Bolt Beat Roundtable: Thoughts On The 2012 Chargers Draft

Putting in some work on these roundtable posts in the last week! We haven’t had one in months and I think this is the second one in the past couple of weeks. That is what happens when we get the NFL Draft to spark are interest on the NFL. The draft is complete now and here are some of the thoughts from the staff members on the site:

Ernie Padaon:
Where do I even start? There is so much to say, but I will condense thoughts in this roundtable since you will see me bursting with all kinds of thoughts on multiple posts throughout the site.

First off, DE/LB Melvin Ingram dropping down to us at pick 18 was a steal and he can be used all over the field. Just get him on the field and ask him to chase after the quarterback!! The next pick, DE Kendall Reyes can be used up front to chase the quarterback as well. We wanted to put more pressure on the quarterback and both those players will give us the ability to lay opposing quarterbacks flat on their backs.

SS Brandon Taylor will help out in special teams, but I still don’t have the starter at the strong safety spot that I am comfortable with going into the season. Bigby, Stuckey and Taylor will all be battling for playing time and the best one will win. Still was wishing we were going to get Mark Barron, but those thoughts ended quickly.

One of my favorite selections by the Chargers is TE Ladarius Green!! Another weapon on the offensive side of the ball for Norval and Philip to use and he is a matchup problem for defenders. Too fast for linebackers and too big for cornerbacks to cover! I am sure that Norval loves the idea of having Green and Gates on the field at the same time.

The bottom of the draft added size and depth for the offensive line and I trust that Coach Hal Hunter to develop them. Overall, this draft added talent on areas of need. Did AJ get his MOJO back?!

JJ Smith:
The Charger’s front office masterfully navigated the draft pool, getting high caliber, high quality players at positions of need while resisting the urge to move up in the first two rounds, allowing talent to fall to them. We should not have gotten the caliber of players we got at the positions we drafted them – they should have already been gone. Our primary positions of need, OLB and SS were addressed. Though people are not altogether sold on 3rd round pick Brandon Taylor as a starting SS, he is a high character, high motor player, who was a team leader on one of the most heralded defenses in college football. The biggest emphasis of this draft was getting hungry, competitive, football leaders. Each player drafted ranked very high in leadership, and that characteristic translates in the NFL.

I was a proponent of seeing AJ trade down out of the 18th pick until I saw how the board was falling, with offensive players being taken at a premium in the first 5 picks and beyond. As predicted, some teams reached for offensive players not worth the early draft picks to address areas of need, so we can thank them all for getting Ingram to San Diego! Had Ingram not been there I would have liked to see a move back in the first to get higher in the second. Beyond Ingram there are a lot of second-tier rushers, so moving down would have allowed us to potentially get a decent pass rusher, and Harrison Smith to play SS.

There were no blunders in this draft, the Chargers got maximum value at all levels of the draft, and compared to other AFC West teams got exponentially better. Most people watching the draft didn’t notice, but just before Melvin Ingram was drafted at 18, he was seen being gift-wrapped by the 31 other NFL teams who didn’t pick him or make a trade to do so. The Seahawks went even a step further, showering the Chargers command center with confetti as they announced their pick, OLB Bruce Irvin, with the 15th pick overall. How the Seahawks have Irvin ranked above Ingram on any draft board is a mystery to all of us….perhaps they had their “I’s” crossed?

Grade is an A by the way – no plus no minus. Has potential to be a killer draft class.

Randy Mainwaring:
I couldn’t believe Melvin Ingram was available at 18. He was the guy I wanted but never in a million years thought he woud be available. Overall I gave the Chargers a B. Rounds 1 – 4 were solid but rounds 5 and 7 were a C. It will take at least a couple of years on some of these guys before we find out if they’re still around when the season starts. Melvin Ingram will have a solid rookie year. I’m hoping rookie of the year honors. Am I asking too much? I think Ladarius Green will be huge for this team as well. I’ll be posting an article on my thoughts for each pick. It was fun “tweeting” with all you guys during the draft.

Booga P:
Although I literally hit on only one draft choice this year, LaDarius Green, I absolutely love our draft class. As you all know, I really was hoping for Iloka and Rainey and neither eneded up being choices by the Chargers. Would have liked Ta’Amu as well. He will be joining Rainey in Pittsburgh.

Anyway, Getting Ingram is unbelieveable. And don’t act like you weren’t even more nervous knowing he was available when we picked at #18. I just kept expecting to hear a Non-Factor as the choice there. Either that or the ever popular “Joe Schmoe from Maine.” ;) I love our young d-ends but very excited to see how the quickness of Reyes is used in third down and passing situations. Sounding like he will be used as an interior d-lineman in those scenarios. I’m trying to warm up to the idea of Brandon Taylor. Many people are going out of their way to convince me that he will be money at SS next to Weddle. Green is an extremely excting prospect. With that height and speed combination he could prove to be a deadly weapon for Philip Rivers and company. Really love his addition to the team. Troutman will help at least provide competition at the guard position and I think that down the road we will all look back at this draft and feel very luck to have gotten him in the fifth. Molk is strong as heck and a great run blocker. I am a big U of M fan so I was pleased to hear his name called. As far as Edwin Baker is concerned I like that pick as well. My youngest sister-in-law goes to MSU. She does not know him personally but said that she does know of him. As to any details on that behalf none were porvided making me even bringing that up completely worthless.


PS. I still love lamp!

ChargerGirl Cindi:
I think we are seeing a well rounded draft, but the caliber of the players chosen are not as high as I would like. I’m going to give it a C+.

Now what are your thoughs?

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft

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