Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

An Opinion on Tom Telesco’s Draft

Here is a different opinion on Tom Telesco’s draft. This email was sent out to me and I definitely wanted to share it out with the crew. He makes some good points, but definitely an unpopular opinion.

Check it out:

The Chargers priorities going into the 2013 draft, in order, were:

1. Left Tackle
2. Nose Tackle
3. Offensive Guard
4. Mike Linebacker
5. Defensive Back

Tom Telesco did a horrific job at satisfying these needs. Let me outline…….

1. With all the upper level Left Tackles taken by the time the Chargers turn came up, Tom Telesco chose to draft a RIGHT Tackle instead of going to the #2 priority of Nose Tackle (at that point Star Lotulelei was still available and at a steal.) A Nose Tackle would have satisfied the #2 need for the Chargers, and moved the LT choice to the second round where many very good LEFT tackles were available. Instead, Telesco drafts a RIGHT Tackle who, by many NFL scouts, should be a Right GUARD! (FYI: the Chargers have now been practicing with Fluker in the RG position) So, Telesco drafts a RT as the #1 draft choice, who ISNT any of the two top priorities, and who really ISNT a Tackle by an out-of-position GUARD! Telesco doesn’t even address the need for a Left Tackle in the entire draft!

2. Round #2-Telesco doesn’t draft any of the Chargers top three priorities for the draft, but trades away a 4th round selection for an overrated ILB (Te’o) who got ran over 7 times by the NFL ready Alabama team! (Please don’t embarrass yourself by saying……”it was only one game.” What if that ‘one game’ is a Chargers playoff game, or higher? Truly great players perform well in ALL games.

3. Round #3 WR, Allen falls to the Chargers. It doesn’t take any talent to draft a player that fall into your lap. Allen will be a very good player, but still WR is NOT A POSITION PRIORITY! Still no LT, NT or OG.

So far, NONE of the Chargers draft needs/position priorities have been met.

4. Round 4 pick……..oops, that was traded away for the circus that is Manti Tebow. Still no LT, NT or OG.

5. Round 5 – S. Williams is an under-sized CB that can only play in Nickle Defenses, and by all NFL scouts not a 3 down DB. Still no LT, NT or OG.

6. Round 6 –T. Williams DE……position not a priority! Still no LT, NT or OG.

7. Round 7- QB Sorenson. Really……I mean REALLY? Still no LT, NT or OG.

Can ANYONE look at the results of this draft and say it was even a grade ‘C’ effort?

This horrendous draft required the Chargers to bring in numerous Right and Left Tackles to see if they could fill the hole, settling on Max Starks a good, but over-the-hill, scrap heap player, paying more for him then a rookie contract. Requirement to bring in FA DTs to fill the hole not satisfied from the draft. And so on, and so forth…..

Tom Terrific could have drafted a NT, then LT….and so forth, and have been better off than a poor draft and scrambling unwanted FA’s to fill holes.

This draft and post-scramble by Tom Telesco earns him a D- grade.

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  • Pels04

    Good points if you look at it in the way of filling those positions then ya i can see the low grade. It seems people are at opposite ends of the spectrum when grading TT’s draft. BUT TT has always said he likes value picks and wont draft for needs because that makes you reach for players. He did get value at most positions and for that you have to give him credit. I wouldve liked to see him take Star at 11 but moving Clary to guard and taking Fluker at 11 probably solidified the right side. Fixing the OL was priority #1 and taking Fluker at 11 should help

  • Alter Ego

    Wow – Wicked awful assessment Ernie. Tell people that you got punched in the head or something…anything is better than the tornado of bull shit you’re serving this morning . 2013 will go down as one of the Chargers all time best drafts.

    • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

      That wasn’t Ernie’s assessment, but an email that he got. I agree with you though…I think it’s definitely an overly harsh assessment.

      • Alter Ego

        yeah…its still a tornado of B.S. – its not unpopular…its stupid.

    • Dion Chin

      It’s an email he got. Learn to read.

      • Alter Ego

        I know your a Charger fan – but your a dick too. Your a bit late to point out the obvious.

        • Dion Chin

          Just read this thread now, better late than stupid.

