With the 18th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. Sgdbw90 is serving as the Chargers' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
The Chargers are in a very strange spot. Owners of the top team offense and team defense (based on yards allowed) in 2010, the Chargers missed out on the playoffs and are now forced to basically fix something that isn't broken. This is an enviable position, though, since the middle of the first round is an excellent position to grab depth. When you're looking to add young healthy bodies to a championship caliber team, especially a team that already has big-name pieces in place at the most important positions (QB, RB, WR, OT, DE), your first instinct is to add size to the OL and DL, and the Chargers are lucky enough have a few tempting options still available.
I was really tempted to pick a top tackle to plug in at RT (it'd be a great value), a playmaking LB like POD argument-starter Akeem Ayers, or to pluck one of the DBs like Smith or Williams (the Chargers can afford a slight reach). But all Lions fans now know the crucial importance of talent on the DL, and the impact that can have on the entire team. The Chargers have a few internal DL free agents that they can't count on returning, so taking a 6'4", 315 pound DT who is agile enough to play DE in the 3-4 provides San Diego with depth AND positional flexibility (not to mention useful leverage when it comes time to negotiate with Cesaire). It's not a sexy pick, but it's the right one.
(And yes, I know I'm basically agreeing with Todd McShay and Don Banks. For the record, I made my decision before I even looked at their mocks, which is my way of saying I could have saved a lot of time if I had just looked those up first.)
Check out the 2011 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.
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