LA Chargers Week 16 Overreactions: Worst Tom Telesco pick ever?

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(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

The Los Angeles Chargers managed to defeat the Denver Broncos 19-16 and move to 6-9 on the season.

After another Los Angeles Chargers win, there is some momentum heading into 2020, but there are many questions about the roster that remain. Here are some largest of the overreactions from the past week.

Overreaction #1: The selection of Joshua Kelley was the worst pick of Tom Telesco’s tenure

In Week 16, the Los Angeles Chargers surprisingly opted to make Joshua Kelley a healthy scratch.

The surprise was due to Kelley being a fourth-round draft pick who needs to develop in a lost season, not due to performance. Based on his recent performance, Kelley is certainly worthy of being a scratch.

While Kelley had an excellent Week 1 performance and a good Week 3 game, his play outside of these games has been dismal. Since Week 3, Kelley has had 68 carries for 187 yards. That levels out to a putrid 2.75 yards per carry.

That is truly awful, especially for a player that the Chargers chose to spend a fourth-round pick on. Since losing his confidence after a pair of fumbles, Kelley has shown next to no elusiveness as well as no ability to break through tackles.

Still, there is potential for Kelley to rebound later in his career. So, is it too early to call the Joshua Kelley pick the worst of Tom Telesco’s tenure?

When making a decision on this topic, it is important to consider both who the Chargers could have drafted instead of Joshua Kelley as well as what some of Telesco’s other poor picks have been.

When we saw that Telesco selected Joshua Kelley, we gave the selection a C-, primarily because of the need to make a selection at a position of need after giving up a third-round pick to trade up for Kenneth Murray.

Some of those players have turned out to be pretty good, making Kelley’s recent performance look all the more costly.

Some players that were selected shortly after at positions of need include CB Troy Pride Jr. (113th overall), DT Leki Fotu (114th overall), and OG Ben Bartch (116th overall). These players were all better options and have been more significant contributors than Kelley, who was selected 112th overall.

Now, let’s consider some of the other poor picks of the Telesco regime. Since little is expected of sixth and seventh-round picks, I will only consider poor choices from the first five rounds from 2013-2020.

Some candidates include Jerry Tillery (1st round, 2019), Nasir Adderley (2nd round, 2019), Trey Pipkins (3rd round, 2019), Joshua Perry (3rd round, 2016), Craig Mager (3rd round, 2015), and Jeremiah Attaochu (2nd round, 2014).

For the most part, these players have contributed at limited levels, though they have achieved far less than a player of their draft stock should have been.

At this point, assuming Kelley and the other picks continue their current level of play, Nasir Adderley, Trey Pipkins, and Craig Mager can be considered similar or worse selections.

What makes the Joshua Kelley pick sting more than these other ones is the recent nature of the selection, as well as the success of players at positions of need who were selected right after Kelley.

While the Kelley pick was poor, there are others in Telesco’s tenure that are bad, if not worse.

Verdict #1: Overreaction