          • Alter Ego

            You get the prize – your both.

  • Heidijoy

    Who’s the email from?? What is the credibility of the critic???

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      only name that was on there was TOP EXECUTIVE and he asked me not to share his email address

      • Heidijoy

        Thanks for responding Ernie!! That’s the trouble with Anonymity on line. Must not be too confident of their assessment if they can’t own it!!

  • Ioane

    It’s a good thing he’s not our GM. It’s always easy for us fans to sit back and play GM from our lazy boy, but there is a reason why those guys are doing what they are doing. TT did a great job on his first draft.

  • Cgoodness13

    If this is a chargers fan that sent this, he’s a traitor, and part of the rebel alliance, OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!!!

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I <3 Star Wars references.

      • Cgoodness13

        And Alice in wonderland….

  • Joey Cakes

    youre truly an idiot, you dont draft based on need, you draft based on value, that way you get the absolute most talent possible every year. if you need a left tackle and theres one available in round 3 that doesnt mean you should draft him, he could easily be a bust, always take the sure-fire talent you mental midget.

  • Dion Chin

    Go play GM Mode in NFL Madden on XBOX, cause you suck at it in real life.

    • davacho


      • Dion Chin

        Obviously not Ernie. The guy who sent him the email.

  • ninebarrows

    The cornerstone is Rivers proven by what happened to the Colts after Manning left.
    Rivers has made average players into apparently great players with his talent and when they move, they bust

  • 619chargers4life

    Who ever wrote that needs to put the pipe down, sheesh !!

  • FitzWilly

    Hope you put this Knob Gobbler in your Spam Folder

    and Blocked his stupid ass

    Talk about a “Child Left Behind” sheeeeeeesh

  • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

    Raiders fan? This is the best part, “Please don’t embarrass yourself by saying……”it was only one game.” What if that ‘one game’ is a Chargers playoff game, or higher? Truly great players perform well in ALL games.”

    (Damn it, now my comments are in italics too!)

    Wow, I’m sure every talent evaluator on the planet takes a look at one game instead of the overall. “Please don’t embarrass yourself?” I’ll say, I hope I embarrass you, because I don’t want to please someone who is so far off base on basic talent evaluation. That puts into question your entire arguments and analysis, which are all highly questionable to begin with. Who is this guy haha?

    • NativeSanDiegan

      I think when it’s the biggest game of the year for the national championship, the big players play best in the big games. That’s the true measure of greatness. Notre Dame had its usual creampuff schedule except for Stanford (who actually beat them but weren’t awarded the TD even though they broke the plane of the goal line) and a not-so-good USC team. I don’t believe Te’o is good enough to trade up for in that situation – see my other post for lengthy explanation. I do hope he proves me wrong.
      I do know that I saw Te’o bounce right off Lacey in the open field. An ILB must make that tackle. And Lacey is no Trent Richardson. Time will tell. Te’o needs to be an all-pro within 3 yrs to justify essentially giving up Barratt Jones

  • Louie

    Ernie jus needs something to talk about…his job might of been on the line..
    Any way TT did a great job.
    If it was do easy…Ernie you would have been a GM, not a Journalist.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      did you miss the part that said that this was an email that was sent to me?

      • Dion Chin

        It amazes me how many people can’t read EP.

        • Alter Ego

          People can read – your picking a fight. Sorta like making fun of someone to pump yourself up. It amazes me that you believe its okay after someone else points out the error. Your beating up Charger fans – putz.

    • davacho

      and bro- he is boltbeat- no job on the line. : )

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Ernie should mail his paycheck back to Fansided… oh, wait… he doesn’t get one.. hmmmmm …. lol

    • joerockt

      Reading > You

  • RussinSactown

    Well it’s an opinion. I’m waiting to see if someone reads this to the Raider fans who were here last week. Then this will be an entertaining thread

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i like how you said, “reads this to”

  • davacho

    good points on some. ridiculousness (rob!) on most others.

    #1 i thought the exact same thing, but have since abandoned the should-have’s for the what-if’s and will-be’s.

    #2 name ONE college player who “truly performed well in ALL games.”

