When Denzel Perryman was selected with the 16th pick in the 2nd round, most draft experts called it a home run selection.
Charger fans: When Ted Thompson/Highsmith in GB love a player, it's a good sign. And they loved Denzel Perryman, as many in league did.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 2, 2015
But did Charger fans feel the same way? And how do most in San Diego feel the hard hitting former 'Canes will be used in his rookie season?
For all that and more I enlisted the help of John Gennaro of Bolts from the Blue.
Full Q&A below:
SOTU: What is the general feeling from Chargers fans and pundits about the selection of Denzel Perryman?
Well, nobody feels like Perryman is a bad selection. His talent and his personality are obvious wins for this team, and they're happy to have him.
Some fans are a bit confused as to why a 2nd round pick was used on a position that seemed to not need any more depth, when there were positions that definitely needed it, but they're quelled a bit once they get a look at Perryman's game tape.
SOTU: In your opinion is he a day 1 starter? Who is Perryman's main competition at the LB spot, and how do you see his role in San Diego?
Probably not, but not for a lack of talent. Donald Butler has a big contract that he earned in 2013, and then quickly made everyone angry at him for in 2014. I imagine they will want to see if Butler can find a way to return to his 2013 form before casting him off.
Manti Te'o is the other Inside Linebacker, and he was somewhere around "solid" last year after playing through a foot injury his rookie season. Considering he's making progress, and he was the 2nd pick the current GM ever made (trading up to get him, no less), I can't see them casting him off either.
Finally, there's Kavell Conner. An ex-Colts LB who was snatched up by our ex-Colts Assistant GM as soon as he hit the market. He provided excellent depth last year and was even a solid starter when asked to do so.
If Perryman is to make it as a starter, he'll have to climb over at least two of those guys, and that won't be a quick process.
SOTU: Who are the greatest linebackers to ever lace them up in San Diego? What will it take for Perryman to make the list?
The list pretty much starts and ends with Junior Seau. There are other great LBs to have played with the Chargers, but none of them matter without Junior. He's the greatest Chargers player of all time, and the most beloved, and anyone else that ever plays LB for the team can only hope for 2nd best.
SOTU: How would you grade San Diego's selection of Perryman? What is the overall draft grade for the Chargers class as a whole?
Personally? I would grade the selection of Perryman a B and the overall draft a C. I like the player, but I don't love the pick, if that makes any sense.
SOTU: Last but not least, predictions for Perryman's rookie year. Defensive Rookie of the Year...lost rookie.... or somewhere in between?
Definitely not DROY because he's not going to get enough snaps to make 100 tackles, which is what it would take (at minimum) for him to win it. I don't think he'll be a lost rookie, but I'm curious to see if he can find a way to make an impact while splitting field-time with three other guys.
Thanks again to John for working with us.
Keep an eye out Perryman's progress this coming year, and check out Bolts from the Blue for all things Chargers.