Well free agency is pretty quiet now, and the NFL Draft is a month and a half away. We are all pretty anxious and excited to see who our 1st rounder will be. There is just so many possibilities of who could land to us, and we have a lot of holes we need to fill. The talent in the 1st round this year is out the roof and I would be happy with anybody in the 1st round that will play admirably for our positions in need. the NFL draft is the biggest toss-up when it comes to mocking, I mean NOBODY projected Melvin Ingram to fall to the Chargers at pick 18, he was projected to be picked up at top 10. We have traded up for players, look at Ryan Mathews for example. Anything could happen. I’m going to throw all scenarios out there. Here are my top 10 potential picks for the chargers in round 1:
- 1) Jason Verrett CB - 50% of all critics out their have Telesco picking up Verrett in the 1st at pick 25. It’s a good pick in my opinion, he is blazing fast, has an excellent vertical leap, and can cover. He can work on his hands though and he would be a great fit for Pagano’s system since he likes to line up his corners away from the receiver and have them chase the guy down. I would be really sweet if he were to land to us, but keep in mind other teams have a need for a corner, and were at pick 25. Watch for the Lions, Cowboys, Jets, Bears, Bengals, Rams and Cardinals and hope they pass on a CB in the first. That will open the door for other options at CB if more than Verrett are available.
- 2) Louis Nix NT – the other 50% of critics have us picking Nix. I’m not too fond of this pick, he has all the talent in the world, and don’t get me wrong I love the guy as a player. I’m just having second thoughts on this pick, I really think he will be a 1st round draft bust, at least a bust for the Chargers. I don’t know why, but I just feel it and he had a terrible combine to top it off. He would be a HUGE upgrade over Cam Thomas. He has great strength and was the guy who made Manti Te’o the standout at Notre Dame. It would be really nice to bring him in since he has that chemistry with Te’o. It just makes sense, but I don’t want to swim in those waters. Call me crazy.
- 3) Dee Ford DE- Ford is a huge possibility for the Chargers if he were to fall to us and if everyone else is taken. He has a MAJOR burst of speed off the line and can get to the QB quick. He has a similar skill set as Dwight Freeney. The only difference is that Ford does not utilize Freeney’s famous spin move when fending off blockers. He would develop very well with Freeney, Johnson and Ingram as his mentors. Now that is a very tenacious group of pass rushers, and on the positive note, this would be a great pick to develop for the future if he doesn’t start in his first season. Critics have Ford getting picked up as early as the 17th pick and could potentially fall to the bottom of the 1st.
- 4) Darqueze Dennard CB - He would be a GREAT addition to our secondary, many critics have him going at early as the 10th and as late as the 25th, right in the Chargers lap. He had a pretty good combine so his draft stock rose just a little bit. He is very quick, has good instincts and good reactions to the way the ball is played and can stick to his receivers. He does have minor injury concerns though, but he should not be anything like Danario Alexander.
- 5) Justin Gilbert CB - If there is one player I would trade up for in the first, it would be Gilbert. He is like the Jadaveon Clowney of all cornerbacks in this years draft. He is just too great of a talent to pass up. He is very fast, can cover your man, has great hands, and can return kicks at a high level. And keep in mind, Telesco is not afraid to hit the “Trade Up’ button, remember when he surprised us all and traded up for Te’o in last years draft. Once again, call me crazy, but I would love to trade up for Gilbert. There is no way he will fall to the Chargers he is projected to go anywhere from pick 8-16 in the first, but anything is possible.
- 6) Zach Martin OT - It would be sweet if Martin were to fall to us in the first, what if we pull off another D.J Fluker with this pick? Another product out of Notre Dame, Martin would be an excellent blocker for our o-line, the only thing he struggles with is that he isn’t very mobile and doesn’t do a good job of turning his blockers towards the outside. He might be outplayed by bigger lineman, but imagine that line with Fluker, Rinehart, Hardwick, and Martin. That would be amazing. Critics have him going anywhere from pick 13-28. We could snag him.
- 7) Calvin Pryor S - Pryor could be a huge possibility for the chargers. I know we have Addae, but Telesco has been giving Deone Bucannon a long hard look this offseason, and it definitely looks like he is interested in a safety. He is really versatile and can also play as a slot cornerback, so that is a huge plus. We can play Pryor in the slot and whip out Addae to man the top with Weddle. Pryor is one of the highest rated safeties in this draft and would be a really great player for us, imagine Weddle, Pryor and Addae to switch things up in certain playbooks. He is projected to go at around pick 19-28. Would be pretty cool to see him in a Bolts uniform.
- 8) Marquise Lee WR - If Lee is available at pick 25 and for some reason everybody else we want is already taken, I. WOULD. COP. HIM. No trading down, no trading up, I would play it safe and take the best available player. We will have our little Bolt version of what the Colts had in Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Imagine our receiving corps! Allen, Lee, Royal, Green, Brown and Gates (insert Alexander or Floyd here if they return), now that is a dirty, mean group of guys. OOOOHHH I’m already sweating, Lee is projected to get picked up anywhere between picks 18-35. So he could be a possibility.
- 9) Mike Evans WR – If Evans is available at 25, I would take him if all others are gone as well. Evans is equivalent to Vincent Jackson, and Rivers hasn’t had that luxury of a receiver until he met Keenan Allen. Now imagine 2 VJ’s on the field for Rivers (Evans and Allen). Not many have the Chargers drafting a receiver in the 1st, but with our situation, I think its safe to do so since this draft is DEEP with other position. We shouldn’t get too hurt if we snag a WR.
- 10) Kyle Fuller CB – Many have stated that Kyle Fuller is the most complete cornerback in this draft class out of all the others, yes, even better than Gilbert. He has great vision, great hands and is tall. Many have called him Richard Sherman 2.0 because of his size and athleticism. I know I have already mentioned like 20 cornerbacks as potential targets, but that is the most concerning position we have to focus on. Richard Marshall isn’t a long-term solution and everyone else behind him is not worth a second look. We don’t know if Steve Williams is a decent player or not yet and Shareece Wright is in a make or break year. If Shareece can carry that momentum from the end of last year, and if Steve Williams turns out to be a star for us that would be amazing for us. Now add a player like Kyle Fuller (or equivalent) to the equation and BAM. We are set for years to come in terms of our secondary. Fuller is projected to hit the later picks of the 1st round all the way to the mid 2nd round.
Yeah, my main focus in the draft is a cornerback, obviously. But I’m fine if we skip on any of these players since this draft is deeper than the pacific ocean. My game plan is to not trade up or trade down (my only exception is to trade up for Gilbert, yes I am mental) and to take the best player available. If ANY of the players I mentioned above are still there at 25, I will personally call TT and tell him to pick that person up (just kidding, I’m not sure about Nix yet though, sorry guys). I know there are other players that would fit the chargers as well, but I really like the guys I mentioned above, they would all give us a great upgrade over what we currently have. And since Telesco didn’t make that one big signing during free agency, it looks like he is determined to find our stars in the draft and carry his luck from last years draft into this year. We will see what happens guys, in the mean time, stay tuned and don’t forget to BOLT UP for 2014.