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Ingram, Reyes to bolster Chargers' nickel 'D'

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By Kevin Fishbain

The Chargers made no secret what their desired areas of improvements were when picking a pair of front-seven defenders with their first two picks in the draft. OLB Melvin Ingram and DL Kendall Reyes should fortify the group by adding depth, but also with their pass-rush abilities to be used on third down.

The way we hear it, the Chargers like that they won’t need to thrust Ingram into the lineup as an every-snap player. By adding ex-Raven Jarrett Johnson, the Chargers can rotate Ingram in and allow him to pin his ears back in the nickel. Ingram was considered one of the draft’s best pass rushers, and paired with Shaun Phillips, he should have his opportunities to get to the quarterback. Johnson, Phillips, Ingram and Antwan Barnes give the Chargers flexibility in their rotation based on the down and distance. Ingram also has the versatility to put his hand in the dirt that the Chargers can take advantage of.

Similarly to Ingram, Reyes won’t be starting, at least early on, but he will get his licks as an interior rusher in the team’s nickel to help get into the backfield. Reyes, who had 4½ sacks as a senior, is athletic and quick off the snap. At times, Reyes was projected to be a first-rounder.  

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