Matt "Money" Smith and Chris Hayre were joined by draft analyst for The Athletic, Dane Brugler, on the latest episode of Chargers Weekly to analyze the Chargers' draft selections.
Download and subscribe to the Chargers Podcast Network wherever you listen to podcasts. Some of the highlights from the conversation with Brugler are below.
Overall thoughts on Zion Johnson being the Chargers' first-round pick?
"I was asked two weeks ago before the draft who was my favorite player in the draft and that kind of caught me off guard. You know favorite player, I can't just go with chalk and say Aidan Hutchinson and so I thought about it and you know what? Zion Johnson. He's my favorite player in the draft. It's so easy to appreciate the way he plays the game, I mean six-foot-three, 315 pounds, you see the play-strength you see the movement skills and then he's so smart with the way he plays.
The way he processes the action and puts himself in a position to execute is just so, so impressive. The position flex is great, he started double digit games at three different positions in college…I think as a plug-and-play guard, Zion Johnson checks a lot of boxes for what you're looking for…"
On getting OL Jamaree Salyer on day three of the draft:
"This is a player I thought was worthy of day two pick based off of just his ability, based off of what he did in college, but again, you're trusting the tape with a player like this. To get him later on in day three I thought was a huge steal with Salyer. Character-wise, I think the Chargers are really going to like what he brings to the locker room. Versatility, he played mostly tackle but I think his body type and the way he plays, you're going to kick him inside to guard…I think he makes that transition to guard and be a really quality player. I think he adds immediate depth to this team ... When you watch the tape, that Georgia National Championship, the defense gets a lot of that attention, but without Salyer on that offensive line, who knows if they win a national title or who knows if they make that type of run? He was that important to that team."
On what JT Woods brings to the Chargers defense:
"I mean maybe the best nickname in the draft, they call him the heartbreak kid, that's awesome, how cool is that and that's something that was given to him by his teammates and coaches at Baylor. A guy that finds ways to get his hands on the football and that's what you want in your DBs, guys that are just in the right place at the right time and that's usually not a coincidence. Guys that can find the football and then make something happen. The last two years [he had] nine interceptions, he also had that 97-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown this past year. You know he can do something when he gets his hands on the ball … A guy that is six-foot-two, 195 [pounds] and then can run a 4.3 [40-yard dash] jumps out of the gym with his leaping skills."
Where was Isaiah Spiller in your evaluation process?
"This is an instinctive runner and I think what makes Spiller so intriguing is what he does in the passing game. How good he is as a receiver, catching the ball out of the backfield that's really where I think he's going to make his money and be the best version of himself. Because he can run routes; you throw on the A&M tape and you see these wheel routes, these angle routes where he's a catch and run threat. From the backfield he can work as well, I really like his vision, his decision making, his timing is on point. Even though the testing wasn't necessarily there, you watch the tape and he's making guys miss. I mean he's got really quick feet so there's a lot to like about Isaiah Spiller and just the different ways he can help the offense."
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