Jan 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Richard Marshall (31) reacts following the loss to the Denver Broncos during the 2013 AFC divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers Team Needs Going Into 2014 NFL Draft


The 2014 NFL Draft is right around the corner and we can put to rest all the insane mock drafts and start talking about our great draft selections soon. The Chargers have a few needs to fill going into the draft. Here are a few of the positions that we will need to look at going into the draft and prioritized by need.

1. Cornerback – The secondary was ugly last season. Richard Marshall stepped in as the starter, but the team needs to find a long term solution at the position. Shareece Wright could be one of the starters for a few years, but we need to find someone else to add back there.

2. Pass Rusher – Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson are going to be free agents at the end of the year and nobody at the outside linebacker position has been durable enough to last for a whole season. We couldn’t get pressure on quarterbacks at all and the team needs to find some people that can disrupt the timing of quarterbakcks.

3. Wide Receiver – Malcom Floyd’s status is up in the air and Vincent Brown’s career is in limbo based on last season’s performance. The team needs to find another threat on the roster for Philip Rivers.

4. Nose Tackle – Sean Lissemore is the starter at the position and will likely be good enough to lock it down, but there is no depth behind him in the middle. Cam Thomas was the starter last season and he couldn’t get the job done. Lissemore is still young and could be the future at the position, but there is no depth.

5. Offensive Guard/Center – The depth in the middle is needed up front. We can never have too many big linemen on the roster, but Nick Hardwick will likely be hanging up his cleats soon and  the team needs to find someone to steal the starting job on the front line.

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  • esco charger

    Those are gona be are first three picks Ernie in what order is yet to be determined but it very well could be in that order or NT first or OLB first with Barr or Ford we will know in about a week and a half (Bart Scott voice) CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!

  • Parker Richardson

    I have been saying this a lot, but i believe that a first or second day draft pick on a center/guard has a much higher likelihood of improving the team immediately (and in the long run) compared to a draft pick at any other position. They have very low bust potential and similar to NT, a great O-line has a ripple effect on the rest of the offense. And like you said, you can’t have too many big men on the roster!

    • Sergio Quintero

      I have a feeling Clary is the starter this year, somewhere between rounds 2-5 the chargers are going to invest in their OLine, I really like Marcus Martin I would love to see him available in the 3rd round, or getting Trai Turner/Dakota Dozier in the 4th round.

      • Parker Richardson

        All of those guys have great traits for coach D to work with and i could see any of them taking over for Clary. And if they did the right side of our line would be creating highways for Ryan Mathews and co. to run through! If they keep Clary as the starter that could mean they aren’t going to do anything about his ridiculous contract and i just don’t see that happening.

        • Sergio Quintero

          They have kept him this long and I can’t explain it, I have reached the point where I expect him to be on this roster.

          I would prefer to go your route, and add some of the guys I mentioned into the starting lineup, but you must admit there is a better than 50% shot Clary is staying, because if he was going to get cut it would have happened.

          • Parker Richardson

            True… The only explanations i can come up with are that he is a great locker room guy and maybe they are waiting to see if a replacement develops out of the draft. Because continuity is a decent option even if it means dealing with Clary.

          • Chris Cutty

            I think they are waiting until after the draft to decide on Clary. If they find his replacement he might be cut, but if they don’t pick up anyone they’ll keep him.

          • Sergio Quintero

            Much like we will get an idea if the chargers think Brown will stay a starter at WR, if they take a WR in the 1-2 rounds range, clearly that guy should be favored to start ahead of Brown, if the chargers don’t draft an interior olineman until late in the draft then all signs will point to him staying.

    • Derek

      hows that been working for the jets

      • Parker Richardson

        The Jets had a great O-line in ’09 and ’10 and they went to the conference championships both of those years with Mark “butt fumble” Sanchez and Shonn Greene!! I’m no expert but i think Philip and Ryan are a little better…

        • Derek

          thank god! but also they lacked a difference maker on offense. holmes didnt beat double coverage and their line didnt give up any plays but playing against the steelers their d line didnt either

          • Parker Richardson

            There are plenty of receivers in the mid rounds that i could see Philip turning into difference makers. But to do that he needs to be kept clean.

