Why the Chargers will move up in the second round

MORGANTOWN, WV - OCTOBER 10: Mason Rudolph
MORGANTOWN, WV - OCTOBER 10: Mason Rudolph /

Do you remember when the Los Angeles Chargers moved up to grab Manti Te’o in the second round?  It was one of Tom Telesco’s biggest draft blunders.  Te’o had a horrible combine and it was revealed that his girlfriend was a fake.  But Telesco ignored the warning signs and decided he was going to pull off the coup of the draft.

Even though that did not turn out well for the Chargers, could we see them make a similar move in 2018?

While Telesco has gotten more conservative in the last couple of drafts and has allowed players to fall to him, there may be one reason he makes a move this year.  And that reason is Mason Rudolph.

In a normal year, you have to wonder where Rudolph would be drafted.  And by normal I mean a year without so many good quarterback prospects. This year is ridiculous with the amount of quality quarterbacks in the class. Maybe in a normal year, Rudolph is a top-10 pick as teams always seem to reach for that potential franchise quarterback.  But this year Rudolph may slip into the second round.

Here is the interesting thing about moving into the second round. The teams picking in the first part of the second round that have quarterback needs will most likely have addressed those needs in the first round, so the slide may continue. As we get closer to pick No. 48, the option to move up and secure this quarterback of the future will become more and more appealing.

The real question is will Rudolph actually be a quarterback of the future. Is he a first-round talent sliding to the second or is he a third-round talent that is just garnering hype because it is the year of the quarterback?

Make no mistake, he definitely has the numbers. And it seems everyone can agree that he is a great pocket passer.  He slides in the pocket well, keeps his eyes downfield, shows patience and waits for routes to develop. And he can even tuck the ball and lower his head if he needs to scramble or run an option near the end zone.

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Which leads us to the problems. Poor mechanics at times. Lack of arm strength and velocity.  And of course small hands which leads to fumbles.  And then there is the belief that Rudolph benefitted from having a great receiving corps.  Or did he have a great receiving corps because he was a great quarterback? It’s a great chicken and the egg question.

The thing that bothers me the most is the velocity issue.  In the NFL it is amazing how often plays come down to inches, especially passing plays. When you see your quarterback squeeze that ball into your receiver’s hands right over the fingertips of the cornerback, you marvel at his ability.  So, when I see lack of velocity I wonder about how that will affect him in the NFL game.

We know the Chargers have done their homework on Rudolph as seen here, here and here.

Is it a smoke screen or will the Chargers make a move to grab this guy?

When day two rolls around, if Rudolph is still on the board, my guess is that Tommy T will be on the phone shopping picks hoping to pull off the deal of a lifetime. If he does, lets hope it turns out better than the Te’o debacle.