With the retirement of pro bowler and fan favorite Kris Dielman, there is now a hole at the left guard position.
Who is up to fill his space on the o-line? Lets discuss after the jump.
Tyronne Green: The 26 year old out of Auburn, drafted at the end of the fourth round in the 2008 draft, is expected to be the starter at the moment. When Dielman went down after the Jets game, Green took over and preformed admirably. Green is a versatile player who can play nearly any position on the o-line. While not the dominant player Dielman was, Green had good chemistry with Hardwick and Gaither down the stretch. He may be more suited more as a utility player by the Bolts but is currently expected to battle with Dombrowski in training camp for the starting position. Speaking of Dombrowski...
Brandyn Dombrowski: An undrafted player out of San Diego State in 2008, Dombrowski is expected to compete with Green for the starting position at left guard. Dombrowski is a versatile player who has started at right guard, right tackle and left tackle. After a poor showing at left tackle (see week 10 against Oakland where he was man handled by Kamerion Wimbley) the Chargers decided to move him back to his more natural position at guard. He kind of scares me as a full time player, and I believe he will end up serving as a backup along the line.
Possible players in the draft:
David DeCastro: Here is his scouting report according to cbs.
Pass blocking: Doesn't get beat. Has enough of an anchor and resets hands to get leverage if beaten initially. Keeps feet churning and his head up. Capable of blocking down with one hand and sliding to help tackle. Very aware of late blitzers, can stonewall them or ride them out of the pocket. Usually keeps arms extended in pass pro to maintain distance with his man. Loses the hand-to-hand battle occasionally but works to quickly counter.
Run blocking: Excels as a run blocker in power, zone and on the move. Plays with his eyes up. Takes defenders to the ground and doesn't let up. Rarely allows defenders to sidestep. Not dominant as a drive blocker but grinds to the whistle. Defensive tackles with elite power can anchor or move him off the snap.
Pulling/trapping: Dominant leading on pulls outside and traps inside. Reaches second level instantly, has natural bend and flexibility to get correct angle. Does not always dominate smaller defenders after initial contact, falling off instead of latching on, but can take out multiple targets when he squares. Will miss inside target on occasion, giving max effort to cut or reach the linebacker.
Initial Quickness: Very good off the snap. Gets hands up immediately, rarely beaten with an initial pass-rush move. Swims to reach second-level defenders. Generates push in goal-line situations, firing off hard and low.
Downfield: Has enough -- but not great -- speed. Very effective negating targets seven or eight yards downfield. Inconsistent sustaining blocks against powerful linebackers and defensive backs, lowering his head to easily be disengaged.
Intangibles: Solid work ethic and character. Known for his work on the practice field and weight room. Durable; could play every snap in any scheme. Chose Stanford for its academic standards.
He certainly sounds like an AJ Smith no nonsense type of player. He is a nasty no nonsense type of player you want on your team. It has been said that he is one of the best guard prospect to have come out of the draft in the last few years. Although guard might not be the biggest need on the roster, adding a player like DeCastro could certainly help the offense and give a lethal left side of the line for Ryan Mathews to run behind. If he is available at 18, which seems unlikely right now, I think you have to pull the trigger on DeCastro.
Cordy Glenn: Again thanks to cbs for the scouting report.
Pass blocking: Surprisingly agile for a big man but is susceptible to speed rushes which likely will force him back inside or to right tackle after starting the entire 2011 season on the blindside for the Bulldogs. Eases out of his stance and waits for the defender to come to him. Possesses long arms and is very powerful, often easily controlling his opponent. Naturally balanced with good lateral agility to mirror the defender. Wide-bodied so opponents can rarely get past him and has an excellent anchor so bull rushes are futile. Nitpicking, but can be a bit inconsistent with his recognition on combination blocks. Typically gets an initial punch in on the defensive tackle before switching off to take on the blitzing linebacker, but can be fooled and miss his assignment. Can get a bit lazy with his hand placement, making him vulnerable to swim moves.
Run blocking: Excellent size and strength as a drive blocker. Can get fundamentally lazy, at times, playing too high and/or being a beat late off the snap. As such, he can miss with his initial punch and fail to push back his target. More often, he shows good hand placement and the leg drive to clear a hole. Powerful. Can knock defenders off the ball, providing impressive pancake blocks against even talented opponents. Good recognition in combination blocks in the running game. Good, powerful initial shove to the defensive tackle and gets to the second level with good quickness. Shows the ability to adjust his path to locate and attack his target. Rare body control for a man of his size when blocking at the second level.
Pulling/trapping: Shows surprising quickness and fluidity when pulling from left guard to lead on the toss and counter. Light on his feet and can adjust to hit the moving target at the second level.
Initial Quickness: A bit inconsistent with his initial get-off, though this may be simply a concentration issue with the snap-count. Demonstrates good initial quickness off the snap (especially for a man of his size) when pulling, but can be a beat late off the snap on other plays. Rarely is he actually beaten when late off the snap, however, due to his girth and long, powerful arms to catch and contain his assignment.
Downfield: Perhaps his most impressive trait, which is saying something. Gets to the second level quickly and consistently erases linebackers from the play. Doesn't waste his energy with pancake blocks, but instead seals off the defender completely, assuring that his assignment isn't in position to impact the ball-carrier.
Intangibles: Had four starts at left tackle over his career (all in 2009) entering the 2011 season. Turned in his paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee following last season but elected to return based partially on the plan to see more time at left tackle in 2011. Never missed a game due to injury while at Georgia.
Cordy sounds like an interesting player. He is definitely an athlete and has the ability to play multiple positions along the line. He could play left guard in the Chargers offense and be a valuable asset able to move one spot over to the left tackle position should Gaither get injured. He could also play right tackle should Clary get injured. He reminds me of Brandon Albert coming out of college.
In my opinion I would prefer the Chargers to simply stay put at 18 in the draft and take DeCastro if he is available, or to take the best defensive player still on the board. Let me know what you think.
Who should be the starting left guard for the Chargers come opening day?
Tyronne Green (153 votes)
Brandyn Dombroski (12 votes)
David DeCastro (101 votes)
Cordy Glenn (30 votes)
Other (specify in the comment section) (6 votes)
302 total votes