It seems like we ask this question every year, but it has to happen eventually, right?
Could the Chargers draft a quarterback in the 2019 draft? Drafting a quarterback would allow for player development under the watchful eyes of Ken Whisenhunt and Philip Rivers. The cream of the crop is unlikely to be available for Tom Telesco in 2019.
The Chargers will arguably select a tackle with the 28th overall pick. Several NFL experts are at odds over who the top quarterback is in this year’s draft.
A recent post on ESPN lists several offseason bold predictions for all 32 teams. Eric D. Williams, writing for ESPN makes his bold predictions for the Los Angeles Chargers.
“Bolts GM Tom Telesco has not drafted a quarterback since selecting Brad Sorensen in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, his first year with the Chargers. Philip Rivers is perhaps the most durable quarterback in the NFL and is playing at a high level, but he’s 37 years old and the Chargers need to start developing a young signal-caller to eventually replace him.”
History tells us that draft rankings don’t always align with how a player will adapt to the NFL. Should the Chargers opt to draft Rivers’ successor, which quarterback might be available for Telesco?
Draft class of 2019
Kyler Murray, Drew Lock and Dwayne Haskins will likely be off the board inside the top seven picks. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5th overall), New York Giants (6th overall) and Jacksonville Jaguars (7th overall) all require a fresh face under center. The Denver Broncos have the 10th overall pick, they are unlikely to be in the hunt for a rookie quarterback.
Daniel Jones, Duke
Jones had three consistent years as the starter for the Blue Devils, he finished his collegiate career 764-of-1275 for 8,201 yards and 52 passing touchdowns. Jones averaged a 59.9 pass completion percentage.
David Cutcliffe, a veteran who mentored Peyton and Eli Manning coached Jones, who won the Reese’s Senior Bowl MVP. Atheltic quarterbacks add another dimension to the offense, Jones is a dual threat quarterbadk, he carried the ball 406 times for 1,323 yards in three seasons.
Kyle Crabbs, writing for The Draft Network, does not have Jones as a first-round pick in version 5.0 of his mock draft. Bucky Brooks, regards Jones as a top-five quarterback in this year’s draft. Crabbs summarises Jones’s abilities.
“Daniel Jones projects as a potential starter, but he’s not going to be a universal prospect. Jones needs to work in an offense that is predicated on dispersing the football quickly out of his hands and allows for a lot of rhythm work. Jones’ work under pressure is also of concern, so he’ll need to work behind an established, effective offensive line if he’s going to reach his ceiling, which projects as an average starting quarterback in the NFL. Scheme dependent but starter qualities.”
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Stidham suffered an ankle injury in 2015 at Baylor and missed the entire 2016 season before moving to Auburn for the 2017 season, a year in which Stidham had his best season.
The Tigers’ starter holds the Auburn record for pass attempts without an interception (162). Stidham heads into the draft having completed 545-of-848 attempts for 7,217 yards and 48 passing touchdowns in three seasons. One of Stidham’s traits is an accurate arm, justified by a 64.3 pass completion percentage.
Daniel Jeremiah, writing for NFL.com gave his take on Stidham prior to the 2018 season.
“Stidham lacks elite size, but he’s big enough for the position. He has plenty of arm strength and throws a very tight ball. I was quite impressed after watching him spin it at the Elite 11 camp a few weeks ago. The 21-year-old is very accurate in the quick game and shows the ability to change ball speed. He really excels throwing the deep ball coming off play action, and he does a good job using the width of the field to give guys plenty of room to run under the ball.
Stidham is also very effective throwing on the move. He squares his shoulders and displays the ability to layer the ball over underneath defenders. His athleticism is a big asset in the running game. He’s used on designed QB draws, as well as in the zone-read game. He has similar athleticism to Mitchell Trubisky when he was coming out of North Carolina”.
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Ryan Finley, NC State
Finley had three productive years at NC State, finishing 2018 with a 67.4 pass completion percentage. Finley is regarded by Mike Sando of ESPN as a back up. The Draft Network’s Joe Marino has concerns over Finley’s accuracy under pressure. Finley would struggle without an elite offensive line.
Why didn’t Finley enter the 2018 draft? Marino’s summary of Finley is likely to throw up more questions than answers for a general manager.
“A sixth-year senior, Finley enters the NFL with an abundance of experience under his belt. While his time on the field is ideal, his deficiencies with processing are even more concerning given the amount of football he’s played to this point in his career. Finley leaves much to be desired in terms of arm strength and the ability to drive the football with velocity to his targets which limits the areas of the field he can realistically attack in the NFL. Finley finds his success hitting rhythm passes and making spot throws against man coverage. By year three, Finley could be a reliable backup quarterback but it’s hard to envision him having success as a starter or pegged for that opportunity.”
Under the radar
Trace McSorley, Penn State: The three-year starter could well be on the board in the later rounds of the draft. McSorley had a frustrating 2018, where a poor Nittany Lions offensive line hurt his cause.
The athletic quarterback isn’t afraid to carry the football. He rushed for 798 yards in his final college season.
The Chargers will have to draft a quarterback soon. No.17’s shoes will be hard to fill. Chargers fans should feel confident in Telesco’s ability to do what’s right for the franchise.