Now that the insanity that was the 2010 NFL Draft has ended, we can take a look at the new acquisitions and visualize how they will be fitting in their respective schemes. The chips finally went down and when it was time to show our full hand, we were not disappointed. Things got a little crazy in the first three rounds, while the later rounds were all about patience and cunning. Having the draft in prime time played a big part in that. Having the draft televised in this manner and in this particular time line gave teams almost 24 hours between the first and second rounds. As well as between the third and fourth rounds.
Giving teams this much time to plan and adjust their boards according to new events caused a spike in the trading of draft picks on an exciting level. Plus with more time in between rounds, general managers are less likely to panic and end up doing something that might even get them fired somewhere down the line.
This, in some ways, put more pressure on our general manager to move up in the third round after dealing our second round pick to the Dolphins. Even more pressure was felt to get good value for this pick. Since nose tackles Dan Williams and Terrence Cody were taken, the logical step was to take one of the best players on the board while still being intuitive to the needs of the team.
The disappearance of Cody and Williams pointed to the Chargers taking Cam Thomas in the 5th round. They even traded picks with the Eagles in order to move up in that round and lock that big new nose tackle down. So, what about this third round pick? Wait a second, there is a vacancy on the depth chart at middle linebacker with Tim Dobbins being dealt to the Dolphins. In turn, we filled that vacancy by selecting Donald Butler from the University of Washington. Butler plays the run very very well, and we could really use that kind of insight in the interior of our defense. Let’s just say that we were having some trouble stopping the run… Let’s just say. No need to delve into that any further with the additions of Butler and Thomas.
Throw in strong safety, Darrell Stuckey, and we have ourselves a re-enforced run defense for 2010. Stuckey is comfortable playing in the box and will make a great addition on the strong side. This was a fantastic fourth round selection and between those three defensive draft picks, a message has been sent to rushing teams in the AFC that we will be ready for them when the time comes.
In the fifth round, in addition to selecting Cam Thomas, the Chargers were given a compensatory pick in the late-fifth round that became quarterback Jonathan Crompton. Obviously, he is here to replace Charlie Whitehurst, who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks on March 18. Crompton had a very productive senior season and will be a welcome addition to our offense, even if he is just calling signals.
Our seventh round pick, and last pick of the draft, was used to draft tight end Dedrick Epps. Though thought of mainly as a tight end, Epps has also lined up at half back and full back during his career at the University of Miami. A versatile threat like this gives us the ability to be completely unpredictable since he can be placed at (or motioned to) just about anywhere there is a mismatch. I can’t wait to see our new offense and defense in action. I will definitely be there on opening day with a notepad and a tape recorder.
Stay tuned throughout the week as I finish up analyzing the twenty un-drafted free agents we recently agreed to terms with. In the mean time, here’s a list of the 20 freshly signed Chargers for your viewing pleasure. This list was found on www.chargers.com.
The San Diego Chargers agreed to contract terms with the following 20 rookie free agents.
- Seyi Ajirotutu (Say-EE Ah-JEER-ah-too-too) WR Fresno State
- Brady Bond T Oklahoma State
- Richard Brockel (BRAH-kul) TE Boise State
- Dajleon Farr (DAY-lee-on) TE Memphis
- Richard Goodman WR Florida State
- Jeff Hansen C-G Montana State
- Cory Jackson FB Maryland
- Jordyn Jackson WR Eastern Oregon
- Justin Jeffries T Kentucky
- Cort Johnson P West Texas A&M
- Brandon Lang LB Troy State
- Shawnbrey McNeal (SHAWN-bray) RB Southern Methodist
- Ryan Otterson T Wyoming
- Stephan Richmond T TCU
- Traye Simmons CB Minnesota
- Ernest Smith WR Baylor
- Marcel Thompson WR Lindenwood University, Mo.
- Bryan Walters WR Cornell
- Jeremy Williams WR Tulane
- Kion Wilson (KEY-on) LB South Florida