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Chargers rookie season rankings: First-round selections

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 12: Jason Verrett #22 of the San Diego Chargers reacts after he intercepted a pass intended for Brice Butler #12 of the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter that clinched their victory at O.co Coliseum on October 12, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 12: Jason Verrett #22 of the San Diego Chargers reacts after he intercepted a pass intended for Brice Butler #12 of the Oakland Raiders in the fourth quarter that clinched their victory at O.co Coliseum on October 12, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 25: D.J. Fluker of the Alabama Crimson Tide stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) as they hold up a jersey on stage after Fluker was picked #11 overall by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 25: D.J. Fluker of the Alabama Crimson Tide stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) as they hold up a jersey on stage after Fluker was picked #11 overall by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Chargers have seen six rookie first-round selections take the field under Tom Telesco, but which had the best first year?

The Chargers have entered their seventh year under general manager Tom Telesco, just a few weeks removed from bringing in another crop of rookies. The team has seen both disappointing and tremendous rookie seasons from their selections; today, the focus is on those taken in the first round.

Here are the seven first-round selections under Telesco:

  • 2013: OL D.J. Fluker
  • 2014: CB Jason Verrett
  • 2015: RB Melvin Gordon
  • 2016: DE Joey Bosa
  • 2017: WR Mike Williams
  • 2018: S Derwin James

How do their rookie seasons rank? Do 82 percent of fans already know who No. 1 is (more on that later)? Let’s take a look…

Chargers rookie rankings (first round) No. 6: WR Mike Williams

Stats:

  • 11 catches
  • 95 yards
  • 8.6 yards per reception average
  • Zero touchdowns

This one was rough to watch.

Fighting through a number of injuries, particularly a back issue, Williams was almost a non-factor in 2017. The Chargers were on thin ice after passing on a much-needed safety like Malik Hooker for a wide receiver, and Williams was nothing but a disappointment that year. The team took Williams as both an insurance policy for a twice-injured Keenan Allen and as a future replacement for Tyrell Williams, but the duo combined for 145 catches and 2,121 yards, making the Williams pick at No. 7 overall even more disappointing.

Chargers rookie rankings (first round) No. 5: OL D.J. Fluker

Stats:

  • Sacks allowed: Six
  • Penalties: Six
  • Penalty yards: 40 (his lowest with the Chargers

Starting rookie offensive linemen have one of the toughest transitions into the NFL, and Fluker was no different. Best known for slamming Sio Moore into the ground, Fluker showed signs of promise to match his massive frame and personality. Even if tackle didn’t work out, it felt as if he would make a nice transition inside one day.

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