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Los Angeles Chargers select LB Leighton Vander Esch in NFL re-draft

It’s safe to say that the Chargers landed the best player in the first-round of the 2019 NFL draft with safety Derwin James. It was an absolute steal, as the former Florida State product easily graded out as a top-10 player coming into it.

But to the 16 teams picking prior to Los Angeles, they didn’t think so. What if those teams valued James as much as the Bolts did and snagged him prior to them at No. 17? What would they have done with that selection?

In ESPN’s latest re-draft, the Buccaneers stood pat and drafted the dynamic safety with the No. 7 pick. Meanwhile, the Chargers waited 10 picks later to take linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the middle of the draft.

Vander Esch was a prospect that I was hoping would be in consideration for the pick, as he was one of the more dominant linebackers in the 2018 class and I knew that Los Angeles was likely going to bolster their linebacker corps.

I actually wrote about the idea of having the former Boise State product on the Bolts prior to the draft. If James would’ve been unavailable, Vander Esch would have served as a great option, considering the fact that three of their linebackers struggled to see the field, too.

Here is what ESPN’s Eric D. Williams said about mocking Vander Esch to the Chargers.

With James off the board in the top 10, the Chargers fill another need at linebacker. They struggled to stop the run in a humbling loss to the Patriots in the divisional round with linebackers Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown and Kyzir White all on injured reserve. Vander Esch adds athleticism and playmaking ability.

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