    #3 why didn’t the other teams around that pick select him then? i suppose all teams have “no talent.” curious as to what qualifies a steal. by their same assessment, grabbing star lotulelei in #1 would have taken zero talent as well since he would have “fell into his lap.”

    #4 no comment

    #5-7 i agree. however, i choose to allow paid experts with an incredible amount of resources and knowledge to make million dollar decisions.

  • Sergio Quintero

    First off, we all wanted a Left Tackle from this draft, but the Raiders wouldn’t have traded with the chargers, and to get Lane Johnson it would have cost pick the first & second picks and probably an extra pick to make it happen. That is a price with a roster with too many holes that can’t be paid. And no LT from the rest of the draft is an upgrade over Max Starks.

    The guy isn’t a fan of Teo, me personally I had him between player 25-35, so at 38 I thought he was value.

    I’ll give the guy points on the NT situation, I don’t like the backup situation behind Thomas, but they filled their guard spots (if Clary works out), and Starks will buy them a year until the 2014 draft. Plus there are multitude of veterans available at NT to backup, Sione Pouha & Casey Hampton just to name a few examples.

    I consider myself even keeled fan, I didn’t love the first pick but the need on the OLine required a certain need over value mentality, but in general I’m okay with the draft a B-, or a 7.5 on a 10 scale. Whoever wrote the email is passionate but not very reasonable.

    • NativeSanDiegan

      Sergio, how do you feel Te’o compares to Arthur Brown of K-State? Do you personally think it was worth it to essentially trade Arthur Brown (or Kevin Minter) and, as it turned out, Barrett Jones for Te’o? I know TT repeatedly said that he’d seen Te’o a lot because of being in Indy and he was very comfortable with drafting him. I’m just frustrated that we gave away our #4 (who could have been Barratt Jones-would have helped our entire o-line tremendously as a player and leader) and we didn’t need to.

      • Sergio Quintero

        Te’o had 7 Int’s for ND last year, if that skill translates to the NFL and he’s part 4-6 turnovers caused for the Defense consistently, he’s well worth the pick. If he’s a 75-90 tackle ILB, who causes 1-2 turnovers a year then he’s not worth the investment.

        The return on the investment will be seen on passing downs, can he stay on the field, and can he truly be an asset on those downs.

        Brown is a very similar player (better athlete), who in his best season had 2 Int’s, so there is less production on game changing plays.

        Clearly the chargers believe the skill for Int’s in coverage for Te’o will translate, if they didn’t they wouldn’t have made the trade, because on the rest of the package Brown & Te’o are very similar.

        • NativeSanDiegan

          Thanks Sergio. Guess we just wait and see how he develops in NFL. I know it will probably take 2-3 yrs to accurately gauge. It is encouraging that he came in and went to work right away. The scandal could be a blessing in disguise, motivating him to focus on football. Yup, it all depends on INT’s and if TT thought Brown’s INT’s could be improved. Thus far TT has increased my trust in him, but even the best make some mistakes. Just feel that after getting shut out on LT’s in 1st rd he may have panicked a bit in 2nd. Az may have taken Minter anyway and Te’o fallen to us without giving up 4th.

  • john

    Terrible analysis. You draft best available. Anyone worth their salt knows that

    • Stefanie Smith

      That is not what all NFL do–draft best available. Telesco moved up to get TT. Then why didn’t he move up and get an LT for Rivers’ left side?

      And no–not all teams draft best available… they approach the draft by filling their needs first, not just going with best available. Where is the skill in that approach?

      • NativeSanDiegan

        And that’s why there are only certain teams with the talent to not only get to the Super Bowl but to make that special play or 2 to WIN the Super Bowl. Of course if they are already stocked by taking the best player approach for a number of years and then only need to fill one position (in their opinion) then you’ll see them target that position; often times with more than one pick. The media will of course lambast them for wasting a second pick on the same position. But the fact is no draft pick is a guaranteed success, and they’re realistic enough to admit it by using multiple picks on the same exact position. I recall the Steelers, Packers, Patriots, Giants, and 49ers all doing it and they are all Super Bowl winners. But they got into that position by drafting best player available for years leading up to that point.

