A Potential San Diego Chargers Draft Board

Steve Dykes

Heading into Thursday’s draft the Chargers have several needs they need to address. While they likely won’t walk away from the draft with a “Super Bowl or Bust” feeling, they have a great chance to bolster their roster. I'm going to highlight players in each round that could be potential targets. I'll include several positions: some are a bigger need than others. I added a few skill positions the “media” are suggesting is a need position for the Chargers as well.

With only 7 picks the stockpile approach picks would be the best way to address multiple holes, but it takes two to trade, this isn't Madden, it doesn't happen that easy. With reportedly only the 49ers and Falcons interested in trading up San Diego has quite the task at hand to fill needs. There are only 3 OLBs on the team that seems like a lock where one of the picks will go, but how high? Do they draft a running back? Ryan Mathews enters his 4th year as a Charger, does he fit the McCoy system and can he be a featured back? Are the current receivers the ones that fit the new offensive scheme the best? Let's look what the Chargers draft board could potentially look like.

Eric-fisher_medium

1st Round

OT

Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

G

Jonathan Cooper, UNC

Chance Warmack, G

NT

Star Lotuleilei, Utah

ILB

Alec Ogletree, Georgia

OLB

Dion Jordan, Oregon

Barkevious Mingo, LSU

Jarvis Jones, Georgia

S

Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International

CB

DJ Hayden, Houston

Xavier Rhodes, FSU

Dee Milliner, Alabama

RB

WR

Tavon Austin, West Virginia

What I think: The Chargers have a million different scenarios that could play out. They could get luck and have a tackle fall to them. They could reach for a tackle. They could draft a guard to solidify the interior line, or address the defense, with an outside chance of adding a special playmaker, like Austin. Telesco did say he wants to add team speed, so I'm not counting any position out here.

We know Pagano was retained, but we don't know what McCoy thinks about the current players on the roster other than "they're going to get a shot." Taking an outside linebacker here would mean he would be the successor for Jarret Johnson in the long run, and I don't think at this point there will be a complete player available at the position with this pick. An offensive lineman is the safe pick here, but with the best player available strategy I look for the Chargers to add a piece on defense with their first pick.

Tank_medium

2nd Round

OT

Menelik Watson, FSU

Kyle Long, Oregon

Justin Pugh, Syracuse

Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff

G

Larry Warford, Kentucky

NT

Johnathan Hankins, Ohio St

John Jenkins, Georgia

Jesse Williams, Alabama

ILB

OLB

Tank Carradine, FSU

Damonte Moore, Texas A&M

Sio Moore, Connecticut

Alex Okafor, Texas

Jamie Collins, Southern Mississippi

S

Matt Elam, Florida

Eric Reid, LSU

Philip Thomas, Fresno State

CB

Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State

Darius Slay, Mississippi State

David Amerson, NC State

RB

WR

Justin Hunter, Tennessee

What I think: This is where I see the Chargers taking a shot at a tackle, pass rusher or cornerback. In a perfect world Jamaar Taylor falls here, but I just can't see it happening.

Bringing in Cox, do we read into that as they want long corners? Amerson and Banks both fit that bill, but both gave up their share of big plays last season. Elam would be a great value pick but Telesco is on record of saying that the guy playing next to Weddle isn't a high priority.

Coach Joe-D worked out Armstead personally so he might be the pick here. Problem is, he's not ready to be an NFL starter yet, nor are any of the tackles listed. Do you forfeit your 2nd round pick to draft a developmental guy Warford is a power guy that doesn't have great agility, does he fit what the Chargers are trying to do on Offense?

Nose tackle and outside linebacker will both be deep here and tough to pass up. Lots of options here to pick up a player that can come in an immediately contribute.

Aaron-dobson-catch_medium

3rd Round

OT

Dallas Thomas, Tennessee

David Bakhtiari, Colorado

OG

Brian Winters, Kent State

NT

Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State

ILB

Kiko Alonso, Oregon

Jon Bostic, Florida

OLB

Khaseem Greene, Rutgers

Corey Lemonier, Auburn

Cornelius Washington, Georgia

John Simon, Ohio State

S

D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina

Bacarri Rambo, Georgia

JJ Wilcox, Georgia Southern

Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse

CB

Robert Alford, SE Louisiana

Jordan Poyer, Oregon St

Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut

Logan Ryan, Rutgers

Tyrann Mathieu, LSU

RB

WR

Aaron Dobson, Marshall

Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech

What I Think: Alford would be incredible value if he's there for us at 73. He's an elite athlete with very few holes in his game.

