Rounds 2 & 3:
Second-round selection: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
I remember being so ecstatic when the Chargers selected Manti T’eo in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The team traded up seven spots in order to secure him and Te’o was one of the biggest names in college football and definitely had Pro Bowl-caliber talent.
Of course, there were all the off-the-field things about his personal life but that should not have impacted his production on the field, and it didn’t. He just never really translated to the NFL level and definitely fell far short of his potential ceiling.
Te’o played four seasons with the Chargers with his best coming in 2015. He recorded 83 combined tackles and added an interception and fumble. He never played a full 16-game season with the Chargers and was a bit of a disappointment, especially after trading up for him.
Third-round selection: Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
The Chargers made up the disappointing selection in Te’o with an absolutely brilliant selection in Keenan Allen. Nobody anticipated Allen to become the receiver he is and he is one of the fundamental franchise pieces of the team.
Allen is one of the five best, 10 best (at worst), receivers in the entire NFL and has been exceptional the last three seasons in particular. Allen has a combined 3,788 receiving yards in the last three seasons with 18 touchdowns, exactly six coming each season.
The early-career narratives around Allen appeared to be that he was injury-prone and despite his immense potential, there was significant worry that he would never piece it all together.
He has and he has blossomed into an exceptional wide receiver that could challenge for the greatest receiver in franchise history title if he sticks around another five years with great numbers.
- Grade: A+
- Could have drafted: N/A