Mistake No. 3: Focusing on players with health issues
In the past, the Chargers have been burned when it comes to drafting players with lingering ailments. Jason Verrett, for example, was a high-flying cornerback out of TCU who fell to the Bolts at the end of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. This was primarily due to Verrett having surgery to repair a torn labrum he sustained during the prior college football season.
Ranked as the third-best cornerback prospect in the draft by Sports illustrated, Verrett was poised to start immediately opposite Brandon Flowers on the 2014 San Diego squad. Alas, it was not meant to be as he re-injured his labrum and tore his rotator cuff mid-season placing him on injured reserve.
Verrett would rebound in 2015, notching perhaps the best pro year in his career and wound up making the 2016 Pro Bowl roster. However, a slew of injuries (torn Achilles, ACL tear) derailed the rest of his career even though he did have a solid 2020 campaign with the San Francisco 49ers.
In more recent years, the Chargers have done a better job of selecting players with less of an injury track record even though they do occur occasionally. Mike Williams missed almost all of his rookie season with a back injury but has bounced back to serve as Justin Herbert’s deep-ball buddy.
The best thing about this article though is that these are mistakes that the Bolts can control. Whereas, if their AFC West rivals make some big moves like they have been during the initial stages of the off-season, then the Chargers will be banking more heavily on acing this draft class.