Top Picks Analysis: A.J. Smith normally isn’t gun-shy about moving up in the first round and snaring a player he covets, but the embattled general manager benefited from holding his ground this year. In desperate need of a dangerous pass rusher to give the defense more bite, the Chargers had the good fortune of having one of this year’s best in Ingram fall to them at the 18th overall choice. The squatty college lineman can quickly get to the edge with an explosive first step, plus he’s stout enough to hold up against the run and displayed excellent lateral agility at the combine that will aid him in coverage. Another possible starter at a thin position was plucked with the second-round selection of Reyes, a powerful and hard-working prospect with the frame to work as a five-technique end in San Diego’s 3-4 alignment. Smith’s only trade of the draft came in the third round, when he vaulted five spots to claim Taylor, one of the steadying forces on a dominant LSU defense. He’s a good tackler with some range and adequate speed, but his best asset may be in the leadership category.
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers have agreed to a one-year contract with offensive lineman Rex Hadnot and to three-year contracts with 21 undrafted rookies.
SAN DIEGO —- Injuries to Chargers fifth-round draft pick Johnnie Troutman will keep him from participating in team offseason activities and severely hinder his chances of playing during the 2012 season.
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates told U-T San Diego on Monday that he’s feeling healthy and ready to show he can continue to run with the league’s best.
Hadnot is an eight-year veteran and started all 16 games for the Arizona Cardinals last season. He is insurance if the Chargers are not comfortable with Tyronne Green at left guard who is replacing the retired Kris Dielman.
SAN DIEGO —- Shortly after the second phase of the offseason ended with Saturday’s conclusion of the NFL draft, the third began. The free-agent market remains flooded with veteran talent, and the Chargers are trying to add depth and maximize their value at several different positions.
Air Coryell may be a bit rusty, in need of a tuneup and some bright work, but Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith has hired on several technicians and mechanics and hauled it out of the hangar. It’s now up to coach Norv Turner to make the restoration into something other than the Spruce Goose and straighten up and fly it right.
It is silly, of course, to assess teams draft grades immediately after the proceedings. But people love the draft and love grades, so This Just In scurried about and came across some assessments.
The Chargers were happy to draft Johnnie Troutman in the fifth round Saturday.
The Chargers officially have announced the arrival of 21 undrafted free agents. They’ve also signed one veteran: offensive lineman Rex Hadnot.