Sep 13, 2010; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman (56) before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 21-14. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Top Five Chargers Draftastrophies!


I believe that when drafting players it is important to make sure that they are good long term investments.  The draft is not a time to pick guys who have issues.  Attitude issues and injury issues can be more telling then how fast they ran at the combine or how many passes were caught/completed in college.  Without taking in the entire picture, you risk “draftastrophies”.  The San Diego Chargers seem to have the market cornered on odd and just plain horrible draft picks.  Here are my top five draftastrophies.

5.  Shawne Merriman – 2005 draft.  Merriman, AKA “Lights Out” was an exciting pass rusher in his first three seasons.  He thrilled Chargers fans with 39 1/2 sacks in 37 starts. Then in training camp in 2008, he tore ligaments in his knee, requiring major surgery. That, combined with the fact he stopped taking steroids after getting caught and started beating up undesirable women made his departure acceptable.  While I enjoyed watching him for about a season and a half, it was embarrassing to hear about his off field antics more often than his on field accomplishments.

4. Sammy Davis – 2003 draft.  Expected to be a defensive star, he managed to get thrown on by every QB the Chargers met.  I often wondered if he (like Sammy Davis Jr.)  also only had one eye, because in his three years as a Charger he only managed to get three interceptions.  He didn’t have great numbers in college and performed mediocre at the combine, so, why??????

3.  Antonio Cromartie – 2006 draft.  Cromartie, AKA “Baby Daddy” was injured his entire senior year at Florida State.  That did not deter the Chargers from picking up the injury prone cornerback.  Cromartie managed to stay injury free in 2007, breaking records and giving us hope.  But, alas, if he had spent as much time working on his football skills as his baby making skills he might still be a Charger today.  For the record, Cromartie has fathered nine children with eight women living in six states.

2.  Eli Manning – 2004 draft.  “With the first pick of the 2004 NFL draft – the San Diego Chargers select — Eli Manning.”   Those words ignited a firestorm that is still a source for debate today.  Of course, the Giants drafted Philip Rivers 4th and managed a famous draft-day trade (which also brought the Chargers Nate Kaeding, Shawne Merriman and Roman Oben) that has been discussed and examined several times.  Short story, keep your yap shut Eli, the Chargers never wanted you!

1.  Ryan Leaf – 1998 draft.  Chargers GM Bobby Beathard actually gave up a lot to move up from third to second to get Leaf.  We traded away two first-round draft picks, a second-round draft pick, and gave four-time Pro Bowl running back Eric Metcalf to the Cardinals.  I’m pretty sure based on what everyone new about Leaf and his antics at Washington State that we could have had the 10th pick and he still would have been available.  Looking back it is so odd that people were comparing Leaf and Manning.  I wonder if the same thing will happen with RG3 and Luck, but I will save that thought for another blog.

We can only hope that this year there will not be any additions to my list.

ChargerGirl Cindi

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Tags: Draft

  • RussellGrant

    Cromartie needed a vasectomy.  Drafting Eli was a good move because we raked in a king’s ransom for him.  Didn’t execute well with it but we got some good players. Funny story about Leaf.  When Indy asked Manning and Leaf what they would do if picked Manning said he would be in Indy the next day learning the playbook.  Leaf said he’d be in after he finished partying with his friends.  THAT would have been the pick to trade.
     
    Honorable Mention: Buster Davis, just because…

    • the gorn

       @RussellGrant Buster should be on the list.  He’s another guy who did nothing.  Merriman and Cromartie were way better.

      • CindiSpears

         @the gorn It’s just the attitudes.  IMO, I would like to see the draft approached like a relationship.  These guys need to click into the team you have built to win, not be a distraction or a self loving jackass. 

    • CindiSpears

       @RussellGrant Leaf was such a disaster.  I almost felt like he should have been one blog and the others another.  Buster Davis was on my list, but he wasn’t a jerk.  He just wasn’t talented.  Maybe a top ten would have been better? 

  • the gorn

    Johnny Rodgers was pretty awful.  Unlike Merriman or Cromartie, he didn’t do anything.

