The 2016 NFL draft is just over one month away, and there is still plenty of speculation surrounding the San Diego Chargers and the No. 3 overall pick. That will likely be the case all the way up until the Chargers go on the clock.
There will be many options available, including trading out of the spot. However, should the Chargers select a player, Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey seems to be a popular choice among the fanbase. But what if the Chargers pass on him?
That is a very real possibility, specifically because of the focus that general manager Tom Telesco has placed on the secondary this offseason.
Yes, the team lost Eric Weddle. He won’t be easy to replace. That said, Telesco did add safety Dwight Lowery and cornerback Casey Hayward through free agency. The team also came to terms on a new one-year deal with restricted free agent Jahleel Addae on Thursday.
With Addae as the hard-hitting enforcer of the secondary combined with the veteran experience of Lowery, the Chargers have a good situation at the safety position. At cornerback, things look even better with Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett and Hayward. Throw in last year’s promising third-round pick Craig Mager, and secondary isn’t the team’s biggest weakness.
Ramsey is an exciting player that may be good enough to be the top pick of the entire draft. The Tennessee Titans will likely give him a long look at that spot. So, there is the chance that Ramsey won’t even be on the board at No. 3. The Cleveland Browns seem poised to take a quarterback at No. 2, or trade their selection to a team that really wants a quarterback like Jared Goff or Carson Wentz—such as the San Francisco 49ers. Another distinct possibility is that the Browns take Ramsey at No. 2.
The Chargers will come up next, and they could go in several different directions. But adding a dynamic pass rusher should be strongly considered. Both Joey Bosa and DeForest Buckner will be viable options. Buckner seems to be the better fit in San Diego’s defensive scheme.
While Lowery won’t be able to replace Weddle, the argument can be made that Ramsey would be able to do that, and then some. But improving the front seven and getting a potential game-changing pass rusher is just as intriguing, particularly for a team that notched just 32 sacks a year ago.
Adding Ramsey makes sense and there’s no way to call it a bad choice. It just might not be the best choice. After the work that Telesco has put into rebuilding the secondary through free agency, he might agree that finding a guy to pressure the quarterback is the way to go in the first round. And, because of the interest Ramsey is drawing from other teams, he might not have a choice.