Zeroing In On the Chargers Top Picks

I had been trying to think up a way to present a post about a cluster of players the Chargers could be targeting when I found an article on draft tiers Todd McShay of ESPN's Scouts, Inc (subscription required). He broke down all the players from the top of the first round to the fringes of the third round. I want to look at the first two picks the Chargers have and what sort of value is present there. The Chargers first two picks fit into the following tiers as defined by McShay: Late First Round and Early-to-mid Second Round. The tiers helped me to form a cluster of players that could be targeted in the first and second round and sort coincides with how I looked at doing mock drafts this offseason. Think of it as a healthy mix of Scouts, Inc data/opinions, my opinions, some wishful thinking and common perceptions that helps from a somewhat informed preview of what's to come next week.

First Round Cluster:

Player Position School HT WT 40 Tier
Dan Williams DT Tennessee 6-2 307 5.27 Top Half of First Round
Kareem Jackson CB Alabama 5-10½ 196 4.48 Mid First Round
Kyle Wilson CB Boise State 5-10 194 4.42 Late First Round
Jared Odrick DE Penn State 6-5 304 5.09 Late First Round
Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State 5-11⅝ 218 4.45 Late First Round
Charles Brown OT USC 6-5⅜ 303 5.23 Late First Round
Devin McCourty CB Rutgers 5-10¾ 193 4.48 Fringe First Rounder
Jahvid Best RB California 5-10⅛ 199 4.35 Fringe First Rounder

 

Second Round Cluster:

Player Position School HT WT 40 Tier
Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State 5-11⅝ 218 4.45 Late First Round
Charles Brown OT USC 6-5⅜ 303 5.23 Late First Round
Rodger Saffold OT Indiana 6-4⅝ 316 5.25 Fringe First Rounder
Devin McCourty CB Rutgers 5-10¾ 193 4.48 Fringe First Rounder
Jahvid Best RB California 5-10⅛ 199 4.35 Fringe First Rounder
Tyson Alualu DE California 6-2⅜ 295 5.02 Fringe First Rounder
Patrick Robinson CB Florida State 5-11¼ 190 4.50 Fringe First Rounder
Lamarr Houston DE Texas 6-2¾ 305 4.89 Fringe First Rounder
Arrelious Benn WR Illinois 6-1 219 4.59 Fringe First Rounder
Terrence Cody NT Alabama 6-3⅝ 354 5.71 Early to Mid Second Round
Linval Joseph NT/DE East Carolina 6-4½ 328 5.10 Early to Mid Second Round
Nate Allen FS South Florida 6-0½ 207 4.51 Early to Mid Second Round

Here's a break down of some of the tiers that I was looking at. You can use these to form your own opinions about who the Chargers could draft using your own opinions about needs and value.

The Late First Round Tier consists of:

Player Position School HT WT 40
Kyle Wilson CB Boise State 5-10 194 4.42
Jared Odrick DE Penn State 6-5 304 5.09
Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State 5-11⅝ 218 4.45
Everson Griffen DE USC 6-3⅜ 273 4.66
Daryl Washington OLB TCU 6-1¾ 230 4.66
Charles Brown OT USC 6-5⅜ 303 5.23

 

The Early-to-mid Second Round tier consists of:

Player Position School HT WT 40
Sean Lee ILB Penn State 6-2⅛ 236 4.80
Golden Tate WR Notre Dame 5-10¼ 199 4.42
Chris Cook CB Virginia 6-2 212 4.46
Jon Asamoah OG Illinois 6-4 305 5.07
Terrence Cody DT Alabama 6-3⅝ 354 5.71
Navorro Bowman OLB Penn State 6-0½ 242 4.77
Linval Joseph DT East Carolina 6-4½ 328 5.10
Colt McCoy QB Texas 6-1⅛ 216 4.79
Koa Misi OLB Utah 6-2⅝ 251 4.78
Nate Allen S South Florida 6-0½ 207 4.51

 

There is a tier that sits in between these two called Fringe First Rounders. These players would have good value with our second round pick and would be minor reaches with our 1st round pick. In the last 3 drafts A.J. has dipped down into players that are in this tier (as defined by Scouts, Inc and Todd McShay) for Larry English, Antoine Cason and Buster Davis.

The Fringe First Rounders consist of:

Player Position School HT WT 40
Sean Weatherspoon OLB Missouri 6-1¼ 239 4.68
Taylor Mays S USC 6-3⅛ 203 4.43
Tyson Alualu DT California 6-2⅜ 295 5.02
Rodger Saffold OT Indiana 6-4⅝ 316 5.25
Devin McCourty CB Rutgers 5-10¾ 193 4.48
Arrelious Benn WR Illinois 6-1 219 4.59
Lamarr Houston DT Texas 6-2¾ 305 4.89
Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame 6-2⅝ 222 4.75
Carlos Dunlap DE Florida 6-5¾ 277 4.71
Patrick Robinson CB Florida State 5-11¼ 190 4.50
Rob Gronkowski TE Arizona 6-6¼ 264 4.75
Jahvid Best RB California 5-10⅛ 199 4.35

 

There is also an opportunity with the Chargers 1st round pick (#28 overall) to make a value pick if a player were to slip. In an effort not to keep up with the spirit of Mr. McShay's subscription-only work I'm not going to post any more of his work here. I will say that if you've heard other names associated with the Chargers first round pick (i.e. Dan Williams, Rolando McClain, Brandon Graham, etc.) then they are probably guys that would be steals if they fell to the Chargers. Similarly, there are players that aren't on these lists that may have been mentioned as Chargers second round picks that according this tiering system would reaches of varying degrees (i.e. Ben Tate, Toby Gerhart, Cam Thomas, Dominique Franks, Perrish Cox, etc).

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