  • 619chargers4life

    you know what i just realized, this article sounds exactly like what 1961 Fan would say.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      That is a true story!!!

      Sometimes, I get a kick out of his comments, though… lol. They can be pretty negative… but, they somehow make me try really hard not to become that disappointed when I have been a Charger fan for that long… I have over three decades under my belt, but that guy has a bunch more. What’s scary, is that it may have already started. He was agreeing with one of my comments a while back. He said I was the only one making sense. Uh-Oh.. time to look deep inside my Charger heart.. HAHAHAHA!

      • 619chargers4life

        Hahahaha Nah, u aiight , not sure about him though lol

      • 619chargers4life

        im sure ur not this guy from Major league but 1961 on the other hand is suspect.

  • arnie

    Okay, i get it. This person didn’t like Telesco’s draft. well said. Now i had a whole list to comeback to this, but davacho, Pels04, Sergio an Joe got it covered. All i will say is this, “context”. None of what this person said has anything to do with original thought. This is all regurgitated information, that is based on “single” performances, in college. Note, very few Linemen actually play the position, they had in college. unless they were drafted high. the other, T’eo “WAS” the Notre Dame defense. Everyone knows it, yet it’s a story that is mysteriously not mentioned.
    As for needs, all of them were met, just not where the emailer expected.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Regurgitated is exactly right. I bet he was one of those people who still insisted we would get Eric Fisher as our first round draft pick… WEEKS after every NFL expert, draft analyst, & football fan on the planet knew there wasn’t a chance in hell.

      • arnie

        Some people are always trying to ice skate up-hill, Peter. lol
        when i looked at the teams, with “needs”, ahead of us…i just couldn’t see it.

  • Bill Nichols

    F#$% off, is all I have to say. Can I borrow that crystal ball, you have stuck up your, “sun don’t shine, here any mo’ orifice”?? We will be much better off once DJ gets his football legs under him, Manti’ is going to be a future hall of famer, and Allen, and Williams x 2 will all make the roster and contribute year 1. Let’s talk in November and see where you stand then Mr. know it all. I have a different take on our current situation, and mine is a valid as yours’ is at the moment. Feeling is strong around bolt nation, and we intend to keep it there, strong, and positive, and Bolt Up!!

  • Zehn

    This person was solely looking at our draft through the teams top 5 needs (which were incorrect. I believe the chargers have good confidence in Cam Thomas at NT and had a much bigger need at DB) when the real process of having an excellent draft is the combination of team need and talent, however weighted, determined by the teams depth, talent, and ability to win games. However i would agree that i was very surprised with the selection of DJ fluker who looks to have incredibly slow feet on film. Whether he can improve that facet of his game is something i leave to the football coaches and the select experts i trust. Also, i was somewhat disappointed at the trading of our 4th round pick to move up and select a sliding player. Teo will be excellent, and im even more confident in that with the support and praise from both players and coaches on the team. But im not convinnced we needed to make that trade and there was a plethora of quality MLBs in this draft. Keenan allen was a superb pick as long as his injuries are managed well and could not be passed up. I do not understand how this author discredits the Chargers for making the right decision here, even if he “fell” into our hands. I also like this pick of Williams who is a ball hawk. Nickel CBs are starters in todays league and he is very quick. Every team needs a CB who can match the physical quickness of slot receivers. As for the rest of the selections, i am uneducated as to their strengths and abilities. Overall, telesco did an excellent job building a new layer to add too and bolster this teams talent and cap-friendly foundation.

  • Steve Brault

    Gotta say that I was really hoping Star Lotulelei would fall to us and was disappointed when we chose the sixth best OL instead of him. I’m willing to be pleased if D.J. becomes a top-notch Right Tackle (not a guard), but we may rue the day we missed out on Star Lotulelei.
    By the way, I don’t mean to be a lurker, but am stationed as a Foreign Service Officer in Guangzhou, China — where Facebook and other social media are all blocked. Thus the only way I can post is if I sneak it in at work at the U.S. Consulate. I really enjoy the great reporting and funny discussions by you all!

    • arnie

      Thank for your service Steve

      • Nick in PB

        Love the effort Steve. Keep on rooting buddy!

