The Los Angeles Chargers have signed former Denver Broncos defensive end Carlo Kemp, according to his agent Mike McCartney.
Kemp was signed to the Broncos practice squad on December 31, 2021, but he did not appear in any games.
He is the nephew of former Broncos outside linebackers coach John Pagano and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
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Kemp Was the Number 1 High School Recruit in Colorado
Kemp attended Farview High School in Boulder, Colorado, where he became a heavily-coveted recruit. In 2016, 247 Sports Composite ranked Kemp as the top recruit in the state.
Kemp received scholarship offers from 11 schools. He eventually committed to the University of Michigan.
Kemp played four seasons for the Wolverines recording a total of 83 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and one fumble recovery.
Despite his high school ranking, Kemp’s NFL draft stock was not very high. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projected him to be a “priority free agent” in his draft profile.
“Defensive lineman lacking optimal traits to find a true home in most defensive alignments,” Zierlein wrote. “He’s built like a muscular, undersized three-technique with gap-shooting prowess, but he’s actually better when taking on single blocks with his strength and sturdy base. He’s not big enough to withstand pressure from NFL size and lacks the necessary length to play as a base end. Kemp hasn’t been all that productive at Michigan but he’s a plus athlete with a good motor. Finding a fit for him, however, could be a very difficult task based on his measurables.”
Kemp Was a USFL Standout
Kemp was not selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Green Bay Packers signed him as an undrafted free agent. He played for the Packers during the preseason recording two tackles, but he did not make the 53-man roster. He was subsequently waived.
Kemp had a short stint on the Broncos practice squad late in the regular season.
Following the conclusion of the NFL regular season, Kemp was selected by the Pittsburgh Maulers in the USFL Draft. Kemp had a strong USFL season, as he finished with 51 tackles (8th in the league) and five sacks (tied for 5th in the league).
Back in May, PFF’s Ian Hartitz named Kemp as one of his standout players over the first three weeks of USFL action.
“Kemp has racked up 11 pressures and three sacks this season,” Hartitz wrote. “His 90.8 PFF pass-rush grade trails only Shareef Miller (91.4), and only Dondrea Tillman (10) has a single game with more pressures than what Kemp (8) managed to pull off in Week 2.”
Kemp will give the Chargers some extra depth at defensive end. He was once regarded as one of the best defensive end prospects in the country, and he flashed some upside during his time in the USFL. At 24 years old, he still has plenty of time to develop. He could prove to be a nice value signing for the Chargers.
The Chargers found success with former XFL tight end Donald Parham Jr. In two seasons with the Chargers, Parham has six receiving touchdowns.