Daniel Jeremiah deserves a vacation.
The Chargers' radio analyst also serves as NFL Network's lead draft expert.
Following the Bolts' playoff run in January, he immediately delved into hundreds and hundreds of prospects eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. Jeremiah spent the past few months frenetically preparing for the draft, knowing the ins and outs of every single player.
So, now that the draft is in the books, it's time to take a break, right?
There's absolutely no one better suited to break down the Chargers' draftees than Jeremiah, which is why we called him up to get the low-down on this year's draft class as they get set to arrive for this weekend's rookie minicamp.
DT Jerry Tillery – First Round (28th Overall)
General Manager Tom Telesco explained how the team on average, has approximately 15-18 players with first round grades. Picking 28th overall, there was no guarantee they'd be able to land one of those coveted players. However, things played out perfectly for the Bolts as they landed the player Telesco said was the last one they had with a first round grade. Jeremiah is equally bullish on the Notre Dame product, explaining how Tillery popped out at him early in the draft process.
What Jeremiah Says: "One of the hardest things to find in college football right now is interior pass rush. When that kid is healthy, that's exactly what you get. The first game I watched was the Notre Dame game, and I went, 'Geez, this guy looks like a top 10 pick!' He didn't quite play at that standard the entire season, but you see that he can do it. Sometimes you search forever trying to find a comparison to a player that makes sense. Some don't exist. For some guys you don't have one. But for him, right away, he reminded me a lot of Trevor Pryce, who I was around at the Baltimore Ravens. That long, tall kind of swooping swim move that he has. It just reminded me a lot of Trevor, and Trevor obviously was a great player for a very long time."
S Nasir Adderley – Second Round (60th Overall)
A perfect fit. That's the general consensus around the league when the Bolts selected Adderley in the second round. The rangy Delaware ballhawk figures to be an ideal fit at free safety in Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley's system, and many pundits expected him to be a first round pick. In fact, Telesco acknowledged that if Adderley didn't tweak his hamstring at his pro day, he likely wouldn't have been around for the Bolts to nab him in the second round. Jeremiah agrees with that assessment while doubling down on previous comments that he's an ideal fit for the Chargers for various reasons.
What Jeremiah Says: "There are some guys who are just a perfect match. And he's someone I think is just a perfect match with the Chargers. I think they were a little bit fortunate that he wasn't totally healthy heading into the spring. He had that little hammy at his Pro Day where he didn't run as fast as he should have. He plays so fast, so I think if he was healthy in the spring, there's no chance that he makes it to them in the second round. But to get a player like that who so perfectly marries up to what Derwin James does, I tweeted it out at one point in time that I don't think you can go into a lab and create a better complementary player to Derwin James than (Adderley). So it's going to be fun to watch them. Really, a first-year player and a second-year player; these guys are going to get a chance to grow together."
T Trey Pipkins – Third Round (91st Overall)
The Sioux Falls product dominated the competition last fall, and he immediately caught Jeremiah's eye at the East-West Shrine Game. When breaking down Pipkins to the media, Telesco explained how, 'It's hard to find tackles that are tall, long and have really good feet that can work and are smart and have awareness. He has a lot of traits that we can develop.' Combine that with what Jeremiah has to say about Pipkins and it's hard not to get excited about the tackle.
What Jeremiah Says: "Pipkins went right around where I pegged him to go. The East-West Game is where he put himself on the map. He's very athletic. I didn't know much about him before we got down there, and then after the first practice I went back to the hotel and put my Sioux Falls tape in. He's just so athletic. When you go into an all-star setting, you're kind of looking for traits. You saw him with the size and overall athleticism, you saw right away that he was going to be the guy. Every year there's always a tackle at that game who (emerges in a big way) like Terron Armstead and Sebastian Volmer. So that East-West Shrine Game always seems to produce an offensive tackle, and to me, he was that guy who popped."
LB Drue Tranquill – Fourth Round (130th Overall)
The Bolts dipped back into the Notre Dame well in the fourth round when they selected linebacker Drue Tranquill. A former safety, he has the ideal athleticism needed for the linebacker position while also providing a boost on special teams. In fact, Assistant Head Coach – Special Teams Coordinator George Stewart named Tranquil as one rookie he can't wait to get a look at. Equally important is Tranquill's makeup as he's a two-time captain for the prestigious program. So, what does Jeremiah think the Bolts are getting in their new linebacker?
What Jeremiah Says: "You're getting a former safety who can run. In that defense, getting a chance to see Gus (Bradley's) defense each and every week, if you can't run at linebacker it's hard to play that defense because you're going to get isolated in coverage. So, to have somebody like that (not only helps at linebacker but) also on fourth down – on special teams; flying around and filling that role. And then it's, can he get his way into a subpackage because of his ability to run and cover? And then, where do you go from there? But there's a spot for someone to take on a key role on the special teams units, so I like the fact you get someone who has that type of versatility to do different things. And I think he can help on special teams immediately."
QB Easton Stick – Fifth Round (166th Overall)
When they selected Stick, Telesco told him they went into the draft targeting the North Dakota State passer. It's easy to see why when he boasts a 49-3 record with the ability to carve defenses up through the air and on the ground. Jeremiah is a former college quarterback himself, and he outlined what makes Stick a unique QB prospect.
What Jeremiah Says: "What really stood out to me is that he's just ultra-competitive. You'll see that with him when he's a ball carrier. When he tucks it, he fights for yards and he's tough. He'll hang in the pocket until the very last second and take big shots. So, the competitiveness is the first thing that jumps out. And another thing is he's a really good athlete. You see even with the way he tested (in the spring) that he can do a lot of different things. I learned that about him from Carson Wentz. The two remain very close. You talk about having a humble spirit, Stick, when Carson gets hurt, takes them all the way to the conference championship game that first year, and then Carson comes back and takes over in the championship moment. He gets to have the shining moment while (Stick) did the grunt work that year! But then he came back and won. It's such a winning culture there. He may not wow you with arm strength or size, but he's a great athlete and ultra-competitive who I think can be a valuable member of the team for a long time."
LB Emeke Egbule – Sixth Round (200th Overall)
The Bolts took Egbule after a dominant senior season at Houston. Praised for his athleticism, he started all 13 games a year ago while notching 69 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss loss, two sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and a pair of forced fumbles. Egbule's athleticism is his calling card, but Jeremiah believes it's his strength that'll be key to the linebacker's NFL success.
What Jeremiah Says: "Coming off the edge at Houston, I thought he had a lot of power. He really got after running backs as a pass rusher. He's somebody who is very physical and showed great awareness when they dropped him in coverage. Those are my notes and the traits that really flashed when you put on the tape."
DT Cortez Broughton - Seventh Round (242nd Overall)
The Chargers have hit on their last two seventh round picks, nabbing Isaac Rochell in 2017 and Justin Jackson in 2018. Both players play important roles for the Bolts, and they hope to get similar production in Broughton. Jeremiah thinks they may do just that as he thought the Cincinnati defensive tackle would have been drafted a few rounds earlier than he went.
What Jeremiah Says: "Broughton is another East-West guy who I really liked down there. He has a really, really quick first step. I actually spoke to (Cincinnati Head Coach) Luke Fickell, and he said this kid is the poster child for their program. He's everything you want in a kid. He's another one who flashes on tape, but really had a great week at the East-West Game. He's another one who can rush inside, and then I got such high feedback from him as a person, I had him going earlier than the seventh. I think he's going to be fun to watch."