Chargers get their running back and invest in defense at NFL Draft

May 3, 2015

The San Diego Chargers concluded the 2015 NFL Draft selecting four defensive players out of their five total selections.

But on Thursday night the Chargers looked to make a splash on offense in Round 1 when they traded up from 17 to 15 to select former University of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon. The Chargers sent the 17th overall pick, along with their fourth-round pick in this year’s draft and their fifth-round pick in next year’s draft to San Francisco to move up.

Winner of the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back, as well as the runner up for the 2014 Heisman Trophy, the 6-1, 215 pound Gordon rushed for 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns in three-plus seasons in Madison. He averaged an FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision – Formerly Division I-A) record 7.8 yards per carry for his career. As a redshirt junior, in just three quarters of play, Gordon set the FBS single-game record with 408 yards along with four touchdowns in a 59-24 win over Nebraska.

“This is a player we had targeted really all the way through," admitted Chargers GM Tom Telesco. "He’s such an electric player. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He’s had a great career at Wisconsin. We think he fits our offense perfectly. We couldn't be happier to get him here.”

“We’re really excited to get him," said Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy. "He’s an impact player we had very high on our board; a guy that we really wanted to get and improve our football team. Explosive player … had a very productive college career. Being close with his head coach, Gary Andersen; having a good conversation with him about what type of player Melvin is, the fit he would be, not only as a player, but as a person in our locker room. Just a great fit for our team.”

In the second round on Friday, San Diego landed University of Miami inside linebacker Denzel Perryman with the 48th overall selection. An All-America and All-ACC pick for the Hurricanes, Perryman, 6-0, 242 pounds, played four seasons for the Hurricanes, leading the team in tackles in his junior and senior years.

“As far as inside linebackers go, he has the best instincts in the draft, the best tackling, and he is the most explosive." said Telesco. "When he hits people, they go backwards. He’s got some coverage skills too which is going to help him in this league. We’re really excited about getting him in here.”

In the third round, the Chargers selected Texas State cornerback Craig Mager with the 83rd overall pick. An All-Sun Belt and All-WAC performer for the Bobcats, Mager recorded eight career interceptions and the 5-11, 190-pound corner logged 211 tackles to go along with 47 passes defensed, 9.5 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

On the final day of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Chargers had two selections.

In the fifth round, the Chargers took 6-3, 246-pound outside linebacker Kyle Emanuel from North Dakota State, the winner of the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision – Formerly Division I-AA).

With their final pick in the sixth round of this year’s draft, the Chargers took University of Arkansas defensive lineman Darius Philon. A 6-2, 272-pound player, Philon played just two seasons for the Razorbacks, earning second-team All-SEC honors as a redshirt sophomore in 2014.

By Staff of

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