Draft Wrap, 2013 San Diego Chargers
By James Fedewa
Apr 27, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers second round draft pick Manti Te
New Chargers management and coaching staff faced their largest paramount task with a successful draft. Taking what was offered (within a limited price) and without panic, GM Tom Telesco and HC Mike McCoy played their cards that were dealt, bet when had to (folded too), and walked as away wining six new team members with very good ranking. A first round left tackle was the primary goal, but any rookie left tackle worth starting day one was gone by the 4th overall pick (and San Diego was selecting at #11).
DJ Fluker, right tackle (Alabama): Fluker will have a lot to learn as a rookie, but he comes from the best collegiate football program in America, brings success with him, championships and an eagerness to work. Within one year, you’ll forget about him (in a good way). Fluker will command the right side of the line immediately and for a long time, Charger fans will not have to worry about right tackle for a long while.
Manti Te’o, inside linebacker (Notre Dame): Regular-Season college football dynamo / Leader of the best college (3-4) defense in America / earned team captain & leader (Eagle Scout) / 7 interceptions and a second place vote for the Heisman Trophy (as a defensive player), Te’o brings an amazing pedigree with accolades to San Diego. Aside the Te’o Catsfishing echo, he could not find a more suitable place to get drafted to. The San Diego defense is looking for new playmakers, leaders, identity and strength (and it cost Telesco a 4th round pick to do it). Great pick and one word: Playmaker
Keenan Allen, wide receiver (Cal): Physical, Fluid, football player, catches everything, good size, deceiving speed and first-down machine. With an accurate quarterback, Allen will even shine brighter. Rivers likes big receivers with wide catching areas, and Allen can be exactly that, but actually with first round graded talent. If Rivers can make Denario Alexander look great, Allen should be a vast upgrade (as long as he can stay healthy for full rookie season and pro education). He can be a #1 receiver.
Steve Williams, cornerback (Cal): Technician-Athlete, Fast, Apt, Quick, ball-hawk, very good with his hands and a hitter/tackler. William’s stood out at the combine with impressive mearsuables and testing (40 time 4.34 / vert. jump: 40.5), but he’s not exactly tall at 5’ 8” (which made him slide in a draft full of talented cornerbacks). He’ll compete immediately for playing time at nickel corner and special teams and he’ll match up very well with new Broncos WR Wes Welker & KC’s Dexter McCluster. Think of an underrated Honeybadger. Future fan favorite.
Tourek Williams, outside linebacker (Florida International) 260 lbs. Pass Rusher that can provide depth to a team that lost two solid OLB’s. Solid 6th round draft pick.
Brad Sorensen, quarterback (Southern Utah): Camp arm, but does have a shot to make the team. Scouts believe he has the type of ability that can translate well at the pro-level. Big 6’ 5” 230 lbs. pocket passer.
Left Tackle: NO
Backup Defensive Line Depth: NO
San Diego drafted well and I give them a B+/A-. The Chargers received great value with a few of their picks and still need to fill some holes in free agency. Left tackle still remains a large concern, but King Dunlap paired with DJ Fluker feels like an upgrade over Mike Harris/Jared Gaither and Jeromey Clary.
There still is plenty of time to sift through the waiver wire and scoop up some other teams salary cap problems (at a discount of course). Expect a couple of left tackles to be available after final team cuts. Until then Telesco will be contacting several left tackles still available. Free Agent Demetress Bell has ties with San Diego’ offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris. Philadelphia’s LT Jason Peters could be replaced by newly drafted LT Lane Johnson (Jason Peters also has ties with D’Alessandris). Do not rule out DJ Fluker to try some left tackle as well, as D’Alessandris has a new project with more talent than Peters (undrafted) and Bell (7th round). D’Alessandris can fine the talent on this team and it might be there already in King Dunlap (7th round).