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Chargers Draft Grades: What the Experts Had to Say

How a draft class shapes up isn't known until years down the road, yet everyone wants to know how their team did in the days following the NFL Draft.  According to many pundits, the Bolts came away with quality upside in their eight draft picks.  Here is a sampling of what notable experts had to say:

ESPN's Todd McShay:

My Favorite Picks: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (No. 3 pick)

I give the Chargers a lot of credit for forgetting about finding a perfect scheme fit and pulling the trigger on Bosa. He has the size, power and versatility to make an impact all over the place in the Chargers' 3-4 scheme. San Diego also found good value in the second round with the selection of TE Hunter Henry. Standing 6-foot-5 with 4.6 speed, the Arkansas product can stretch the seam for QB Philip Rivers and learn from one of the best ever in Antonio Gates. Another name that stood out for me: fifth-round OLB Jatavis Brown, who fits perfectly with the Chargers. They're looking for another pass-rusher, and he has an explosive burst off the edge. Brown could be one of the steals of the draft.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr:

Grade: B-

This is a tricky one, because I think they added some really good players, but there were a couple of need areas that largely weren't addressed.  Joey Bosa is a great player, and I'm not at all worried about fit -- their coaches told me they were in sub-packages roughly 70 percent of the time last season, and they just added a versatile player who can move all over and be effective. Hunter Henry is the top tight end on my board in an admittedly weak class, and a useful weapon for Philip Rivers, and Max Tuerk could end up starting at center. Joshua Perry is a reasonable value and a potential starter at linebacker -- the guy has great instincts. Jatavis Brown is a favorite of mine (and Todd's) and could develop into a pretty good player, and they got my top punter in Drew Kaser. So, the question: I'm surprised they didn't add an offensive tackle at any point (or two) after the problems of the last few seasons on the O-line. Is the protection going to be any better? They could also use a safety. Pretty good draft overall, with needs the one question.

Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo:

Grade: A-

Day 1: There was little discussion that Bosa would be the pick for the Chargers at No. 3, because of a perceived lack of ideal scheme fit, but they took the top player on our draft board and he will immediately upgrade their weak defensive front. Our top-graded edge defender each of the last two years, Bosa is strong against the run and he topped the nation with a +44.1 pass-rush grade. Whether he sees snaps on the outside at linebacker or he bulks back up to play 3-4 defensive end doesn't really matter — Bosa simply defeats blockers in both phases of the game, and San Diego will take a major step forward with his addition.

Day 2: Ladarius Green has moved on, and Henry will fill his role as a pass-catching tight end. The sure-handed Henry didn't drop a pass in 2015, and he has the speed to work the middle of the field for QB Philip Rivers. Tuerk moves better than any center in this draft, pulling and locking onto targets with great athleticism. Before going down to injury last year, he had posted a monster +9.4 overall grade on only 113 snaps.

Day 3: Perry is a solid all around linebacker and he's only missed nine tackles in over 200 attempts in the last two years. Brown is an athletic linebacker that can rush the passer (+23.9, first among LBs in class) and add value in coverage (+9.2, fourth in class). Watt posted the second-best grade among fullbacks in the draft class at +23.2.

CBS Sports' Rob Rang:

Grade: B+

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco fooled us all with pre-draft reports that the club was focusing on another player but instead taking the safer route with the pro-ready Joey Bosa at No. 3 overall. Bosa projected best as a traditional 4-3 defensive end but it was his versatility, power and instincts which will be put to great use by defensive coordinator John Pagano.

It is easy to be excited about San Diego's next three moves, as well, as the club found a true complement (and eventual replacement) for Antonio Gates with the sure-handed Hunter Henry in the second round, arguably the draft's most versatile offensive lineman in Southern Cal's Max Tuerk in the third and Do-Everything linebacker Joshua Perry, who was overshadowed a bit by all of the talent at Ohio State but could flourish in Pagano's scheme due to his length and power. Another versatile defender Jatavis Brown - a Combine snub - could surprise, as well.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco:

Grade: B

Best pick: It's their first one in defensive end Joey Bosa. Tom Telesco loved him from way back in the fall, so he took him. Bosa will be a really good player for a long time. He might not be J.J. Watt, but he could be Justin Smith.

Third-day gem: Jatavis Brown, their fifth-round pick out of Akron, is a fast, athletic linebacker who will bring a pop. I love this pick.

Analysis: I like the Bosa pick and I think Max Tuerk in the third round was a nice pick. Second-round pick Hunter Henry, a tight end out of Arkansas, was also solid. It was a decent draft.

NFL.com's Chad Reuter:

Day 1 grade: B

Day 2 grade: A-

Day 3 grade: A

Overall grade: B+

The skinny: No matter what anyone says, Bosa is an explosive pass rusher who deserved to be picked here. Should the team have invested this pick in an offensive tackle, though, to protect veteran quarterback Philip Rivers? Especially with Jeremiah Attaochu and Melvin Ingram already on the roster? San Diego met its important needs by picking the best tight end in the draft early in the second round in Henry, as well as an athletic center/guard prospect in Tuerk.

Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke:

Grade: B+

The Chargers kept the Bosa pick hush-hush right up until the moment they made it. There is no denying his talent, so this all comes down to whether or not he is as comfortable playing in a 3–4. Henry was a huge get: Ladarius Green left via free agency, Antonio Gates is on his last leg and Henry was this draft's top TE. Perry and fifth-rounder Jatavis Brown provide talent to an underperforming linebacking corps. The Ohio State product is a good bet to find his way into the starting lineup at some point. Philip Rivers did not get any tackle help during the draft, but Tuerk, if he's 100%, will stabilize the center spot. Interesting, though, that the Chargers took a lineman coming off injury despite being ravaged by their own health setbacks in recent years.

SB Nation's Dan Kadar:

Grade: A-

Best pick: Henry - With Ladarius Green off to Pittsburgh and Antonio Gates likely nearing the end of his career, grabbing Henry at the top of the second round was a nice play.

The Chargers surprised a lot of people in the first round by taking Joey Bosa, the best player in this year's draft. He's a really good all-around end who beats linemen with his size, power and effort. Henry is the draft's best tight end who will give Philip Rivers a nice target in the passing game. Tuerk, the team's third rounder, is the type of center the Chargers have needed. Perry was a great value pick in the fourth round. Brown, another linebacker, can make a lot of plays for the Chargers. He may start as a special teamer, but he can fly around the field. But where is the offensive tackle in this class?

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