          • Derek

            why didnt that happen with vincent brown last yr then? i think at this point giving him talent is more important than time. even with the best line you only get 3.5-4 seconds. and whats the point when you cant count on getting that everytime you drop back? also i think since we have a top tier coach in joe that allows us to reach in the lower rounds and coach up talent. theres already a 2nd rd pick that will deff drop due to his torn acl (guy from clemson). we need guys that can go now at wr (run routes, beat press, catch contested) we have guys that can go that we dont like at o line

          • Parker Richardson

            Well it’s not just about having time to drop back and find the receiver. Establishing the run was key to our offensive success and there is still room to improve in that area. I do agree about V. Brown though and the need to draft a weapon but with Ladarius Green and Keenan Allen developing and the possibility of Floyd returning I’d say wait on that unless there is someone they love early on.

          • Derek

            Ur absolutely right. I forgot about our new identity under McCoy. Still learning to accept it. I still miss the days phill would come in with 3 wr’s that would be at the bottom of everyone else’s depth chart and light up the defense. But we’re a better team with everything a team effort not all on his shoulders, I had a simmilar convo with Sergio I think this was what he was trying to get me to see

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            more reason why jarvis landry is a perfect receiver for this team.

          • Derek

            i like him way better than bryant of clemson.

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            hands down… i agree with that.

          • Derek

            but im a bit worried he and jordan mattews will have the same prob in the nfl. not being able to get open due to lack of quickness. vincent browns prob too.

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            i have the same concern with Jordan Matthews. He is not high on my list.

          • Derek

            Keep an eye on bridgewaters go to guy at Louisville he’s fast and good in his routes and nobody knows about him.

  • Sergio Quintero

    I would add skilled returner to your list Ernie, I completely agree on the 5 positions, I might switch WR to the 2nd spot ahead of OLB, as it looks to be more of an urgent for this year need (unless the chargers have certainty of Floyd’s status).

    But the returner seems to be a forgotten need, lets remember there is no one that has special to his game out there right now, they have to get other needs before so the chargers have to scavenge the best returner in the 5-7 round range.

    • Rob Base

      I’m stuck on Saunders or Jones for return duties.

      • Sergio Quintero

        My 2 favorites late in the draft for that, I think Archer & D’Anthony Thomas will go to soon to be picked by the chargers.

        • Marcel West-Bailey

          DAT! Sadly I haven’t heard anything of Telesco being interested in him.

          • Rob Base

            Bears and falcons have shown most interest. Wish Bolts could get him.

          • Marcel West-Bailey

            We had scouts at Dri Archers’s pro day so there’s a bit of comfort

          • Rob Base

            Telesco wants to add speed so if he wants him bad enough maybe it’s possible. I’m now praying to the football gods lol.

          • Marcel West-Bailey

            Telesco wants to add speed but I really don’t think it’s going to be any of those players. I think it’s speed on the defensive side of the ball. But it’s a gut feeling so who knows lol keep praying. We might get a new stadium if you pray hard enough.

        • Rob Base

          Another dude I could see Telesco getting is Jeff Janis.

          • Sergio Quintero

            Great athlete, super productive, excellent intangibles, below average hands, I still would bet on the guy because great attitude can improve hands.

  • Matt

    Can I add Left Tackle to the list? Dunlap is injury prone and we want someone to fill his shoes to let Fluker man the right side. Dunlap also becomes an unrestricted free agent next year so we might need insurance incase he doesnt want to resign. Good left tackles can’t always be found in free agency.

    • Sergio Quintero

      The UT recently did an article that Left Tackle isn’t a great urgency, then it comes down is it their opinion or the opinion the chargers are throwing out there, that I leave for you to decide.

      If Dunlap continues his health problems, LT is the first round pick in 2014, no question.

  • Michael

    With addressing all of the needs above this would be a really solid/ideal draft (IMO).

    1st – Kyle Fuller
    2nd – Kyle Van Noy/Jeremiah Attaochu (If either are available.)
    3rd – Daniel McCullers/Daquan Jones (not sure if Jones could play 0 tech in our scheme)
    4rd – Trai Turner/Dakota Dozier/Weston Richburg
    5th – Martavis Bryant/Shaq Evans/Cody Hoffman/Devin Street
    6th – Dri Archer/De’Anthony Thomas/Jalen Saunders
    7th – Aaron Colvin

    • RoyalChargers

      I love this. marcus smith from Louisville a possibility in the second as well

      • Sergio Quintero

        There is a big Cluster of 2nd/3rd round pass rushers, I’m sure the chargers will get one of this group:
        Dee Ford
        Jeremiah Attaochu
        Kyle Van Noy
        Scott Crichton
        Trent Murphy
        Kareem Martin
        Marcus Smith
        DeMarcus Lawrence
        Carl Bradford

        I’m sure they will find one, either 2-3 round they like.

        • Marcel West-Bailey

          I don’t think Dee Ford will fall that far but if he does….well just know when Ernie makes that post I’m going to make up about 95% of the comments.

          • Sergio Quintero

            Ford might go in the early 2nd, but he wont make 57 pick, can’t see that happening, would Telesco do another trade up in the 2nd??

          • Marcel West-Bailey

            Honestly I could see him going to New Orleans at the end of the first but he clearly won’t fall that low. I think Telesco would trade up but I’m not sure it would be for Ford. Maybe Van Noy or Attaochu. However if Houston, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay or Minnesota don’t draft a QB in the top 10 we may trade down and if he’s still there we may take him.

          • Sergio Quintero

            If the chargers trade down with the Jags, they will have ammunition to move up or down in the 2nd round, if Ford available at pick 39 they get from the Jags I would take him in a heart beat.

          • Marcel West-Bailey

            I think that’s actually a possibility. Caldwell is actually good friends with Telesco so they may have already discussed the possibility of that. But if we end up with Dee Ford and a good corner I will have no complaints.

    • Sergio Quintero

      I would love to get Archer or Thomas in the 6th round I have heard more around 4-5 round for them, if they get them in the 6th that would be awesome.

      In terms of Nose tackle I think Justin Ellis or Zack Kerr are better value as 4-5 round picks than McCullers or Jones, they are big and built low to the ground like prototype NT.

      • Michael

        I would love to get Thomas or Archer too but you are right I have seen them being mocked 4-5 but maybe Jalen Saunders will still be there in the 6th. He doesn’t add really add anything to the receiving corp (imo) but as a returner I think he could be a stud.

        For nose tackle I have heard Ellis and Kerr’s names been thrown around but I think since they are 6’1″ their arms might be too short at that position. I think McCullers would be a good pick up because he is a mountain of a man that demands double teams. With some grooming to his technique he could be a monster because with that combo of size, strength, and hopefully better technique after some training he could be a beast. So imo I think he has decent value in the third round. Now it would just be up to our D-Line coach to get the most out of him.

        • Sergio Quintero

          Not an expert in the Nose Tackle arts, but out of what I understand a low center of gravity is more important than arm length, as they say “low man wins”.

          • Michael

            You are right in saying a low center of gravity is in important but when they refer to “low man wins” they are referring to pad level and being under the guy in front of you. I guess it is just the way a person looks at it, arm length or low center of gravity I would say both are pretty important. As being a shorter center/guard myself, nothing drives me crazier than when the guy in front of me can grab a hold of me before I can reach him… but all of these things do come into play as an O or D-Lineman. I would say it is more preference or the type of mold TT and his staff like their D-Linemen.

  • arnie

    That list is upside down, as far as “needs” are concerned.
    CB back play was result of having to cover “longer” due to the lack of a “pass rush”. As it was pointed out to me and i will share. Cam Thomas start in the role of NT was a question that had to be answered. “Is Cam the Chargers guy for the long term?” The answer we all now know is, no. A good pass rush can disrupt the hand off to the RB, or force the QB to make an unwise early throw. The Seahawks D sacked Manning only once, yet they were in his face ALL DAY LONG, with 4 guys. 4.
    YOU DO NOT NEED A CB, IN THE FIRST ROUND, TO PICK A POORLY THROWN BALL.
    The Chargers will pick a CB, just not in the first 2 rounds. Probably not even in the 3rd.

    • Marcel West-Bailey

      I agree, somewhat. You need a pass rush before you need corners but as a whole we don’t have 1 good corner. Our pass rush was ok. Not great. Not anything to be proud of but ok. The thing is, there aren’t going to be any corners outside the first round that are legitimate starters by the time we get our 57th pick. Some number two’s definitely but not a starting quality corner. You can go through this draft with a fine tooth comb and you still wouldn’t get all the pass rushers. We can skip on a OLB, DE or DT for the first round since there will be good talent afterwards that we can let Freeney tutor but we don’t have a choice when it comes to the cornerback position because we have no starting corner to begin with.

      • arnie

        I Disagree. It’s not “where” you pick, but “who” you pick. I mentioned the seattle D for reason, the majority of those players were taken “below the 3rd round”. RIchard Sherman, one th best CB in the League, taken in the “5th” round. We have not seen what Steve Williams, the pick from Cal can do yet. Shareece Wright i wouldn’t call him a top ten CB, for his first time starting he did play better towards the end of the season, once Cox was benched and replaced with Marshal. Actually once Cox was benched the DB’s played better as whole.

        Now the thing is we don’t know who the legitimate starters will be, until camp competition starts. What we do know is better defense starts with the front seven.

        • Marcel West-Bailey

          And once again I agree. But something the Seahawks have that we don’t are people who can develop a corner. If we get another DB coach we might be having a different conversation but as it stands we don’t have a good history for developing cornerbacks. We don’t have the personnel that can take an average corner and turn him into a number 1 db. I also don’t think Williams is going to be a number 1 corner. Possibly a great nickel back but like you said we don’t know until training camp starts. We don’t need another project at corner because that’s not our strength. We need someone that can come in immediately and do well.

          • SDmarm17

            everyone keeps saying that we dont have the personnel to take an average corner and turn him into a number one because in the past we havent been able to. BUT did we not just hire a new secondary coach last year?? making the personnel in the past irrelevant?

          • Marcel West-Bailey

            That’s actually a fair point. And yes we did. But I wouldn’t say that I saw an average secondary last year but it’s only one year. And I personally don’t think one year makes a trend, but if this continues because we decided to take an average corner and we end up with a pass defense that’s just as bad I’m going to continue thinking the same thing. It’s hard to make a case for him considering we we were top of the list in passing yards allowed. That’s the reason why I think we just need to take a great corner so we can focus on other needs and treat our corner like Rex Ryan did Revis. Meet him in the locker room before the game and talk about what movie he saw last night, have a cup of coffee, tell him he’s got the best receiver (obviously) and he’ll see him after the game, let Revis know he wants a BMT from Subway when Revis goes to get lunch during halftime, and then go grab a drink with him after the game.

          • SDmarm17

            The secondary was definitely average but they make a big jump from the beginning of the season to the end of the season once they had found continuity in the secondary, with Cox on the bench, Gilly back in the slot (Where he is best). Also, Addae showed a lot of improvement for being an undrafted rookie free agent and Wright showed a lot of improvement as well from early on in the season to the playoffs. Its hard to say how much of it was the new secondary coach and how much credit can be given to the players getting better through experience and continuity.What many fail to mention is how our secondary hadn’t really played much under Turner, and went to being starters right away in what is supposed to be the hardest position to play in Professional football. I personally think that we MAY be looking at a much improved secondary regardless of we draft in two weeks. We will have to wait and see if it really is Ron Milus who is making our secondary better.

    • Sergio Quintero

      The pass rush should be better if they can actually get Freeney & Ingram on the field at the same time, but even with them, were talking above average but nowhere near elite.

      If by some miracle like Kiper had happening, Barr drops to the chargers, time to change the corner plan, take Barr and don’t look back. Barr is 6’5 specimen who is basically winging it on pure athletic ability, and he still had 24 sacks the last 2 years in the Pac 12, his first 2 playing defense by the way.

      • arnie

        That’s only half the solution, The NT (Cam) didn’t command a double team, but Liuget did. in a 3-4 that is a problem, which is why they were in nickel so often. The Pass Rush isn’t just the OLB, it starts with the NT ability to eat up blockers. The reality is the Chargers will take pass rusher, they will take a CB, none of that will help much if they don’t answer the problem at NT.

        • Sergio Quintero

          Will Pagano use more base if he has a more useful NT, he should, but its been quite a while that most teams play spread, dink-dunk on the chargers up and down the field.

          I’m not a fan of Pagano, lets get that out of way first, his soft zone, keep everything in front of you zone, drives me nuts. His reaction seems pretty simple, team goes 3 WR’s which the chargers have struggled for years to defend, they go to Nickel, should he use his base more, yeah he should, would a NT change his mind, it should, sometimes the guy really seems set in his ways.

          Both Liuget & Reyes don’t 2 gap particularly well, and he has better run defense guys behind them, but he kept playing them, Cox was horrible and he kept throwing him out there.

          Will they prioritize NT and take one in the first round I don’t know, out of the information they are throwing out with the UT beat writers I say no, smoke screen or priority only 2 week to go, will they take NT in the draft they definitely should somewhere in the draft. The truth about their priorities we will know that in less than 2 weeks.

  • Matt

    Starting positions we need to upgrade this year:
    Cornerback (Richard Marshall), Strong Safety (Gilchrist), Defensive End (Reyes), Nose Tackle (Lissemore), Guard (Clary), Wide Receiver (Floyd/Brown)

    Starting positions we need to resign/replace next year:
    Center (Hardwick), Left Tackle (Dunlap), Guard(Clary), Wide Receiver (Royal/Brown), Outside Linebacker (Freeney/Johnson), Running back (Mathews/Woodhead), Cornerback (Wright/Marshall)

    With that said, the positions in common we need today and next year are Guard, Cornerback, and Wide Receiver. Those three we could address on the first three or four rounds. We could also draft a center this year and groom him at the guard position then get another guard next year when he moves to his natural spot at center. That way he has one year to learn the playbook and see how Nick does the line calls.

    I would be happy if we could go (in no particular order, best player available):
    1) Pass Rusher/Nose Tackle
    2) Guard/Center
    3) Cornerback
    4) Wide Receiver

    • Sergio Quintero

      Well written, part of the reason the chargers have so much cap space is rather large group of free agents internally they face for 2015. I expect several are virtual locks to be retained (Liuget, Wright) while others are playing for their next deal (Mathews, Woodhead, Dunlap).

      Out of the players you mentioned to be replaced this year, the only one I disagree is Reyes, he didn’t have a good year, but he also was misused, he has proven consistently he is not a power 3-4 5 tech DE, that can 2 gap, he had a great of success as a pass rusher as a rookie in which his functions were to penetrate and get to the QB, that potential will keep him getting snaps this season, if Pagano were smarter with his use, he would limit his snaps in running situations and concentrate his snaps to nickel/dime formations.

      • Matt

        Reyes might have gotten a sophomore slump because of the scheme or for not having a good nose tackle beside him. Hopefully he turns it up this year because last year he was one of the worst rated defensive ends (Profootball focus) in terms of stopping the run. With Manti Te’o getting one year of experience and his foot healed, maybe Pagano can trust our linebackers more and one gap Reyes to put our defense back where it was on 2012.

        We could also draft a good run stopping defensive end to rotate with Reyes and Liuget on the first two downs. If Stephon Tuitt falls in the second round to our pick I would grab him too.

        • Sergio Quintero

          The chargers seemed to trim his snaps late in the season, seeing more of Dline with Guy, Lissemore & Thomas on run downs, so rotating a run first DE can only help his game, Pagano seems to rotate liberally anyway.

  • Loco Bravo

    Just a bunch of arm chair General Managers, no one knows what the Chargers are going to do including the Bolts. When their # 25 pick comes up it all depends on what selections are made ahead of them. It happens every year with last minute trades up and down. You comic book readers might as well start a fantasy draft because many of you play fantasy football already. Get Real.