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DT Khalen Saunders could be solid option for Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers will be seeking defensive tackles to shore up the position this offseason. Whether it’s in free agency or the 2019 NFL draft, it’s clearly evident that it needs to be done.

After spending the week in Mobile, AL for the 2019 Senior Bowl, one player that caught my attention as a potential suitor was Western Illinois DT Khalen Saunders. Some of you may know him as the big guy that can do backflips after a video was released last week.

Saunders opted to stay at the Senior Bowl after finding out the day of weigh-ins that his fiancee was in labor. Despite the fact that he missed out on witnessing his newborn child after she was delivered, the decision to stay might’ve boosted his draft stock.

Standing under 6-foot-1 and 320 pounds, The former Western Illinois product showcased the ability to line up all over the defensive line in college. Even though, he was used primarily as a 1 and 3-technique in Mobile, Saunders showed out in practices and the game earlier today.

Right off the bat, you notice that Saunders has an impressive blend of strength, flexibility and athleticism for his size. Constantly in the backfield, he displayed twitchy muscles to slither through gaps. Saunders was stout against the pass and run, showing great and natural pad level and a variety of pass rush moves, including a club-swim that he used to get sack in the game.

An FCS All-American in 2018, Saunders was a force, where he had 72 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks his senior year. The small-school DT would play primarily as a 3-technique, but he fits the mold of wanting to get physical, athletic and fast on the defensive line for the Bolts.

He projected as mid-round option coming into the Senior Bowl, but he could have a similar rise to the Raiders’ PJ Hall by creeping up as a top-75 selection. Saunders is a prospect that I’d feel comfortable selecting in the second round after seeing him on display against the top talent in the nation.

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