The Rant: Chargers’ Draft was “Disastrous”

Nov 22, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; A San Diego Chargers fan yells during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; A San Diego Chargers fan yells during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

When I first started writing for Bolt Beat two years ago, I wrote a column called “The Rant.”

It was basically an opinionated piece based off the opinions of others. The definition of irony, am I right? After skimming through the comment section of several Charger-related articles, it fueled me to bring it back.

The first mistake I made was reading the comments (damn you First Amendment rights!). All jokes aside, we’ve all come across those hard-nosed, sensitive and ‘I respect your opinion and believe in equality but I’m right and you’re wrong’ type of people.

So what did I see? Well, a good amount of readers called the Chargers’ 2016 NFL Draft a disastrous one. Their reasons why? Let’s list them.

  1. Joey Bosa will be a bust.
  2. The Chargers passed up on defensive back Jalen Ramsey and linebacker-safety hybrid Myles Jack.
  3. No offensive tackles were taken and it was the team’s most pressing need.
  4. Tight end was not a need.
  5. Max Tuerk was a reach.
  6. These players are a waste because they don’t fit the scheme.
  7. The Chargers didn’t take any risks and went with safe players.
  8. “I guess they gave up on this year already.”

These are just half of what I saw. Where is PC Principal to rough them up when you need him? But seriously, how can you say that general manager Tom Teleco’s draft was disastrous!?

If we’re looking at it from day one without any roadblocks, the Chargers appear to have had one hell of a draft. It’s always too early to say, but based off strong resumes and potential along with experts’ grades, the Chargers did very well. Now, let’s go back and address these comments.

  1. To say Bosa is a bust is blasphemous. He has yet to play ONE snap in the NFL. For now, all we can do is judge him based off his college performance. According to Pro Football Focus, the former Buckeye finished as the No. 1 and No. 2 pass rusher in the nation among edge defenders in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and totaled 26 career sacks. He was also the No. 1 run defender among edge defenders in both years. He’s only 20 years old and could very well be the Chargers’ best defender next season. Again, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and you have the right to call me a hypocrite for saying the exact opposite of these commenters; but going with the “bust” label early on is harsh.
  1. The second comment goes hand-in-hand with picking Bosa. Ramsey would have been a nice pick, but the Chargers needed more help on the defensive line. That doesn’t make the Bosa selection a wrong one. As for Jack, he’s flashy, but his knee is a huge concern. What if the Chargers already found a dominate linebacker-safety hybrid in fifth-rounder Jatavis Brown? It would make the Henry pick that much better. And speaking of Brown, there’s always a chance he will be the team’s starting safety by the end of the year, so get it out of your head that the Chargers didn’t draft one (they also have Dexter McCoil, a CFL and offseason standout, on the roster, too).
  1. Sorry to disappoint, but offensive tackle was not a pressing need. King Dunlap, Joseph Barksdale and Chris Hairston all signed new deals within the last two years. If any position on the offensive line is a major problem going into 2016, it’s center. Trevor Robinson was PFF’s lowest-rated center last season. The Pillsbury Dough Boy would have held up better at the position than Robinson did. Look for him to be gone before the season starts. As for Chris Watt, he’s been injured and inconsistent to say the least, and he needs to be moved back to guard. Undrafted free agent and former Oregon Duck tackle Tyler Johnstone could fight for a roster spot, too. I will say this: the Chargers need to find a replacement for Dunlap sooner rather than later.
  1. Jared Leto’s Joker—his tattoos specifically—perfectly describe this one. Behind Antonio Gates, who else can start at tight end if needed? You’re going to rely on free-agent acquisition Jeff Cumberland? Henry can block, catch (no drops last season) and should make an easy transition into the NFL after coming from Bret Bielema’s pro-stye offense at Arkansas. He’s ready to play now, and he’s also the future.
  1. Speaking of centers, if it weren’t for a knee injury last season, Tuerk would have likely been one of the first centers off the board. He’s the key to fixing the offensive line, so let’s hope he’s ready for training camp. If not, the Chargers will hold tryouts looking for the next Vince Papale. That’s all I’ll say about this.
  1. Ah yes, the classic scheme debate. So you’re saying you’d rather take a chance on a bad player who fits a scheme than draft a good-to-great player who isn’t the perfect fit? Grow up. I may be exaggerating, but saying that Bosa or Joshua Perry are wastes because they don’t fit is more outlandish than Donald Trump’s remarks Mavericks owner Mark Cuban saying Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook isn’t a star. They’re good players, and while the Chargers are a 3-4 on paper, they played 70 percent of their snaps in sub-packages, per the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  1. Didn’t take a risk? No players are safe picks. We’ve even seen “cant-miss” tackles including Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and Matt Kalil end up failing to meet expectations after they were deemed safe. I call B.S.
  2. Well that’s not nice. I’m more upset than Michael Jordan after that comment.

If these people really thought this draft was disastrous, then I’m glad I wasn’t around for their reactions during Telesco’s prior drafts.