In a lot of people’s eyes, The 2006 draft was considered a failure. Considering the fact that only 2 of the players from that year still remain on the team (Marcus McNeill, Jeromy Clary). Everyone else was either traded or released, or didn’t even make the roster. What people haven’t realized, is that the class of 2006 has managed to do something else for us. In it’s own way, it is infusing the team with players we need and youth starting in the 2010 draft.
Last year one of the first trades we made was getting rid of Antonio Cromartie. A pro bowl caliber player that after a spectacular season. He had way too many off the field issues, ranging from issues with the law to child support claims, fathering 7 children from 5 to 6 different woman. AJ Smith had enough of his act, so we dealt him to the Jets for what was called a delayed pick, Which meant we would get a 2nd or 3rd rounder due to his playing time. Since he played the whole year, we recieved a 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft. Pretty good value for a guy everyone wanted to stay away from due to off the field issues.
Next up on the trading block was Charlie Whitehurst, the quarterback we drafted in the 3rd round. Everyone looked at this QB and saw potiental, mainly the Seattle Seahawks. I mean Pete Carrol was licking his chops. He believed this QB could be his future. After weeks of negotiating we finally struck a deal. We traded the 3rd stringer for a 3rd round pick in this year’s draft and we switched places with Seattle in the 2010 draft going from 60 to 40.
The final piece that has helped us to restructure the Chargers was Tim Dobbins. Our linebackers were considered a really deep group, Thus AJ thought it would be OK to deal this back-up. During the 2010 draft, Tim Dobbins was dealt to Miami as part of a package deal. We sent out 1st round pick, 2nd round pick (that we got from seattle) with Tim Dobbins to Miami to move up the draft board to number 12. With the 12th pick we selected Ryan Mathews RB from Fresno State. We believe that this is one of our future guys and he will be our franchise back.
When you take a look at the 06 draft, I dont necessarily see a failed draft. I see a draft that has helped us start to get where we need to go. It provided us with a few picks and a runnung back that we are hoping bounces back and becomes our franchise player. Most of these guys are back ups and we may get some starters out of these picks with a really deep defensive draft this year (linebackers and d-line anyways). The Chargers will be infused with some youth with the right choices.