The Tom Telesco Mess – Draft Edition
As we watched last year’s draft many of us were screaming at the TV screens as the Chargers selections were made. “Why are we not drafting linemen?” Some of us were ready to tar and feather Telesco, some of us were beginning to be suspect of what was going on and others stuck with the slogan, “In TT we trust.”
We could have drafted lineman, but now we are picking lineman up out of the garbage heap to put together a team while we have a 2nd and 3rd pick riding the pine and playing special teams – freaking ridiculous.
Now 4 games into the 2015 campaign the echo of the cry of the fans is pounding in my head, “Why are we not drafting lineman?” In a pre draft article I wrote last year I put the need for O-line and D-line help at the top of the list. I was looking at guys like Danny Shelton and Andrus Peat. But the Charger did not draft help for the lines and here we are 4 games into the season and we are realizing that we are screwed again. Without an o-line WE ARE SCREWED. It is going to be a long year. You can try and find guys in the picked over remnants of free agency but hope is slim that you will find guys that would bring this line anywhere near competitive. Our goals should change from trying to win games to trying to keep Phil alive through the season.
This is TT’s 3rd draft class and other than picking up DJ Fluker we have yet to pick up another top talent on the O-line or D-line. Lineman make up over a third of your starters. You think we would have focused more of our early picks on them. But of the 12 quality picks (rounds 1-4) from 2013-2015 we have selected 2 lineman and one of those was a reach.
TT’s drafting decisions have led us to where we are. Look at last year’s draft specifically. In rounds 2 and 3 the Chargers selected an ILB and a CB, positions that were not in an area of need. We could have drafted lineman, but now we are picking lineman up out of the garbage heap to put together a team while we have a 2nd and 3rd pick riding the pine and playing special teams – freaking ridiculous.
Lets look at TT’s other drafts…
20131. DJ Fluker – Good pick. Has DJ lived up to the lable of a #1? Not yet but he is a solid lineman.2. Manti Teo (and pick 4 to move up) – A slow ILB with supposedly a good nose for the football. This pick is one year away from being a bust. We will not resign him. Bad pick, maybe horrible considering we also burnt a 4th to get him.3. Keenan Allen – Excellent pick. Telesco’s best pick in 3 years.4. Traded Away5. Stevie Williams – Average pick. Back up CB who is playing well.6. Tourek Williams – Average pick. Back up OLB7. Brad Sorensen – Average pick. Practice Squad QB (he will never be anything more)
20141. Jason Verrett – We spent our #1 on a little CB, who plays awesome. However he was injured when we drafted him and has not proven to be very durable. Bradley Roby was also available at this spot. In hindsight, Roby might have been the better choice. Good pick.2. Jerry Attaochu – Good pick. Bothered by injuries his first year, he is showing potential this year. (We burnt a pick to move up and get him. Was he worth two picks? It is yet to be seen.3. Chris Watt – Bad pick. It was a reach at the time. Watt looks like a backup lineman to me. Nothing special.4. Traded away5. Ryan Carrethers – Average pick. Another reach on draft day. A short nose tackle. Ryan has shown good play at times but has yet to unseat Lissemore as starter6. Marion Grice – Bad pick. Did not make the team as we drafted him in to a position with depth.7. Tevin Reese – Bad pick. Did not make the team as we drafted him into a position with depth.
20151. Melvin Grodon – Great pick. Gordon looks like the real deal and will be a consistant RB for the Chargers for a long time. However did we need to give away two picks (2015 4th round and 2016 5th round) to move up?2. Denzel Perryman – Average pick. But we drafted him in a position that has depth. I like the player, but the selection did not make sense for the Chargers. It would be nice to get a starter with your second pick.3. Craig Mager – Average pick. Mager may be a good CB someday, but we drafted him in a position that already had depth, which means he rides the pine when we had immediate needs that could have been filled.4. Traded away5. Kyle Emmanuel – Excellent pick. Give this scout a raise. Emmanuel has the potential to be a starter in this league. It is not often you find a starter in the fifth round.6. Darius Philon – Great Pick. I think Darius could be a starter in the league someday. He came out real early for the draft (sophomore) and that is perhaps why his stock plummeted.7. Traded away.
Here is the breakdown…
Excellent picks (2) – Keenan Allen, Kyle EmanuelGreat Picks (1) – Melvin GordonGood Picks (4) – Fluker, Verrett, Philon, AttaochuAverage Picks (6) – Williams, Williams, Sorenson, Carrethers, Perryman, MagerBad Picks (4) – Manti Teo, Grice, Reese, WattPicks Traded Away (4)
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When Tom Telesco arrived we had hoped for a draft genius. He gave us his philosophy of building through the draft. I envisioned a solid stream of great players being added to the squad as he transformed this team into a superbowl contender, but the stream has been more of a trickle and the Chargers do not appear to be much improved over when he arrived.
TT’s drafting Grade: C-