Nov 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks to pass during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 43-35. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Bolt Beat will do weekly polls on Twitter. This week we focused on a future replacement for QB Philip Rivers.
One of the main reasons why the Chargers have been competitive over the years is because of quarterback Philip Rivers. The six-time Pro Bowler is one of the best passers in the NFL. Since becoming a starter in 2006, the former first-round pick has yet to miss a game. He’s thrown at least 20 touchdown passes in every season and has four consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons (2013-16). Not only that, but he’s led the league in passing yards (2010), passing touchdowns (2008), completion percentage (2013) and yards per attempt (2008-2010) during his 13-year career.
Despite Rivers keeping the Chargers in games, he finished with the most interceptions (21) in 2016, which is the second time in his career where he led the league in picks (2014).
Rivers is a baller, but he’s 35 years old and doesn’t have much time left. Kellen Clemens was re-signed as the team’s backup quarterback, but he’s obviously not the future. That said, the Chargers need to start looking for a heir apparent to Rivers, but should that be right now?
Bolt Beat’s Travis Wakeman wrote out a list of prospects the Chargers could target in the 2017 NFL Draft. In NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft, he made a bold move by having the Chargers select Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson with the No. 7 overall pick. Here’s what Jeremiah had to say:
“The Chargers start preparing for life after Philip Rivers by selecting Watson. He’s not ready to play right away but he’ll have time to sit and learn behind one of the best in the business.”
I understand the need to find a future replacement for Rivers, as does general manager Tom Telesco; but I disagree with this pick, especially because I don’t believe there are any quarterbacks in this draft that are top-10 worthy. Should one of those prospects fall to the second round, it would make sense to invest. Unfortunately, with teams like the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets all in front of the Chargers, I don’t see one making it to the second round.
With a talented but injury-riddled team like the Chargers, they should keep adding more playmakers and give Rivers, who is signed through the 2019 season, one last push. This is a deep draft class, and with the Chargers picking at the top for the second year in a row, they have a chance to snag a starter in almost every round.
If the Chargers don’t draft a quarterback, expect Telesco to sign one as an undrafted free agent. He found an 1,000-yard receiver in Tyrell Williams, so maybe he can use his magical undrafted free-agent powers and find the next franchise QB.
We asked fans on Twitter whether they’d like for the Chargers to draft a QB in 2017 or wait until next year to find Rivers’ successor. Here were the results.
Weekly Poll! Should Chargers look for Philip Rivers' successor in this year's draft or next?
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) March 17, 2017
A whopping 80 percent of fans want the Chargers to wait one more year. Again, the Chargers need to find a future quarterback sooner rather than later, but picking best available player (BPA) in each round should be the main thing on their mind in the 2017 draft.