2. “It’s smarter to draft a top 10 prospect rather than reach for someone who is much lower on the LA Chargers’ big board”
I do not pretend to have knowledge of the LA Chargers’ big board heading into the draft but the reality is that nobody inside that building really has an idea of what that big board is. The argument here is that Waddle is a bonafide top 10 prospect while the alternative, Christian Darrisaw, is someone who is far lower on the team’s big board.
Some draft analysts rank Darrisaw pretty low, others rank him in the mid-first-round. Personally, I have him at the third-best offensive tackle in this draft with a mid-to-late first-round grade (15-20 range).
I know, I am not a big-name draft analyst so somehow my opinion and the film I watch doesn’t mean anything to some, but I like the skills Darrisaw possesses and think he would be a fine pick at 13.
I would also welcome a trade down, which is probably the best route for the LA Chargers, but Darrisaw at 13 would be just fine.
There are some problems with the above thinking, however. Regardless of how you view Darrisaw, nobody truly knows how the LA Chargers rank him and if the Chargers have him as the 19th best prospect on their board then they should still take him at 13. If a prospect is good enough to be the 19th pick they are good enough to be the 13th pick, especially when you factor in need.
The other problem with this is the classic tend to overvalue receivers in the draft. We see this every year. There are three or so receivers that everyone is excited about and all are touted as franchise receivers that will change the course of the franchise. How many “the next Tyreek Hill”s have there been? A dozen?
So while Waddle likely ranks higher on a big board, in terms of value, the receiver position still does not have as much as a tackle in the first round. There are so many good receivers that are taken in the mid-rounds of the NFL Draft every single season while first-round receivers tend to usually be hit or miss.
Just like taking a running back, with all the depth at the position, taking a receiver is bad value that early in the draft. There is a reason why they would fall to the 13th pick despite being a top-seven prospect: because other teams know this as well.
If Darrisaw is in the 30s for the Chargers then sure, that argument makes sense but I would also bet that there is another tackle they rank highly if not Darrisaw. Just because Waddle is higher on a big board does not make him a more valuable pick when you consider the depth of the position.
Bolt Beat contributor Steven Haglund said it best: Darrisaw would be a top-10 prospect in most other years.