LA Chargers News

The Chargers Tom Telesco and The Reach


The reach.  It refers to taking a player in the draft before where he is graded out to go. Of course the grading is subjective.  You ask 10 guys about where a player grades out and you will probably get at least 3 different answers. In each of the Chargers last 3 drafts Tom Telesco has been accused of reaching on several occasions.

Why do you reach? Is it because you fall in love with a guy’s personality? Is it because you have a hunch? Is it because he simply grades out better for you than everyone else? We may never know why, but let’s take a look at some of the reaches.

The reach.  It refers to taking a player in the draft before where he is graded out to go.

Telesco was accused on reaching a little with Teo and Gordon as he carelessly traded picks to move up and grab these players.  So far, Gordon looks like the real deal and as the line returns from injuries and Gordon gets more experience I think we will see that play out and everyone will forget about the extra picks.  I was ready to label Teo a bust after a couple of games this season, but it appears he may be taking a turn for the better.  If he continues to improve this pick might also lose the reach label.

If these work out in the long run no one will care that they were reaches, but what about the picks that don’t work out? Let’s look at what may be one of Telesco’s worst reaches – Chris Watt.

CBS Sports had Watt listed as a 6-7 round pick, 14th best guard in the draft.  Taking him in the 3rd round was a reach for sure. This is what had to say about Watt, “Weaknesses: Lacks ideal arm length and does not have large hands. Needs more sand in his pants. Susceptible to bull rush when powerful tackles get into his frame. Average athlete. Inconsistent connecting with moving targets in space.”

After watching Watt for a while this seems like a pretty accurate assessment of his play. Part of the reach is also looking past other’s assessments and hoping that you are seeing something that they are not.  Or that they are just flat wrong.

So why did Telesco select Watt?  Was he looking for a guard? Was he looking for a future center? Did he think Watt was the Best Player Available?

If he was looking for a guard maybe Trai Turner who was selected 3 picks later would have been a better selection.  Turner started 9 games for the Panthers in 201. He helped the Panthers to a 7th ranked rushing attack.  Turner was named to Sports Illustrated All-Rookie Team. Through 618 snaps in the season, Turner did not allow a single sack and surrendered just 11 QB disruptions. In 2015 Turner picked up where he left off from his strong rookie season. Through the first three games, he did not allow a sack and surrendered just 3 QB disruptions. Through the first four weeks of the season, Turner rated as PFF’s 10th best guard in the NFL.

If Telesco was looking for a future center maybe he should have selected Bryan Stork who was selected 16 picks later. Stork started 11 games for the Patriots in the 2014 season and he has already acquired a superbowl ring in his short tenure in the league.

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If he was looking for the BPA maybe he should have selected Donte Moncrief who after a fair rookie season looks like he is on pace to have nearly 1000 yards this season with 10 TDs.

Of course it is easy to see these things in hindsight. The real trick is to see them before they happen. I guess that’s why you hire a GM – to make good personnel decisions – not to reach.