Chargers Draft

Chargers 2016 Draft: Why it was TT’s Best

Feb 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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It was an exciting weekend for Chargers fans as the draft added eight new members to the squad. Only time will tell, but many of us feel like this was Tom Telesco’s best draft thus far.

Why do we feel that way? Was it because we drafted a stud like Joey Bosa? Or that several of our picks were considered the best at their respective positions? Or was it because we drafted some good athletes–even though we are not sure where they will fit in?

Those are all good reasons, but I think it was TT’s best draft because of four things that we didn’t see:

First, there was no desperation trade up for that “guy we had to have.” In previous drafts, Telesco has burnt picks (especially fourth-rounders) carelessly and it hasn’t always worked out. Burning a pick to nab Manti Te’o is looking more and more like a bone-headed move, and burning two picks last year to move up only two spots to grab Melvin Gordon was very questionable since it appeared that there was no one in front of us going to grab him. So, good job to Telesco this year for keeping his cool.

Second, there was no reach. No Chris Watt or Craig Mager picks. Telesco didn’t have to answers those awkward questions at the post presser when people ask, “Why are you taking a fifth-round talent in the third?” He drafted more strategically than he has in the past by allowing guys to fall to him rather than going and getting them.

Thirdly, there were no ‘who?’ picks. The ones where the TV commentators were quickly digging through their paperwork to find something good to say about some obscure pick from a small school in a minor conference. Most guys came from solid football programs in major conferences. Tested metal.

And the last thing the Chargers didn’t do was draft any positions where we were already deep.  There were none of those Marion Grice and Tevin Reese picks.  Every guy who was drafted will likely be on the roster. The only question mark on making the roster is seventh-rounder Donavon Clark. We drafted for need and it was good.

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Not doing those four things made this draft class solid. But the Chargers also added one thing that made this draft better than the rest:  they drafted linemen in the first four rounds.

Two of the first four picks were linemen, which is where it should be EVERY year. Perennial playoff teams spend 50 percent of their picks on lineman. This should be the base line that the Chargers shoot for every year. There are so many injuries on the line every year that you need to keep refilling the depth at these positions.

It will be a while before we know how good this draft class is, but it definitely gave me hope that Telesco is turning a corner as a GM.

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