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Defensive standouts for Chargers from Senior Bowl: Day 3

The Reese’s Senior Bowl concluded practices on Thursday, with at least two high-ranking members of the Chargers scouting team in Mobile, AL to watch some of this year’s top draft prospects.

Here’s who stood out on the defensive side of the ball.

CB Khyree Jackson, Oregon

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A one year starter at the FBS level after stints at Fort Scott and East Mississippi junior colleges and as a backup at Alabama, Jackson missed Wednesday’s practice for an undisclosed reason. He returned Thursday with a vengeance, showing unusual polish for a player with so little starting experience under his belt.

During one-on-ones, Jackson’s length served him well at the line of scrimmage, allowing him to control the flow of the route as his receiver was forced to try to shake him. His ability to stay physical while mirroring routes was on full display. Then, in team period, Jackson had a nice recovery on an underthrown ball in the end zone for a highlight PBU:

CB Cam Hart, Notre Dame

LB Jackson Sirmon, Cal

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

It’s often difficult for linebackers to make a positive impression at events like the Senior Bowl until the actual game is played, because there isn’t a clear drill that puts them in a position to succeed frequently. Team periods are usually a bit clearer, but without full-speed hitting, it can be hard to assess how well a linebacker is or isn’t performing.

One of the ways to solve this problem is to create turnovers. Sirmon did just that on Thursday, picking off not one, but two passes during American team practice. A former Washington Husky who transferred to Cal prior to the 2022 season, Sirmon was a late addition to the roster after a number of injury-related opt-outs. With Thursday’s performance now in the rearview mirror, the Senior Bowl staff has to be happy about the way he’s stepped in.

EDGE Chris Braswell, Alabama

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Braswell had flashed a few times prior to Thursday’s session, but a strong offensive tackle group and the show-stealing of Missouri lineman Darius Robinson had overshadowed the Alabama pass rusher a bit. With one practice to go, Braswell put together his strongest day of the week, winning as a power rusher with precise hands.

While he isn’t the caliber of prospect as his former teammates Will Anderson Jr. or Dallas Turner, Braswell profiles as at least a solid rotational player who will be able to push the pocket and hold up against the run. His advanced technique also makes him a plug-and-play option for teams looking for innings eaters on the edge – like the Chargers might be if Joey Bosa and/or Khalil Mack are elsewhere in 2024.

DL Justin Eboigbe, Alabama

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Much like his college teammate Braswell, Eboigbe got off to a solid, but sort of underwhelming start to the week before finishing strong on Thursday. He’s played both 3-tech and 5-tech in Mobile, much as he did down the road in Tuscaloosa. Again, like Braswell, he perhaps isn’t the level of pro prospect as some of his game-wrecking teammates, but he’s a pro-ready lineman with a defined role at the next level.

Prior to this week, that role seemed like it was going to be as a two-down run defender. Eboigbe has instead shown a refined pass rush plan in Mobile, including a devastating double swipe move that no offensive lineman was able to find an answer for.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire