The 2014 NFL Draft and Tom Telesco’s 2nd draft as Chargers GM is in the books. Now, it’s time to disect the picks until OTAs start on May 27th and we can actually see these guys in action. Check out my draft grades for the Chargers.
Round 1, Pick 25: CB Jason Verrett (5’9″, 190 lbs.)
I love this pick, mostly because I thought Verrett was two inches away from being the best corner in the draft. Verrett ran the 2nd fastest 40 at the combine with a 4.38. He also posted the 3rd highest vertical jump among corners which makes me worry less about his height. He is very quick and athletic with great timing and ball skills. He doesn’t necessarily have the size to consistently match up against #1 receivers, so the Chargers may still need to find a #1 corner that will not have that disadvantage against larger NFL wideouts. They may have reached a little to snag Verrett. Regardless, I like this pick a lot for a team that desperately needed help at corner.
Round 2, Pick 50: OLB Jeremiah Attaochu (6’3″, 252 lbs.)
If I loved the Verrett pick, I want to marry this one. TT traded up from #57 to the #50 spot and it cost him a 4th rounder. Starting to see a trend? Even though this draft was deep and the 4th round held some good talent, I think TT believes the second round is the sweet spot for trading up. It doesn’t cost too much like the 1st round, and it can actually add top tier talent to the roster. Attaochu has great burst off the line and always has his motor running. Verrett and Attaochu are both relentless defenders and will help to change the identity of this defense. He is only 21 years old and a little raw, but is mature beyond his years. He is the exact mold of a TT type of player. I don’t mind giving up the 4th rounder for a potential starter.
Round 3, Pick 89: G/C Chris Watt (6’3″, 310 lbs.)
The Chargers missed out on C Marcus Martin, DT Will Sutton, DT Louis Nix, G Gabe Jackson, and CB Phillip Gaines earlier in the round. They also passed on Donte Moncrief who was selected a pick later. I think TT reached a bit here for a guy that isn’t very strong or athletic. Apparently he is very smart and could eventually be Nick Hardwick’s replacement. However, I don’t see him getting much playing time this year unless someone goes down. The only thing keeping me from hating this pick is that Joe D’Alessandris likely lobbied for this guy, and who am I to argue with the master?
Round 4, Pick 125: NONE (OLB Jeremiah Attaochu)
Round 5, Pick 165: DT Ryan Carrethers (6’1″, 337 lbs.)
Carrethers was a projected very late round pick, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him taken here. He is not quick and not not show a good first burst off the line. He has short arms and struggles with hand placement. He can however, squat 700 lbs. and put up 36 reps of 225 lbs. at his pro day. According to him, he will compete for a starting job this year, and I hope he is right. Hopefully the coaches can find a way to use his freakish strength, or else this pick will be a waste.
Round 6, Pick 201: RB Marion Grice (6’0″, 208 lbs.)
Marion Grice caused quite a stir when he was taken over the now un-drafted WR Brandon Coleman in the 6th round. I didn’t like this pick at first. I think he was drafted to be a returner, yet he only ran a 4.67 40-yard dash. However, Grice is one of the most elusive backs I’ve seen in this draft. He is so patient with his cuts and has great vision on the field. He could be a great punt returner with his ability to make defenders miss in space. Grice has a knack for getting into the endzone and has great hands to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Round 7, Pick 240: WR Tevin Reese (5’10″, 163 lbs.)
This was a great pick in the 7th round. Reese ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine. He was the top performer among receiver in the vertical jump, 2nd in the broad jump, and 2nd in the 3-cone drill. The guy is an absolutely insane athlete. The biggest problem is his weight and potential durability in the NFL, yet he only missed 4 games in college as a senior with a broken wrist. I think is he will compete for the returner spot in training camp and if he adds about ten pounds, could even play outside as a flanker. He also has pink dread locks. I mean, how cool is that?
How would you guys grade the Chargers draft?