solo) on 11 defensive snaps after opening the game at OLB…vs. Washington (Dec. 10): Registered the second INT of his career, corralling a pass tipped by CB Trevor Williams and returning it 23 yards…Played seven snaps on defense and eight on special teams, finishing with two tackles (one solo), the INT and a pass defensed…at Kansas City (Dec. 16): Appeared in the 45th game of his career and started at OLB, seeing action on five defensive snaps and 13 on special teams…Assisted on two tackles…at New York Jets (Dec. 24): Registered a half-sack of QB Bryce Petty with S Jahleel Addae for a four-yard loss…Powered through blocks by T Brent Qvale and RB Matt Forté to bring down QB Bryce Betty with Addae…Played 26 snaps on defense and 11 on special teams after starting at OLB…vs. Oakland (Dec. 31): Saw action on 18 defensive plays and four on special teams after opening the game at OLB…Finished with three tackles (two solo).
2016: Second-quarter forced fumble Sept. 25 at Indianapolis after big hit on Frank Gore...Team Captain Oct. 23 at Atlanta...first start at inside linebacker Nov. 6 vs. Tennessee when injuries left team shorthanded...mid-fourth quarter Dec. 18 vs. Oakland, two big plays down near goal line with Chargers leading 16-13...recorded tackle for no gain vs. Latavius Murray on first down at one and after incompletion on second down, recorded one-yard tackle for loss on Murray on 3rd-and-goal from one to force field goal try...earlier in game, recovered forced fumble by Melvin Ingram vs. Murray at Chargers’ nine...shared four-yard, third-down sack with Jatavis Brown to force long field goal try Dec. 24 at Cleveland...season-high seven stops Jan. 1 vs. Kansas City.
2015: NFL debut Sept. 9 vs. Detroit and racked up interception, 13-yard sack, pressure that led to interception by Patrick Robinson and two tackles for loss...on play just prior to Robinson interception, had three-yard tackle for loss to set up 3rd-and-14...touchdown on ensuing possession brought Chargers to within 21-20...sack came on third-down play early in second quarter to cap three-and-out...two early special teams tackles Dec. 20 vs. Miami before leaving game late in first quarter with concussion.
COLLEGE: 2014 Defensive Player of Year by FCS Athletic Directors Association, College Football Performance.com and Missouri Valley Conference...first-team All-America by Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Football Foundation and Sports Network...three-time All-Missouri Valley Conference, first-team in 2014, second-team in ‘13 and honorable mention in ‘12...three-time College Football Performance.com National Defensive Lineman of Week...three-time MVC Defensive Player of Week, two-time Sports Network FCS Defensive Player of Week and two-time College Sporting News FCS National All-Star...finished career with 234 tackles, 35.5 sacks, 58.5 tackles for loss and two blocked field goals...National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society in 2015...Capital One Academic All-America in 2014 and All-District in 2013 and ‘14...FCS Athletic Director’s Association Academic All-Star in 2014...two-time MVC All-Academic (2012-13), four-time MVC Honor Roll (2010-13) and three-time recipient of MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award (2011-13)...member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Blue Key Honor Society and St. Paul’s Newman Center...redshirted in 2010...played at North Dakota State from 2011-14...construction management degree.
PERSONAL: Born in Schuyler, Nebraska...two-time all-state and three-time all-district at Schuyler Central High School...two-time all-state and all-conference in basketball...competed in soccer and track and field...three-time academic all-state.