Chargers Should Sign a Free Agent Left Tackle Before Drafting One

Oct 30, 2011; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks (78) and center Maurkice Pouncey (53) celebrate a first down against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter of the game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won the game, 25-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

If the San Diego Chargers were able to sign a left tackle in free agency, we could be sitting pretty heading into the draft. Maybe we can sign Branden Albert or Max Starks and then we wouldn’t need to worry about certain players falling to us at the 11 spot.

If we have nobody signed for the position, we basically will be sitting and praying that a tackle will fall to 11. Other teams would easily see our need and if they wanted a tackle, they could try and pull off a trade to move up in the draft. Then what would we do when one of those tackles didn’t fall to us? We have to hope one of the other prospects falls to us in the next round?

Signing a guy like Starks or Albert would give us so much more flexibility. If we decided to, we could take one of the top offensive guards with our selection, Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper. If CB Dee Milliner is around, we could take him and wait for a guard in the next round. If WR Cordarrelle Patterson is available then we could go ahead and bring him on as part of the offense. Even if Lane Johnson or one of the other tackles are available, we can still draft them and use him as the starter at the left or right tackle position.

OPTIONS! FLEXIBILITY!

Keeping Mike Harris and possibly Jared Gaither as the only left tackles on the roster going into the draft would leave us really vulnerable. Our draft would easily be a fail if we didn’t get one of the top 3 tackles. That seems way to risky. The Chargers need to sign a left tackle going into free agency.

Topics: Free Agency, San Diego Chargers

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  • Cgoodness13

    Shocker lol

  • Sergio Quintero

    Have been pushing this same message for a quite a while, its much easier to take one of the guards if you have LT hole fixed before hand.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      And easier to fill a hole at guard with a lower pick if wanted also

      • Sergio Quintero

        If the chargers don’t get a LT in free agency, I could see Joeckel & Fisher gone in the first 5 picks, then it race between them and other LT needy teams for Johnson, teams like Arz, Miami, STL, Chicago. In particular the Rams scare me with their multitude of picks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carl.brown2 Carl Brown

    I like the idea of getting Albert. Hmmm… can’t seem to find the magic wand, do you have it? Oh, and when you wave it ask for more cap space as well.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      Your magic wand is gone and my genie lamp is lost…. What are we gonna do!?

      • http://www.facebook.com/carl.brown2 Carl Brown

        Well Ernie, I think prayer and good fortune are our only allies:) Still, any way you slice it, this is going to be an interesting (and different) season for Bolt fans. Keep up the good work.

  • tbell11

    Albert will be too much, but Starks might be a good signing. We could have Max play LT if all three OT are gone or move him to RT if we take Johnson. Then getting a CB in round 2, OG in round 3, LB in round 4, RB in round 5, WR in round 6, and QB in round 7.

  • Rob Base

    I hope they get someone signed before the draft. Can’t wait and see if a LT is available at 11th pick.

  • Preston Niedert

    I say sign a LT and be done with it. I’m sure lane johnson and eric fisher and luke joekle will all be off the board by the time the chargers draft.

  • blu3ny3llow

    I like the way you think Ernie…….i kinda would want Harris to get a shot at guard….at least to be a back up

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      Now that could be interesting. That seems like a much better spot for the kid. Hmmmm… I like that idea

  • http://www.facebook.com/pete.spinning Pete Spinning

    Once in a pregame interview last year, I heard Ben Roethlisberger say that he NEVER worries about his blindside protection, when asked about Starks. I remember it, because I was thinking “I wish Philip could say that”. Maybe he can this year.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      I want him more and more now!!! What have I convinced myself of!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Moretti/100002785058214 Edward Moretti

    Pro Football Focus has Max rated 35th out of 39 free agent Tackles. Translation: When Big Ben says that he has faith in Max it’s the same as when Philip Rivers says he has faith in Clary. What else are they supposed to say?

    • http://www.facebook.com/pete.spinning Pete Spinning

      Yikes! I did not know that. Thanks for clearing that up for me. However, we either sign a free agent we can actually afford to a reasonable short-term deal, or we get stuck with what we had last year. It would be disaserous if Johnson was not available when we pick. Too many teams ahead of us, and behind us, that need blindside protection. I just don’t see Telesco gambling that any of these OT’s will be there at 11. Or, that he would expect a rookie OT with one year experience at the position to step in and be the immediate answer. Nobody would have evaluated Johnson as a first round pick if the other two hadn’t gone back to school. Johnson is clearly athletic, but I don’t see him playing up to NFL standards right out of the gate. And, Philip’s clock is ticking.

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