UCLA Bruins guard Xavier Su’a-Filo
It’s a rhetorical question. Of course you are. There has been a ton of speculation about who will join the Bolts at pick 25 or if they will trade the pick. Conventional wisdom leans toward trading down rather than up and a lot has been written about the 25th pick being an ideal spot for a trade given the Browns at 26 are certainly in the QB derby.
But what would be the best course of action?
It will not surprise anyone to say that the Chargers will take “the best athlete available” given one of the positions of need. Umm, well, duh!
Okay, so that’s not exactly a Nostradamus prediction. Another way to say it though, might describe Tom Telesco and company’s draft strategy and reveal at least an idea of some of the players the Chargers may have lined up in their scopes. The way to build a successful team is to get “difference makers (DMs).”
While that again may be obvious on the face, and not all that different from “the best athlete available” strategy, let’s look closer.
Corner Back- The Chargers should not take CB just because it is a position of need. After a few DMs there exists a good argument that the next tier is not separated by much. Take a DM if the value is there based on team research. Who are the DMs? Although you have to trust our research, the clear upper tier seems to include Justin Gilbert, Kyle Fuller, and Darqueze Dennard. The others have issues. Odds of a CB? 5/2
Nose Tackle- After watching film, I’m not sold on Louis Nix, but he would not be a terrible choice if the Bolts feel he is their guy. He has the size you need to anchor a 3-4 defense and the Chargers certainly have more scouts and more ability to research than I do. With the exception of Ra’Shede Hageman, most of the DTs are undersized for a 3-4, and Hageman has some issues. I’d be surprised if we took him in the first round. Odds of a DT? 3-1
Wide Receiver- At the beginning of the review process more than a month ago, I didn’t see this as much of an option with our first pick, especially with players like Jordan Mathews, Cody Latimer, and Donte Moncrief available later in the draft. Things have changed. If a DM is there at 25, a strong consideration has to be made. Brandin Cooks is a play maker. It’s hard not to like him. Odds of a WR? 4-1
Outside Linebacker- Football is won and lost rushing the quarterback (and/or protecting him). If for some inexplicable reason Anthony Barr drops as some have suggested, it seems like a must pick. But that seems, at best, a long shot. Jermiah Attaochu and Ryan Shazier seem like round 2 picks to me and Dee Ford isn’t an every down player from most projections, but I could see that pick. That leaves Kyle Van Noy as an outside possibility at 25. The Bolts seem to really like him and he definitely won’t last until our second round pick, so he could be the choice. Odds of an OLB? 3-1
Offensive Line- At either guard or left tackle, an excellent case can be made that if an elite athlete is available, either could be a pick at 25. There are several hovering in the late first round who could add to the character of our O-line. Xavier Su’a-Filo, Cyrus Kouandjio, and Morgan Moses could put the Bolt offensive line in the 49ers category and that is very appealing. A month ago, I was against this idea, but now it might actually be the direction they go should a clear cut DM not be available. Odds of a OL? 4-1
Obviously, there are other positions of need but these seem most likely. A lot of us are anxious to see what happens on Thursday. I can’t wait.