Grading The Chargers 2013 Draft

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Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’O

Manti Te’O / Middle Linebacker / 2nd Round / Pick #38:

In the second round, Tom Telesco surprised us (yet again) by moving up to acquire Notre Dame middle linebacker Manti Te’O. There was all sorts of controversy surrounding Te’O after the infamous “catfish scandal”. However, Te’O took to the podium during the 2013 combine, and answered point-blank questions about the situation. It wasn’t easy for the young man, but he took it like a champ. Perhaps even more surprising, was that Telesco traded a fourth round pick away to get Te’O. The Chargers roster had more holes to fill than a gopher hill, and not all fans were happy about trading away valuable picks for a player with so many question marks. Naturally, there were high expectations for him coming into camp.

On the field, Manti Te’O certainly doesn’t lack effort, or enthusiasm. In fact, he sometimes can be TOO enthusiastic. He often overshoots the play, or misses the tackle completely. He is still a little bit undersized, so he has difficulty shedding blocks, and wrapping up his tackles. At times, it was clear that teams were running straight at him. Te’O actually did pretty decent in coverage. He wasn’t the greatest, and he wasn’t the worst. Te’O suffered (what we now know to be) a broken foot in training camp, and spent the first quarter of the season on the sideline in a walking boot. He did finally get on the field, but didn’t perform to expectations.

The Charger fanbase was actually pretty hard on Manti Te’O this season. Now that we realize that he was playing on a broken foot the whole time, some of those opinions have turned to feelings of sympathy. Te’O recently had surgery to fix his foot, and it is difficult not to have at least a little bit of respect for somebody who fought through an injury like this, and didn’t complain about it once. This injury clearly would have had an impact on his play, so he gets somewhat of a pass this season. It is still undetermined if he can play at the level expected of him, once the injury has healed properly. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that he will be a much better player in 2014, and will probably come into camp a little more bulked up.

Grade: C

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Tags: Brad Sorensen DJ Fluker Keenan Allen Manti Te'o San Diego Chargers Stanley John-Baptiste Steve Williams Tourek Williams

  • Julien Bélair

    I feel like steve williams should not be graded.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      was thinking the same… INCOMPLETE

      Ernie Padaon
      Phone: 858-761-1973

      Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight
      Proverbs 3:5-6

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

        Love that proverb!!!! Oh, and everyone call Ernie tonight, and tell him you love him!!! Hahahaha!

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          oh… really aweosme now! do i dare leave it there.. haha

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

            Only if you want Will to have it.. muahaha.

          • Gunnar Martin

            Hahahahaha that was gold.

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

            “Hello, this is Ernie”…

            (heavy breathing)

          • Gunnar Martin

            Stop. Making! ME LAUGH!!! hahaha

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

            Hahaha.. We have fun on here, don’t we?

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            Omg!!!

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            Hahahaha

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

      You know… I wasn’t going to.. but, I figured people might say something about it, if I didn’t. Darned if you do.. darned if you don’t.

      • Julien Bélair

        You can’t please everyone.

        I just think to give a C is very hard on him. The guy got an acl injury… dosen’t mean he is a C now haha. But hey time will tell

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

          Well.. the article is grading the draft, and Tom Telesco’s selections… not the players themselves. So, it’s not like I’m saying Steve Williams is a bad player. I can’t give Tom an A, but I can’t give him an F either. In that case, can you even grade Te’O, since he was playing on a broken foot all season?

          • Julien Bélair

            Torn pectoral wow I didn’t think it was that thanks for the information. I’m kind of glad also cause it is easier to come back from that than an acl tear.

            I know it is tough to grade Teo but I didn’t point in out because I think for now he deserves that grade but I also think he could be a pleasant surprise in 2014

          • Julien Bélair

            If I may add could you or Ernie make an article about Reyes? I feel like no one is talking about him but to me he is not lock starter at DE anymore and we may have to upgrade that position very soon. Let’s face it he is becoming a bust at least in my eyes.

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

            Sure.. Give me a day or two, and I’ll knock out a Reyes article.

          • Julien Bélair

            Good thanks very appreciated.

          • tubbs45

            I dont care which DE’s we have, without having a BEAST at nose tackle that demands double and triple teams, they (our DEs) will struggle.

            http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y462/staffpicks/Animated_GIFs/81656254.gif

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

            Dang… is that move legal in college wrestling? That is worse than some WWF moves I have seen!

      • tubbs45

        Can’t please all the people all of the time… Lets face it, aside from fluker and Allen it is really hard to grade player that arent playing much…

        http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y462/staffpicks/Animated_GIFs/bird_divebombs_tiger.gif

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

          @tubbs45:disqus Agreed, but I’m doing it anyway, because I’m sick of mock drafts. It cracks me up how testy people will get over grading a player that hasn’t played a billion snaps… but, they will grade & predict players in a mock draft ALL DAY that won’t even be on the Chargers next year. lmfao!

  • Gunnar Martin

    I am still in love with your nickname for Sorensen, Pete. Later Game Saint. Hah! Knee slapper material right there ;)

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

      Thanks Gunnar.. thought it would be a good time to dust that one off.. it’s officially the off-season. Why not?

      • Gunnar Martin

        He DID look better than Phil in pre-season… just sayin…

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

          Agreed. Not sure if he would have had the highest completion percentage in the entire league, and earned a probowl berth… but, I do like the kid.

        • Stefanie Smith

          No. he didn’t. First, he didn’t play much, and second, that is wishful thinking. He did nothing impactful in those games. He’s a rookie who was almost the last on the board. No, he is not Andrew Luck or anybody like that.

          And I get a negative because I don’t agree that the kid looked better, i.e. played better, than Rivers in the preseason? Sorry.

          And while we are at it, Clipboard played better than Sorenson in the preseason.

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

            In Gunnar’s defense, Philip wasn’t great in preseason, except for one drive (maybe two). I remember biting my nails, hoping they would put at least one drive together that ended in aTD… Lol. Obviously, Rivers performed MUCH better in the regular season. However, at that time, I remember a lot of nerves from fans over whether he was going to turn a corner or not.. even after preseason had concluded. Bolts From the Blue wrote an article (that comes to mind) about how awful Rivers looked on the day they let fans watch them practice at the Q. Isn’t that called Fanfest or something? But yeah.. he didn’t heat up until game two in Philly.

          • Gunnar Martin

            Stef, I get that you would give up the world for Rivers, but there is no denying that the 7th rounder had a more productive pre-season, even if it was against 2nd and 3rd stringers. Quite frankly Sorensen tore the backup defenses apart, and Philip looked pedestrian (again). Luckily, that all changed when the real games came around, and now we get to boast that we had a Pro Bowl QB that won AP Comeback Player of the Year last season. So everybody wins :)

          • Gunnar Martin

            I don’t think you got a negative (as in like a down vote?)… At least I don’t see it. Well either way, you are entitled to your opinion, for sure, even if it is different than mine. That is the beauty of the comment section, is it not? Agree to disagree.

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

            You have convinced me, Stef…. let’s get rid of Sorensen AND Rivers… I’m punching my ticket for Whitehurst this season, and all the money we save can be spent on our atrocious defense, and a rookie QB in the draft… J/K.

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

    Don’t forget to vote in the poll on page seven ; )

    • Gunnar Martin

      Ah yes, thank you for the reminder. I almost forgot to go back to it (although it is on page eight, not seven) :)