Chargers Draft

Bolt Beat Monday Mailbag: Most surprising Chargers’ draft selection?

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 13: Craig Mager
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 13: Craig Mager
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Welcome to the third installment of the Bolt Beat Monday Mailbag! All your submitted topics and questions can be found here, with the best response or answer I could give you. Let’s take a look!

Thanks again for all your great submissions! Remember, you can submit anything to the Mailbag in one of these three ways:

  1. On Twitter @tjscooter30
  2. Through email at bbmailbag17@gmail.com
  3. In the comments section

Without further ado…

Question 1: Will the Chargers extend Hayward this offseason? Maybe 2-3 years? – Brandon

Casey Hayward will and should get extended. It’s a no-brainer.

Since leaving Green Bay, Hayward has been the best value player in the NFL. He signed a three-year, $15.3 million deal two years ago and has outplayed every dollar of that contract. For comparison, Hayward, a two-time Pro-Bowler in both years with the Chargers, is the 31st-highest paid corner in the NFL and the 11th-highest paid player on the team. That’s behind players like Buster Skrine, Jeremy Lane and Darqueze Dennard.

PFF's Best Coverage Defender, Casey Hayward!https://t.co/9a67mbENK7 pic.twitter.com/C73hBgSujr

— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 22, 2018

Extending Hayward will likely spell the end for either Jason Verrett or Trevor Williams, both of whom have expiring contracts at the end of the 2018 season.

Some notable Tom Telesco contract extensions are:

  • Melvin Ingram: Four years, $64 million
  • Keenan Allen: Four years, $45 million
  • King Dunlap: Four years, $28 million

I’m not saying Telesco will automatically extend Hayward for four years, but it’s clear he’s fine with giving something longer than a one- or two-year extension. I look for him to get locked up with a three-year extension.

Thanks for the question!

Question 2: Most surprising draft pick in recent memory? – Pistolsel

This question came out of a back-and-forth conversation we had, and it’s a fun one to consider.

A couple come to mind:

  • Craig Mager, 2015, third round
  • Hunter Henry, 2016, second round

But the one I thought of immediately was in 2016. That third overall pick…

Throwback to the 2016 NFL Draft…@chargers https://t.co/NukEqVZAQ4

— Tyler Schoon (@tjscooter30) February 11, 2018

Embedded above is a video of the Chargers’ 2016 Draft party for season-ticket holders at SeaWorld. Surrounded by hundreds of Chargers fans, I eagerly awaited the selection of defensive back Jalen Ramsey, tackle Laremy Tunsil or defensive end DeForest Buckner. The selection was Joey Bosa, and the pick shocked all of us. You can hear how audibly surprised the fans were. Not cheering, not booing; just absolutely stunned.

Question 3 : What kind of draft players could possibly change this team around and help the Chargers make the Super Bowl?  – Bradon

Tom Telesco probably has a three-year window for the Chargers to win the Super Bowl with this core of guys, with every passing year becoming more desperate than the last. The kind of draft picks he needs to make are those that can contribute immediately. Previous selections like Craig Mager, Max Tuerk and last year’s Mike Williams did not need to come in and play right away. Mager was a “project pick,” Tuerk was seen as a future player coming off of injury and Williams had Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin in front of him.

So who can contribute right away? Here are some options:

  • Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
  • Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State
  • Vita Vea, DT, Washington

They need a linebacker, a center or guard (both, really) and a defensive tackle. I chose to ignore quarterback, safety and right offensive tackle for now. Your question calls for me to talk about the kinds of players who could help them win a Super Bowl now, and those three positions do not need to be immediately addressed this draft. At quarterback, you have Philip Rivers. Like it or not, he’s the guy the Chargers will have leading them until the team goes into re-shuffle mode. Safety is covered if the Chargers re-sign Tre Boston, at least for now. Right tackle, while needing improvement, will not be a high selection this year. Telesco will either stick with Barksdale/Schofield/Tevi or replace Barksdale in free agency.

A linebacker can change the defense, as shown with Denzel Perryman’s play when healthy. Tremaine Edmunds will need polishing, but he’s such an athletic freak with good instincts that the transition should be quick. The interior of the line needs to be fixed, particularly for the benefit of the rushing attack. If Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler cannot be successful in goal-line situations in the winter because the center and/or right guard cannot move defensive linemen, then the Chargers have no business talking about a Super Bowl. Billy Price, while a slight reach at pick No. 17, would go a long way in fixing that. Finally, if the team is looking to make any kind of impact in the postseason, then a defensive tackle is a must. Players like Vita Vea would go a long way in not only winning regular season games against the Chiefs (stopping Kareem Hunt), but also stifling AFC playoff teams with strong running attacks (Steelers with Le’Veon Bell, Jaguars with Leonard Fournette, etc.).

Do you think Hayward gets extended this offseason, or the following year? What Chargers’ draft selection surprised you the most, and where were you when the Bolts selected Joey Bosa? If you could take one player in this entire draft to impact the Chargers right now, who would it be?

Thank you again for your submissions! Email seems to be the most popular way to submit, but don’t forget that your comments below and Twitter replies to @tjscooter30 will also be considered for the article. I hope you have a great rest of your week and, as always, Go Bolts!

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