Why Tom Telesco will move up in the first round

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Do you remember 2015, when the Bolts moved up two spots to nab Melvin Gordon?

A lot of us questioned Tom Telesco’s move. Why give up two draft picks to move up two spots to grab a player who probably would have fallen to you? Panic? Desperation?

We were not the only ones who questioned him. The press was all over Telesco and his move. With his normal Tom T. draft swagger, he informed the press that the team needed impact players, and he went and got one.

It’s what you gotta do man!

In the days that followed, we heard more about this impact player designation. It appears that the Tom T. draft team designates certain players as impact players, which I think translates to potential Pro Bowlers.  Joey Bosa, Jason Verreyt, Melvin Gordon… maybe Mike Williams some day… maybe?

TT wants a splash. He wants something flashy, sexy. He wants an impact player and he will do what it takes to get one. Or at least that was his attitude in 2015. Will we see the same thing this year?  Will the Chargers again move out of that No. 17 spot to nab an impact player?

What else do we know about Telesco? We know TT doesn’t like to draft based off need. He is a BPA guy; but if the BPA lines up with the need, he will do it.  Melvin Gordon and Jason Verrett are two good examples. The biggest needs the Chargers have right now are DT, LB and OT.

Why didn’t I mention safety?  I think Desmond King, Adrian Phillips or Rayshawn Jenkins is going to slide into that spot. However, if a safety is available, maybe Telesco gets him. Nut I don’t see it as a strong need.

So who are the impact players that fit those needs and the ones that don’t?

If I had to guess who is on TT’s “impact player” board in the war room, I would guess these four guys: Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Vita Vea and Derwin James. I think we can all agree that we would be stoked to see one of these guys holding up that Charger jersey on draft day. But chances are those four guys are going to be gone by pick 17.

Will there be an impact player at 17? Are these guys on the list: Da’Ron Payne, Taven Bryan, Rashaan Evans, Mike McGlinchey, Mason Rudolph and Lamar Jackson?

You have to toss the two QBs in there don’t you?

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Here is something else we need to throw in the mix.  The Chargers are close. That is evident by the way they finished the season last year. It is evident by the coaches returning. Gus Bradley and Ken Whisenhunt could have landed other gigs.  nother sign is Casey Hayward extending his contract. And Mike Pouncey coming here because he sees it. So if you are close, do you grab a QB for the future or grab that impact piece to send you to the playoffs. I’m guessing option B. And I am also thinking that first list looks better than the second.

So, back to the war room.  Tommy T. needs an impact player, and he is going to go get one. How high up will he go?

San Francisco has taken a lot of the Chargers’ draft picks over the years, so why not a few more. They are in a rebuilding phase. The Chargers trade first-rounders with the Niners and toss in the fourth-rounder (because TT hates fourth-round picks) and 2019 second-rounder. Ouch.

And with the ninth pick in the 2018 draft, the Chargers select Derwin James.

So maybe that is too much. Too big of a price to pay.

The Redskins might be players. The Chargers send their 2018 first- and third-round picks and next year’s sixth-rounder to the Redskins for No. 13. With the 13th pick in the 2018 draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select Vita Vea!  (Insert crowd noise here).

I think both of these are valid scenarios for TT.  I doubt he will jump to No. 9.  But when three of those guys go off the list, watch TT get antsy. Watch him get on the phone. He wants an impact player to get the Chargers deep into the playoffs, and he is going to go get one.