  • MikeTuck

    Merriman was not a bad draft move. Steroids held him back but when he came back the defense had also changed. The pressure we once employed was not being put to good use as it was before. He gave the Chargers a damn good chance to win a superbowl, I can still see Tomlinson sitting by himself in self pity. i’m sorry Charger fans, that sticks in my craw way more than the merriman mess up. Tomlinson could have tryed and played or cheered his teamates on at the very least. it was his absence that hurt the Chargers and always at playoff time.

    • CindiSpears

       @MikeTuck Interesting.  I was kind of approaching this from the perspective that the draft is like a marriage.  Who do we want on our team long term?  We do not want jerks.  LT is a nice guy.  He was a team leader for so many years, but He was just so fed up with everything that he gave up.  Not the best memory of him, but I can’t blame him.  I’m actually surprised he never just punched Norv right in the face.  That would have been a better memory for me.  ha ha

  • MikeTuck

     @CindiSpears I agree that class and a good citizen is part of being a NFL player, if it were realistic we’d have enough guys to fill 3 teams. The steroid age, alot of guys didn’t know the medical risk they we’re taking, they blinded themselves. Alzado from Denver was a poster boy and that was long ago, but human growth hormone is Chapioned even in magazines as a Life extender. Popular Science and some medical magazines so how do we demonize something championed by science? I Loved watching Tomlinson play!!!! But on the sidelines he sat for the most part by himself. Late in games when we we’re trying to score he’d be in his own world. This was during schotinhiemers years not Turner ( though I dislike Turner too ) Tomlinson was a great person, outstanding runningback, yet as a teamate he lacked the family gene. He was the I in team and I think that is what hurt his career in the post season. My son God love him saw the same thing and wanted to make excuses for his moaping and self adsorbed sideline actions. When your defense is doing their best but having a tough time to see Tomlinson waving a towell and cheering them on would have boostede their play 50%, but that didn’t happen and that is why the Chargers went down in those post season games, a lack of family.

  • MikeTuck

    @ @CindiSpears I agree that class and a good citizen is part of being a NFL player, if it were realistic we’d have enough guys to fill 3 teams. The steroid age, alot of guys didn’t know the medical risk they we’re taking, they blinded themselves. Alzado from Denver was a poster boy and that was long ago, but human growth hormone is Chapioned even in magazines as a Life extender. Popular Science and some medical magazines so how do we demonize something championed by science? I Loved watching Tomlinson play!!!! But on the sidelines he sat for the most part by himself. Late in games when we we’re trying to score he’d be in his own world. This was during schotinhiemers years not Turner ( though I dislike Turner too ) Tomlinson was a great person, outstanding runningback, yet as a teamate he lacked the family gene. He was the I in team and I think that is what hurt his career in the post season. My son God love him saw the same thing and wanted to make excuses for his moaping and self adsorbed sideline actions. When your defense is doing their best but having a tough time to see Tomlinson waving a towell and cheering them on would have boostede their play 50%, but that didn’t happen and that is why the Chargers went down in those post season games, a lack of family.

    • CindiSpears

       @MikeTuck Agree 100%. 

  • MikeTuck

     @CindiSpears Yes and I agree with you Cindi in that to be drafted is like a Marriage. That is why finding a player with the same goals and living area is important. You want to play in front of your local area so your College/high School fans can watch. So if you draft with talent and location in mind the chance of getting a player (Seau ) will stick with you for life barring a ownership disrespect. Seau should have lowered his price alittle and ownership should have seen the value of a couple more years. The problem lies in that a player of Seaus stature has 120% more all round talent than Dean or Alex Spanos. It’s a real plus to have a owner with alot of respect for what a Athelete goes through to stay the best in his field. And a avid fan of that team would be of help. Spanos more than likely grew up a Raiders Fan and hasn’t changed all that much. I grew up in the area and the Raiders owned the valley.

    • CindiSpears

       @MikeTuck Good point.  I think that the draft needs a new rule.  Local teams get first dibs on their vicinities players.  This would not only be good for the teams moral but an excellent way to generate revenue by bringing over college fans to NFL games.