2023 NFL draft: 10 potential Chargers targets to watch at East-West Shrine Bowl
The annual East-West Shrine practices begin on Saturday ahead of the all-star game on Thursday, February 2nd, at 5:30 PM PT on NFL Network.
This showcase will feature several prospects the Chargers should have on their radar in the 2023 NFL draft.
In 2022, Tom Telesco selected two players that played in the game – Ja’Sir Taylor and Zander Horvath. Additional alumni include Trey Pipkins, Easton Stick, Cortez Broughton, and Justin Jackson.
With that, here are ten players the Bolts could be targeting:
EDGE Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan
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The Chargers should be in the market for more pass rushers, as evident from the positional group struggling to get after the quarterback while Joey Bosa missed most of the season with a groin injury. What better way to improve in that department than by targeting the FBS leader in sacks? An Arizona transfer, Ramirez amassed 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2021. In 2022, he put together a monstrous campaign, recording 12 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. At 6-foot-2 and 253 pounds, Ramirez has the quickness, lateral agility, pass-rush repertoire and motor to get home.
EDGE Caleb Murphy, Ferris State
Murphy set an NCAA all-divisions record for sacks in a season (25.5). He also accounted for 39 tackles for loss which tied the all-time NCAA record. Murphy’s efforts won him the Ted Hendricks Award, the first time this award has gone to a non-FBS player. An athletic specimen, Murphy is a natural pass rusher with the speed, bend, and ability to finish through blocks.
WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
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There won’t be another player who will have as many eyes on them as Flowers will. One of the more accomplished wide receivers in this year’s class, Flowers hauled in 78 passes for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns, setting a new single-season record. He was a semifinalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award (nation’s top wide receiver) and a First-Team All-ACC selection. Flowers is a dynamic wideout who can go over the top with great speed and agility and reel in the deep ball with his ability to make clean catches using his hands while being a threat underneath, thanks to his run-after-catch ability. His speed would be inviting to a Chargers offense that really needs it.
WR Antoine Green, North Carolina
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At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Green has a great combination of size and speed. He is a refined route runner with silky smooth separation skills on vertical routes, great hands to make exceptional catches and yards-after-catch ability. Green caught 90 passes for 1,710 yards and 15 touchdowns in his college career.
TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan
The Chargers could be looking to add the tight end position, with Donald Parham’s durability concerns looming and Tre’ McKitty’s underwhelming play this season. Schoonmaker, the 6-foot-6 tight end, emerged as one of Michigan’s top pass-catchers this season, hauling 34 catches for 386 yards and three scores, despite missing two games. A complete player at the position, Schoonmaker can play in line, he can play the slot, run past linebackers, and block edge defenders at a high level.
CB Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
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With Bryce Callahan set to be a free agent in March, the Chargers will look for depth alongside Ja’Sir Taylor if Callahan isn’t re-signed. While undersized at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, Hodges-Tomlinson, makes up for it with speed, a scrappy temperament, explosiveness, ball skills and blitz ability. He has all the makings to be a good slot corner at the next level. Hodges-Tomlinson was this year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner, and earned First-Team All-Big 12 and First-Team AP All-Big 12 in 2020 and 2021. Through 36 games, he racked up 116 tackles, four tackles for loss, five interceptions, 32 passes defended, and three forced fumbles.
DT Moro Ojomo, Texas
The Chargers overhauled the defensive tackle room last offseason. But they need to find more interior defenders who can rush the passer, especially with Morgan Fox set to be a free agent. According to Pro Football Focus, Ojomo was one of only four Power Five interior defensive linemen with top-15 grades as both a pass rusher and a run defender. At 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, Ojomo has the pass-rush ability, impressive first-step quickness, body control and hand use to make plays all over the defensive line, drawing parallels to former Texans and current Falcons defensive lineman Ta’Quon Graham.
LB Isaiah Moore, North Carolina State
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While it’s not a premium position in Brandon Staley’s defense, the Chargers need more depth at the linebacker position, with Drue Tranquill and Troy Reeder free agents and Kenneth Murray still not playing to his first-round billing. Moore established himself as one of the best run defenders in the country this season, earning a 94.4 run-defense grade, the highest among all Power Five defenders. Additionally, his 21 tackles for loss or no gain were tied for the most in the country, regardless of position, according to PFF. The 6-foot-2 and 234-pounder is a downhill hitter and isn’t afraid to put a hat in and fill the hole. He reads and reacts, has the instincts and awareness, and does well understanding leverage.
OT John Ojukwu, Boise State
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The Chargers need more depth along the offensive line, including finding a reliable swing tackle. Ojukwu has plenty of experience as he finished his collegiate career with 51 career starts (over 3,400 snaps), 18 coming at right tackle and 33 starts at left tackle. Ojukwu is a solid run blocker and in pass protection, he plays with good patience and is technically sound with his feet. According to PFF, he gave up zero sacks this past season.
S Trey Dean, Florida
With Nasir Adderley slated to be a free agent and 2022 third-round pick JT Woods not having the start to his pro career the Chargers were anticipating, a safety could be brought in. Dean finished his career with 259 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, four interceptions, and 24 passes defended. Dean is a long defender whose game is predicated on size, physicality and quickness. He covers a lot of ground in coverage and flies downhill against the run. Dean is a versatile defensive back with a lot of experience across the secondary.