The San Diego Chargers are sitting in the prettiest position for the 2016 NFL draft. That is, if you agree with opinion of Zach Petersel, who said as much in this Forbes article.
Truthfully, Petersel makes some good points. Due to the blockbuster trade between the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams that vaulted the Rams to the top of the draft, there is a near certainty that the top two picks in the draft will be quarterbacks. Since the Chargers won’t be after a quarterback, the threat of the No.1 player on their board being taken is gone.
The Chargers will get that player, barring a trade of their own. And there will be teams that come calling, particularly if the team at No. 2 doesn’t choose a quarterback, as Petersel also points out.
So, how enviable is this position for the Chargers? How much have they had to change their own draft strategy and how seriously will they listen to trade offers? To know the answers to those questions, you’d have to be sitting with Tom Telesco and his staff inside the team’s war room. However, one thing is for sure.
This is a pick that Telesco can’t afford to get wrong.
— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) April 14, 2016
So which direction does he go? Who is the No. 1 player on his board? The Chargers will have a bevy of great options to choose from. Joey Bosa or DeForest Buckner would give the team a dynamic pass-rush option. Jalen Ramsey is a supremely talented piece to add to any team’s secondary. Laremy Tunsil could start at left tackle for the next decade.
I can't help but think the Dallas Cowboys draft CB Jalen Ramsey at No. 4 now that Chargers will have LT Laremy Tunsil sitting there at No. 3
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) April 15, 2016
All of these options will be in play for the Chargers, and it won’t be an easy decision. It doesn’t seem like there’s a “wrong answer”, as all of the players listed above would make sense. But how does Telesco settle on one?
The draft is deep at the defensive line position, so that could lead to him thinking he could get a talented player later on. He might ask himself how he could pass on a player like Ramsey. But, he could also choose to go with the “safe” pick by selecting Tunsil. It would hard for anyone to blame him for drafting Tunsil. The offensive line struggled last season and it’s not like King Dunlap and Joe Barksdale are terrific, long-term options.
Perhaps the best move is to not take a player, at least not at No. 3. Maybe it makes more sense to trade back and snag a couple of extra picks in the process.
It’s easy to call the Chargers the “biggest winner” of the Rams-Titans trade, as Petersel does. But that trade also left Telesco with no excuse not to hit on his first-round pick this year.