I don’t consider myself an expert on the the NFL, player personnel or Collegiate players by any stretch of the imagination but I am an NFL/Chargers fanatic and would like to think that I know a little about the subject. I love to talk NFL/Chargers and get other fans thoughts on the subject as well.
Having said that, I’ll give my personal opinion on how I thought the Chargers did in the draft. See if you agree and feel free to comment.
Although I didn’t try to pick the player in each round, I thought I had a pretty good idea what the Chargers would do by position. I wasn’t too far off.
In the 1st round I had a DE; 2nd, a cornerback or safety; 3rd, a cornerback or safety; 4th, I had O lineman or RB (I was hoping Ronnie Hillman); 5th, I had an O lineman, RB, or another CB; no 6th so in the 7th I had an O lineman, another CB, a RB or maybe even a QB.
Everyone and their Mother knew the Chargers needed help on defense come draft day. I honestly didn’t think Melvin Ingram would be available but wow, there he was still sittin’ there at pick 18.
How half the teams in the NFL passed on him is beyond me.
I’ll bet that war room was exstatic.
Some are saying he’s the next Shawne Merriman.
I hope not.
If you remember, Merriman had only 3 productive years, one of which was marred with a four game suspension after violating the NFL steroid policy. After spending much of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons on IR, the Chargers had no choice but to release him. That’s why I hope he’s not the next Shawne Merriman. Ingram will be better.
Then with the 2nd round pick I was hoping to get a good cornerback or safety. I wasn’t really expecting another defensive end but the Chargers chose Kendall Reyes, defensive tackle out of Connecticut. I never had this guy on my radar.
Mike Mayock from NFL Network had him as a second round “best value” pick.
This guy is a solid football player and definitely has a lot of upside and he has a lot of experience. He has a good motor, hustles and he’s strong against the run. He’s not a natural pass rusher but he can still pressure the quarterback. I like him.
The 3rd pick I was thinking more defense with, again, either a cornerback or safety. Chargers picked Brandon Taylor, strong safety out of LSU. Probably the 4th or 5th best corner in the draft. I like players out of LSU. They always seem to be tough and physical. That’s what Taylor is. He’s physical and a hard hitter. Reminds me a of Rodney Harrison. He’s aggressive and fast. Chargers need that physicality. Receivers will be afraid of him.
Then in the 4th, Chargers picked Ladarius Green out of Louisiana-Lafayette. This guy is as good a pick as Melvin Ingram is. This is huge. Green led all tight ends in receiving yards-per-game, receiving yard-per-catch, and receiving touchdowns in 2010. Despite being double teamed on 90% of his routes, he led all players in the Sun Belt Conference in yards per reception. (courtesy of nfldraftscout.com) I think Ladarius Green will be the next Antonio Gates or maybe even better.
Next up in the 5th round Chargers selected Johnnie Troutman out of Penn State. Troutman needs work. Some scouting reports say he’s slow and that he has conditioning and character issues. NFL Network didn’t have much to say about him.
Obviously, A.J. Smith and company saw some promise in him.
With some coaching, hopefully he can get better. We will see.
Since the Chargers traded their 6th round pick, we move to round 7.
First we have David Molk. I don’t see Molk as being a starter as he lacks size but he should provide some depth at center behind Nick Hardwick. Hopefully the strength and conditioning coaches can beef this guy up.
Then lastl but not least, Chargers drafted number 250, only 3 spots away from Mr. Irrelevant, Edwin Baker, RB out of Michigan State. At 5′ 8″, he could fill the role that Darren Sproles used to play. He’s short and can disappear through the hole. He’s quick, compact, and strong. The downside is, his production went severely down in 2011 from 2010 and lost most of his playing time to another back. He entered the draft early with the excuse that he didn’t want to get hurt and could have a worse year. That shows lack of confidence among NFL scouts and coaches. We’ll see about him too. Maybe with some coaching and playing time, he’ll be a stud.
And there you have it. My take on the 2012 NFL draft. All in all if I were to grade this draft, I think the first 4 rounds was a solid A with Ingram, Reyes, Taylor and Green, but rounds 5 and 7 I give a C. Total grade: B.
Now it’s Norv’s turn. Let’s hope he doesn’t screw it up.