ln the second installment of "Crossfire" hosted by Chargers team reporter Chris Hayre, The Athletic's Dane Brugler and The Film Room's Brett Kollmann debate which prospects on the defensive side of the ball best fit the Chargers scheme.
With just nine days left until the 2022 NFL Draft, take a look below to see what the two draft experts had to say in episode two of Crossfire:
Best Corner that could be there at 17?
Dane Brugler: Trent McDuffie, Washington
"I think Trent McDuffie is the answer here and let's get the bad out of the way first. He's not the biggest player, he's 5'11'' under 30-inch arms, not ideal. If you can be ok with the size, you are going to love everything else. Outstanding athlete in coverage, really physical in run support. This is going to sound hyperbolic, but Trent McDuffie might be the smartest cornerback prospect I've ever talked to prior to the draft, and I think coach Staley is really going to like that about him. It doesn't matter whatever scenario you throw at him, what the audible is on offense he's got an answer for everything. He's able to communicate the switch from a Cover 4 to a Cover 2, or if his side is man and the other side needs to move to a quarters look or Cover 2. Whatever the offense throws at him, he can digest it and communicate that. Every coach I've talked to has been blown away with McDuffie during interviews, I think coach Staley would be the same. As long as you can get past the lack of length I think he's going to be someone who could be on the shortlist at No. 17."
Brett Kollmann: Andrew Booth, Clemson
"When I think about how this defense is supposed to function, at least how Brandon Staley wants it to function, nothing is going to run inside the tackles. That's what they want, they want everything inside those tackles to be completely gummed up, which means if you want to move the ball on the ground at all, you're going to have to run outside, you're going to have to use the screen game as kind of like a quasi-run game. So, I want corners that can tackle above all else, so I went with Andrew Booth from Clemson; explosive athlete, really triggers downhill quickly. Obviously brings a lot of range in the coverage game, but it's the fact that he can get downhill and tackle that I think Brandon Staley's going to love a lot about him."
Take your Pick: Devonte Wyatt or Jordan Davis?
Dane Brugler: Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
"So, I feel like I'm a little bit in the minority here with my pick, but I do lean Devonte Wyatt. For me it's simple, he just gives you more pass rush. He also ran in the 4.7s at the combine, I mean Jordan Davis what he did was just other worldly moving at that size. But I mean Devonte Wyatt is a 305 pounder, it's not like he's a 250 pounder. So, for Devonte Wyatt, they didn't really let him let loose in that Georgia scheme, but when he did get a chance to rush the passer, you see a variety of swim moves, you see the bend. The motor's always running high and he looks like a locomotive ready to run off the tracks. The thing with Jordan Davis, and I'll be interested to hear what Brett has to say, but it concerns me a little bit with snap count. He averaged 25 snaps per game last year for Georgia so he was always at peak performance, but if you're drafting him top 20 you're going to ask him to play 40, close to 50 snaps per game and if that happens is he still going to be able to play at that peak performance in terms of sustaining energy and that athleticism? I'm going to lean Devonte Wyatt here, I do think Jordan Davis is going to be a dominant run defender but I'm going to go with the guy that I think is the better pass rusher."
Brett Kollmann: Jordan Davis, Georgia
"My number one goal here is to make life as easy as possible for [Joey] Bosa and Khalil Mack which means giving them 3rd-and-7, not 3rd-and-4. So, for me when I look at Jordan Davis, who did play a lot of three-technique at Georgia, because what they like to do is they would use Jalen Carter as a 2 [technique] on the backside and put Jordan Davis as a 3 technique on the frontside, so you literally could not run the ball to the strong side of the formation…couldn't run the ball because of how they were using Jordan Davis as a 3 technique, which means you're setting up a lot of third-and-long opportunities for Carter and Wyatt and all of them. So, when I look at how the Chargers would use Jordan Davis, I kind of want him in that same role where we put him on the field for maybe not the most snaps, but if he's giving Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa more opportunities on third-and-long rather than third-and-medium I think we are in business there, I still think the pass rush can be very successful."
Which Day 2 pick would fit Staley's defense best?
Dane Brugler: Josh Paschal, Kentucky
"It's no secret that coach Staley wants to get better in terms of stopping the run with that front and I think adding Kentucky's Josh Paschal to the mix would be a great step to doing that. A versatile defensive lineman, 6'4'', 270, he can play the edge, he can be in a rotation with Bosa and Mack, he can kick inside and rush from the B-gap, line up over the tackle. He was one of the best run defenders in the country this past year; 15 and a half tackles for loss, that was second in the SEC. Coaches are going to love the point of attack instincts, the football character as well. He overcame cancer earlier in his college career, he's a great story and a great team leader. Worked his way back, three time captain. If Paschal is still on the board there in the mid-third round where the Chargers are slated to pick, I think he'd just be a perfect fit in Staley's crew."
Brett Kollmann: Drake Jackson, USC
"Again, my number one goal here if I'm building a team is make life easy for Bosa and Mack and part of that is making sure they don't have to play every single snap. I want a really solid edge rotation, so when we get into January and we are staring down the barrel of 3rd-and-6 against Joe Burrow and we gotta make a play, I want my guys to be fresh. So, I'm going to go with Drake Jackson from USC, I think he's really solid day two edge. Better bend than I think people give him credit for and I think if you're doing a rotation between these three guys you know where Jackson is coming in for like 30 percent of the snaps, just give Bosa and Mack a breather so that in the fourth quarter they are completely fresh and they are ready to go. They got that 15-point lead hopefully from Herbert and they can go hunt. That is my goal, make their life easy."
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