Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Valuing the Chargers' 2014 Draft

In this exciting time of the NFL draft, every team is a Super Bowl contender and every fan worth his salt spins his team’s moves as brilliant. Being a diehard fan makes you stupid. But as they say, “Ignorance is bliss!”

It’s fun to pull for your team and if you don’t look at the glass as half full then you’re plain and simply a pessimist. No fun in that.

So let’s have fun…

The Chargers’ first pick is a typical Tom Telesco player. Jason Verrett is a FOOTBALL PLAYER. That’s in ALL CAPS because although all these guys are “football players” certain guys rise above measurables and just have the heart and brain of a player. Although not a Telesco pick, another FOOTBALL PLAYER is a guy named Eric Weddle. At 5’11”, he is not a prototypical player body and stat-wise, but there isn’t an intelligent person around who wouldn’t want Weddle to anchor their defense. The only issue with Verrett is his diminutive 5’9” height. Most pundits say that if he were an inch or 2 taller, he’d be the number one corner in the draft. His vertical leap at 39” more than makes up for his lack in height. And, as coaches are wont to say, “You can’t teach speed.” With a 4.3 40, Verrett has speed. Really, do you want a 6”3” corner who’s a day late and a dollar short getting to the play? This is a great pick at 25.

For the second year in a row, we trade up in the second round to get a linebacker. Clearly, a player the Chargers had targeted, Jeremiah Attaochu is a good size, good motor, good work ethic player who fits the Bolts’ scheme perfectly. He is a player that I had hoped would fall to us in the second round. In fact, my prediction with friends was that we would trade our first pick and get Attaochu as our first player, high in the second round. This is actually my favorite pick of the draft.

Round three brought us Chris Watt from the golden dome of Notre Dame. Whenever you can get a player from a front line program, it has to be considered a plus. Watt can play both guard positions, but has also worked at center, a facet of his game that seems particularly important considering the stage of Nick Hardwick’s career. Watt is a player that the Charger brass identified as a key in the third round and they seemed glad when he lasted until then. That the Bolts had targeted him is good enough for me.

After skipping round 4 in the trade up to get Attaochu, the Chargers finally addressed our nose tackle roster issue by selecting Ryan Carrethers. In a rather lengthy discussion with friends about the nose tackle position (and my aversion to picking Louis Nix in the first round), I argued that we need a big bodied space eater in the middle, not a quick, agile player. We need a cement post in the middle; a guy that can neutralize double teams and get penetration when not doubled. Frankly, watching Carrethers tape, he looked better for what we need than Nix. It’s not that I think he’s a better player than Nix, just a better fit for our defense. Carrethers was projected higher, so getting him in round five seems like a solid move.

Rounds six and seven are a virtual crap shoot anyway, so the addition of Marion Grice and Tevin Reese as possible help on offense and special teams appear to be a gamble worth taking. Grice is an all-purpose back who can catch the ball out of the backfield and Reese is a quick wide out who can return kicks and was a stud in the Underwear Olympics scoring at or near the top in the vertical jump, cones, and broad jump, so it’s clear he’s an athlete.

Overall, I give the Chargers a Q because it’s a letter and the assigning of letters at this point seems extremely random to me and I kind of like the letter Q because of its quirkiness. And I kind of like the Chargers’ draft too.

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  • tubbs45

    Q, LOL. it was rather strange. but the UDFAs have picked up pace. Hoping for Richardson (even with a knee issue), Coleman and Loston…

  • Gunnar Martin

    Good, positive analysis Michael! I gotta say that I am a glass-half-full kind of guy, and I’m really excited about each and every player TT selected. The offseason should come much faster now that we’ve reached this point.

  • BlueBoltFan

    I didn’t like the idea of giving up another 4th round pick, especially in such a deep draft. And I was hoping we’d take a WR somewhere in the 1st 4 rounds. Still, I have no complaints about any of the picks.

    The Grice pick is a bit curious considering the backfield is already crowded (and talented). I would have liked to have seen Brandon Coleman, Daniel McCullers, or Antonio Richardson with that pick. But all those guys have motor/effort issues so Telesco probably scratched them off the list in March.

    Other than that, I like every pick we made. Solid draft

    • Michael Norton

      If I’m being honest, I didn’t like giving up the 4 either, but I liked Attaochu so much that I was okay with the move.

      Grice does seem like a weird pick given our crowded backfield, but I suppose he could turn out to be a special teamer of value that might just stick and be a guy for us after the contracts of our RBs expire. Although a lame reason to draft a guy, at least we have a guy to hand the ball to in the preseason.

      It makes so much sense to go for high motor, character guys that I wonder why more teams don’t do it more often. I guess somebody has to draft the elite athlete jerks though.

      • BlueBoltFan

        That’s the thing. I’m happy we picked up Attaochu. Seems like the team was set on either
        him or Van Noy. And we got the better pass rusher of the two, especially going forward. I just wish we could have done it without giving up that pick.

        1. Verrett should be a rookie starter. Day 1 sub-package player at least w/ Pro Bowl potential.

        2. Attaochu; rotational/sub-package player in 2014 and a starter in 2015 w/ Pro Bowl potential.

        3. Watt: Push for starting job in 2014. Starter in 2015 w/10-year starter potential.

        That’s a good draft.

        • Michael Norton

          Totally agree. Van Noy is a tick below Attaochu IMHO, but he was definitely a guy I thought they’d be interested in. Also agree with your potential analysis.

          After watching Fluker last year, I feel like I saw the kind of guy TT likes and it seems like he goes for talent, of course, but guys that LOVE playing football and I think that makes a difference. Although you’d think everyone would love playing and love playing AT 100%, it just isn’t true. That group is actually in the minority and that’s a shame. Tons of guys would give everything to have the talent these guys possess.

  • tubbs45
  • Anthony95

    For a min during draft I thought, holy crap we might get Dennard! Then the fing Bungles f’d that up. Probably payback for us kicking there buts in playoffs!

    Overall I give the draft a B+/A- as Telesco should have picked a second CB in the draft instead of RB (saw he did get 2 more via undrafted class). Lets hope one of these guys pans out.

    -At O-Line he reached a little for Watt – solid but maybe a reach in RD 3 (could have got a few others instead so he must see something other scouts don’t) & then got another OG and 2 T’s in UD class so if one of those guys steps up were good there.

    -D-line think Ryan Carrethers is a good pick and at that RD its good value (would have preferred Nix earlier) & with 2 more DLine picks in UD class good moves.

    -LB Attachou is a good pick to rotate in, give us depth, and take over next year or two for Freeney. Then picking up 2 more LBs in UD class good moves

    -WR maybe Reese can be the KR we have needed since Sproles left and picking up 4 WRs in UD class is good move with 1 more RB so special teams, WR 3-4 types.

    -Safety pick seems like depth/special teams get