Each year, mock drafts are thrown around left and right, often with the fans’ preferred options in mind rather than the organization’s previous preferences. This mock draft mirrors the history of Tom Telesco’s previous drafts.
While Tom Telesco has been decent as a general manager (no organizational executive lasts seven years without some results), his previous drafts have shown some clear preferences and tendencies in his draft philosophy.
For example, Telesco and the organization almost never draft a player with significant character issues, even if the player has massive potential. You can find other similar tendencies in this article.
This mock draft was created not with the best players and fits in mind but instead with Telesco’s preferences and draft history in each round on display. So, without further ado, let’s explore Telesco’s draft tendencies and see how they may affect the LA Chargers’ 2020 NFL Draft.
Round 1, Pick 6: Isaiah Simmons, linebacker, Clemson
In the first round, Telesco goes…. best player available.
Recent drafts have shown that the Chargers tend to go with the best player available rather than with a positional need in the first round of the NFL draft.
For example, in 2017, the Chargers selected Mike Williams seventh overall, despite the presence of a solid trio of Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, and a recently signed Travis Benjamin. Again in 2019, the Chargers went best player available (on their board) at a position of need with Jerry Tillery (who the Chargers had as their last player with a first-round grade).
So, in the spirit of the “best player available” mantra, the Chargers select an uber-talented linebacker-safety-cornerback hybrid.
Isaiah Simmons has the strength, length, and tackling ability to be a typical inside linebacker, but he possesses the speed to fit in as a strong safety and occasionally even as a slot cornerback in the NFL.
At Clemson, a whopping 53 percent of Simmons’ snaps were at either corner or safety. Simmons still weighs 230 pounds, which is solid for an NFL linebacker.
This type of elite player will make Gus Bradley (who loves versatile players to disguise his coverage) ecstatic, and it will please Telesco’s best player available mantra. If the Chargers sway from taking a quarterback with this pick, Simmons is as good of a bet as any.