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      nice! love that you found a way to sneak in

  • Gunnar Martin

    It’s people like this that everyone just wants to punch in the gut. An anonymous hater that can’t see something for what it really is.

    Drafting for need is a losing strategy. TT did the right thing, and did an amazing thing at that.

  • Nick in PB

    Ernie, so AJ Smith sent you an anonymous letter and you posted it. I thought it was kind of a fun read considering it came from the Lord of No Rings. hahaha

    • NativeSanDiegan

      Nick, you get the gold ring except you missed the collaboration with”the neck”. Personally I love the picks of S. Williams & agree on being in hip pocket of slot, also can tackle & I go against the grain in belief he can play outside. With his speed, quickness, vertical which he uses in games and not just combine stat, he can stick on larger, less quick receivers like Velcro & frustrate them right out of the game. Wouldn’t put on C.Johnson every play, although he might do a better job than taller, less quick corners. I just really like this kid; can you tell? Steal at 5. I do agree that shouldn’t have traded up forTeo; could have used that 4. ILB Az (who we swapped 4′s with) took Kevin Minter of LSU at our original spot in 3. Next Buffalo took Kiko Alonso, lb Ore. The last of that group of ILB, Arthur Brown of K-State was taken at 56. The TT and MM line is Te’o is a 3-down ILB which must mean they thought he was much better in pass coverage than Minter (agree) & Brown- I’m not so sure. Just to see who we could have had, I checked & we could have picked in 4: Barrett Jones of Alabama played C, G, & OT-would have been great for us. Also RB’s Jonathan Franklin of UCLA, Stepfan Taylor of Stanford, or the rehabbing Marcus Lattimore of So Carolina. Promising OT J.C. Tretter of Cornell, db Phillip Thomas of Fresno St, or NT Jesse Williams of ‘bama although I’m happy with our 2 Undrafted rookies. That’s my take on all this. We’ll get our franchise LT next year- Lewan from Michigan or Matthews from Texas Tech unless we win too many games again

  • delamerica93

    I’m glad people have destroyed this already, but I’ll take my shot. First of all, you’re a liar if you believe that great players perform well in every game, ever. I.E. Champ Bailey. Is he a chump because he had a bad game against Baltimore last year? I think a Charger fan might think not. Also, as others have pointed out, drafting by need will get you into a lot of trouble. Forcing yourself to pick a player just because you need his position rather than picking someone more talented is a horrific mentality. Max Starks is a better option at LT than any of the LT’s that were on the board after the first 3 were taken. And why not draft a QB in the last round? You’re not gonna get a star NT or anything, so why not pick someone up who could be the next Tom Brady? Who knows? It was a very smart draft, in my opinion.

  • BoltMaster

    I think this guy is putting way too much stock in where we drafted talent. If you look at the UDFA’s,

    1) We drafted two guys (Geathers & Jerideau) who have a huge chance at competing for NT and the potential to eventually take over the position, if that doesn’t meet one of our needs in the draft i don’t know what does. Remember, our defense has been our strength as of late and Reyes, Liuget and Thomas are all young talented players who’ve been getting the job done.

    2) Nick Becton is a promising LT prospect who could be our answer in a year or two.

    Worst case scenario, all of these guys are misses by our expert staff and end up just being (quality) depth at very important positions. I’ll take that over trading away too many picks for an overrated LT prospect (Lane Johnson) in the early rounds or drafting a NT to an already solid defensive line.

  • Carl Chitwood Jr.

    Wait, you first say he drafted a guard as a right tackle.. then say he didn’t draft any guards… hmmm…. maybe you need an editor?

  • 1961 Fan


    You have finally addressed a problem within the franchise. If this rookie GM Telesco is going to turn around the poor performance of the last three/6 years then regardless of drafting the best player on the board we may have been better served if we traded down to multiple second and third round choices. Here we are getting ready to go into camp in July and the club still has no qualified L/OT protection for Rivers. If you want him to “snap back” from poor play then he is one QB that certainly needs time to find receivers and throw. Rivers is the most non mobile of all the starting QB’s * Just look at all the busts in the first round; like Larry English and Ryan Matthews. It makes Joey Cakes comment mute!