It's early, but I'm curious enough about the rookies on the Chargers that I want to go back and review the draft a little more than halfway through the season.
Round 1, Pick 18 (18) - Corey Liuget, DT/DE Illinois
After a few busts in the first round, San Diego Chargers fans were hoping that A.J. Smith had finally hit big on a defensive lineman that fell to the Bolts at pick 18. The biggest problem with evaluating picks like this is that most 3-4 defensive linemen, who are asked to do more than most 4-3 linemen, don't make much of an impact until at least their second season.
Liuget has been adequate so far this year. He hasn't been dominant or particularly impactful. Perhaps that would be different if Luis Castillo was playing the other DE spot and perhaps not. This is a pick that can't be evaluated right now any further than "The defense, as a whole, has been worse this season than last season."
Round 2, Pick 18 (50) - Marcus Gilchrist, CB/S Clemson
It's been an up and down season for Gilchrist, but he has probably had the best season of any rookie on the Chargers. He's started a couple of games, and against the Dolphins he was arguable the best CB on the field. Since then, Gilchrist has been abused by Chiefs' WR Jonathan Baldwin and by anyone the Packers put on him.
I think eventually Gilchrist is going to be handed the starting job for the remainder of the season to see how fast he can grow up on the field. The fact that he could be a solid starter by 2012 makes this a solid 2nd round pick.
Round 2, Pick 29 (61) - Jonas Mouton, ILB Michigan
The famed "Antonio Cromartie pick". Moutin showed potential in the preseason, but also looked somewhat lost in trying to pick up the offense or play coverage. Before playing a snap in the regular season, Jonas Mouton was put on the Injured Reserve list with a shoulder injury that wasn't getting better. This marks the second consecutive season that a highly-drafted Chargers Rookie LB spent the season on the sidelines.
Round 3, Pick 18 (82) - Vincent Brown, WR San Diego State
Two weeks ago this pick looks too high, now it looks too low. With Malcom Floyd on the sidelines with a hip injury, Brown has put together solid games against the Packers (4 catches, 79 yards) and Raiders (5 catches, 97 yards, TD).
With the Chargers heading into contract negotiations with Vincent Jackson, and unsure if Malcom Floyd will ever remain healthy as a starter, it's looking like Vincent Brown will almost assuredly be a starting WR for San Diego in 2012 if he can stay healthy. That's good value from a 3rd round pick.
Round 3, Pick 25 (89) - Shareece Wright, CB Southern California
Despite having zero statistics this season, Shareece Wright is on this team! Dante Hughes has been playing well as the team's 4th CB, so there's really no need for Wright to be getting time on the field right now. However, fans are going to want a sign by opening day 2012 that this isn't a wasted pick.
Round 6, Pick 18 (183) - Jordan Todman, RB Connecticut
Jordan has a strong preseason but hasn't been seen since except in practice. He's currently on the practice squad.
Round 6, Pick 36 (201) - Steve Schilling, OL Michigan
Schilling came in for a play against the Raiders and was pulled after almost getting Philip Rivers killed. He'll probably get some time somewhere this season due to the injuries plaguing the Chargers offensive line, but he hasn't been overly impressive.
Round 7, Pick 31 (234) - Andrew Gachkar, LB Missouri
Gachkar has been exactly what the Chargers thought he could be, a Special Teams dynamo, when they drafted him in the 7th round as a speedy, undersized LB. In the preseason, he even got some time at ILB and played it well.