The San Diego Chargers select Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB Alabama 6'2" 272 lbs
The Chargers get a much needed pass rusher who can come off the edge in their 3-4 defense.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban predicts that Upshaw can play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense or "put his hand in the dirt and play defensive end" in the NFL.
Based on his play in college, regardless of where Upshaw lines up he will probably wind up in a quarterback's mug. Used as an edge rusher, sometimes as the Tide's so-called "Jack" linebacker and sometimes as an end, Upshaw thrashes blockers with great hand and arm action and shows ample speed and agility to find his way into the offensive backfield.
He has instincts beyond that of a pure pass rusher, with an uncommon awareness for draws, screens, counters and reverses. Although he was not asked to drop into coverage often at Alabama, he has a fluid athleticism that may allow him to adapt to such a demand.
In Alabama's 49-7 thrashing of Michigan State in last year's Capital One Bowl, Upshaw was voted MVP after a pair of sacks, five tackles (three for a loss) and a forced fumble. Upshaw benched 225 pounds 22 times at the Combine and like several teammates at Alabama's March 7 Pro Day, deferred a full workout until March 29.