First round: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Roughly a year ago, Dalton Risner was one of the prospects talked about as a candidate for the Chargers at 28th overall. Of course, Tillery would end up being the pick, leaving Risner to be picked by the division rivals, the Denver Broncos.
That would end up being a blessing for Risner, who went to high school at Wiggins, CO, roughly an hour outside of Denver. Risner then proceeded to enjoy a successful rookie season playing guard.
Tillery has shown few flashes so far, but not enough to warrant a redraft. While looking at other defensive tackles that could take his spot at #28 overall, none stood out, so the Chargers looked at the other side of the ball in this fictional redraft.
While Risner has played in the interior of the line in his pro career, he was an offensive tackle at Kansas State, and that’s where the Chargers would have needed him. While Russell Okung’s pulmonary embolism had not happened yet at draft time, the Chargers were heading into the season intending to start Sam Tevi at right guard, and most fans of the team accurately predicted that would end up causing trouble.
Trent Scott, their backup tackle, who ended up starting because of Okung’s health problem, didn’t enjoy a successful season either, nor was he expected to. Many fans waited for offensive line help to come, but it never did. That is something that could have been fixed at the NFL Draft and the team would probably be better off because of it. Of course, that’s something very easy to say with the luxury of retrospective.
Another player that the Chargers could have selected is fellow offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor, who had a similar PFF grade (63.9 vs. Risner’s 64.3), although playing at tackle. However, Taylor allowed five more sacks and conceded 11 more penalties, which made Risner the better pick.