It has been 5 years since the 2006 draft. With it being 5 years, it is appropriate to finally measure how the Chargers did. In order to look back at a draft, they say 5 years is a good time. In those 5 years the particular picks have had time to develop, compile stats and just make a name for themselves.
In 2006, in the first round the 19th pick overall we selected Antonio Cromartie CB from Florida State. As a rookie he was very quiet, he was our third corner, our nickle back playing behind Drayton Florence and Quentin Jammer. it was a very quiet year, only 20 solo tackles with 4 pass deflections. But along came the 2007 season, where he had his chance. Antonio Cromartie started in 8 games and broke out of his shell. He was unstoppable with 44 tackles, 10 interceptions, and 18 pass deflections. This is the same year in which he intercepted Peyton Manning 3 times in a single game (the same game he made that acrobatic interception, one-handed grab while falling backwards). In this year, he also went to his only pro bowl of his career. In the coming 08-09 season, Cromartie was only sub-par. Its seemed as if the turtle went back into his shell. in these 2 years he only had 5 interceptions. Overall as a Charger, he started in 39 games with 15 interceptions and had 150 solo tackles. From 08-09 Cromartie had tons of off the field issues which prompted us to trade him in 2010 to the New York Jets. As a Jet he stayed his course but never came back out his shell. 15 starts, 41 solo tackles, 3 INTs although he did have 17 pass deflections. A great pick that never totally panned out for the Chargers.
In the second round, with the 50th overall pick the Chargers selected Marcus McNeill OT from Auburn. Marcus McNeill silently made his presence heard in his rookie year, becoming the full fledged starter. He was just the OT we were looking for. Many say he got robbed for not even getting rookie of the year honors. Since 2006, he has started 73 games and been voted to the Pro-Bowl twice, one of those years being his rookie year (06,07). In 2010 after sitting out due to contractual conflicts Marcus McNeill finally returned. When returning he was rewarded with a contract extension 49 million over 6 years. This was an awesome pick by the Chargers and we look forward to The Big Mac protectiong our quarterback for years to come.
In round 3 with the 81st pick the Chargers selected Charlie Whitehurst QB Clemson who was supposed to be a quarterback with tremendous upside. Charger fans were never ever totally able to see this due to the fact he was our third stringer behind Billy Volek and Philip Rivers. Not that I’m complaining, we have all seen what Philip Rivers can do. Charlie was traded to Seattle in 2010, where they thought he could be the QB of the future. He started in 2 games, he was 57-99 for 507 yards, 2 TDs 3 ints with a 65.5 QB rating. He had 20 rushes for 43 yards and 1 Td. Talk about being harrassed in 2 games, not the kind of O-line I would want here in San Diego.
In round 5 with the 151st overall pick Tim Dobbins LB Iowa State was selected. Tim Dobbins was a solid back up with his time spent in San Diego. He spent 06-09 playing for the chargers and was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2010. As a back up Tim Dobbins filled in for our injured starters when needed and provided depth for the Chargers. From 06-09 as a Charger 119 solo tackles, 1 sack, 2 int, and 5 forced fumbles. In 2010 he was traded to Miami where he started 6 games filling in for Channing Chrowder. He had 36 solo tackles and a sack. Not a bad way to spend a 5th round pick for a solid back up. He was never a superstar but he came out and played when he was needed.
In round 6 with the 187 pick Jeromey Clary OT, this guy has not been a pro bowler like Marcus McNeill but he has been a steady contributor to our team. He has been criticized in the last couple years. He has 46 games started as a Charger and is a free agent. Is he the answer to our online or should we replace him?
Also in round 6 pick 188: Kurt Smith, K Virginia now this pick never made sense to me since we selected Nate Kaeding just 2 years prior. He never even made the roster and is not in the NFL anymore.
Round 7 pick 225: Chase Page DT North Carolina he makes the roster but then is cut. Makes his way to the Dolphins signs with them and plays in 5 games and has 6 tackles. No longer in the NFL
One more 7th round pick at 227 jimmy Martin C Virginal Tech: cut by Chargers and bounced over to the Vikings and they cut him. He never played a down, not in the NFL.
Overall we found good picks in rounds 1-6 but missing 1 of the 2 in the sixth round. AJ Smith do not repeat the trend of picking a kicker when we have one. You wasted 3 picks but some times thats to be expected in the later rounds. But the Chargers cannot afford any of that this year. We need the strengthen the roster.
So AJ do your research like its your last week at Harvard with finals due, and get these picks right!! More to come on 2006…