The player who might turn out to be our best draft pick is Winters, if chosen here. Great versatility and he'd address a need along the OL, having played LT & LG.

The group of safeties here are all hard hitters that will likely be saving money to pay fines, all athletic and excellent value here, too.

When it comes to pass rushers, this group is the athletic freak type, but without the production. You put them in a spot and say "Go get him" and let their athleticism take over.

Both tackles are interesting here, Thomas moved to guard his senior year, but is very capable and probably more ready to come in and play day 1 as opposed to the second round guys, he just doesn't have their ceiling. Bakhtiari can be really good, his size holds him back(he's under 300) so his strength and ability to hold up is in question.

A couple "Philip Rivers-type" wide receivers here that have outstanding size. If the new regime doesn't trust Alexanders health or the 2 free agents do they pick up a receiver here? I personally believe Dobson can be the best at his position in the entire draft; he can really go get it and uses his body to create separation as well as anyone.

Williams would be a legit option; good run stuffer and dominated lower level competition. If we're in the market for a Mike backer both of these options would be ideal, with Alonso being the best player in the draft (kidding, kind of).

The other group of corners might be limited to playing nickel to start off their careers but all have talent to come in and compete. Honey Badger? Thanks, but no thanks.

Mcfadden_medium

4th round

OT

Brennan Williams, UNC

Vinston Painter, Virginia Tech

OG

NT

Montori Hughes, Tennesee-Martin

ILB

A.J. Klein, Iowa State

Kevin Reddick, UNC

OLB

Trevardo Williams, Connecticut

Zavier Gooden, Missouri

S

Josh Evans, Florida

Shawn Williams, Georgia

CB

Leon McFadden, SDSU

Sanders Commings, Georgia

RB

Christine Michael, Texas A&M

WR

What I think: Seems like slim pickings here. This is why you let the board play itself out.

If you wanted to wait on a corner, Commings is a pure press/man player if they are looking to do more of that this year. Mcfadden is a good football player that can surely help the secondary, but falls because of his size.

If pass rusher is still a need here, you have 2 of the fastest players here, both are quite explosive and ran in the 4.5's. At the "Mike" position you have two "lunch pail" guys here who really know how to do their job. I think Reddick is limited to playing 2 downs and Klein is an underrated athlete who has a wrestling background and is compared to James Laurinaitis, I really like Klein here if ILB hasn't been addressed yet.

Both safeties here played an unheralded role for their respective defenses, and would be able to come in and contribute as an excellent piece to the defense, as well as on special teams. Both players are sound at tackling and have shown skills in the pass game.

Hughes at nose might be our last chance to address the position, another run stopper who played at the FCS level after getting kicked out of Tennessee. He played well at the Senior Bowl and would add a good rotation with Cam Thomas.

The tackles here might take time to develop, but that would be well worth it. Painter kept likely 1st round pick Bjoern Werner from FSU in check and is very athletic and would fit right into what the Chargers are looking to do. Williams slides because his season ended with a torn laburm, but is another athletic tackle (see a trend here?) with all the physical tools. Like many of the other tackles he can use a little coaching up, but once fully recovered can develop into an NFL starter.

Lastly, is this where they take a running back if he falls? To me, Michael is the most talented running back in the class. He's 220 lbs with 4.4 speed and great vision. I think if we are to incorporate more zone, he's the ideal back. He has surprising elusiveness for his size. Problem is, he's a bonehead. He overslept his interview at the combine and is rumored to have a poor attitude and injury histories. From an on the field standpoint, he's a gem.

Fragel_medium

5th round

OT

Reid Fragel, Ohio St

Xavier Nixon, Florida

Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin

OG

Earl Watford, James Madison

NT

ILB

OLB

Sean Porter, Texas A&M

S

Duke Williams, Nevada

Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

CB

Will Davis, Utah St

RB

WR

What I think: As the draft goes on there's less and less players still on your board. Even in the 5th round the Chargers have a chance to add players who can come in and contribute immediately.

Here is where I see them addressing safety, and if the board plays out like this they'll be lucky to add either options. Williams has the kind of closing speed and range you can't teach, he feels the running lane quickly and is a good tackler. He'd be quite the complement to Weddle. Speaking of Weddle, Jefferson kind of reminds me of Weddle. He has the instincts that make him play much faster than his 40 indicates. He's also very versatile and played all over the field. Learning from the current free safety he could become surer of a tackler, but Jefferson is an outstanding football player.

Watford would be quite the selection here if he fell, too. Another small school guy who dominated lower level competition. He looks like quite the athlete and would be best suited in a zone-blocking scheme based on his ability to move in open space and get to the second level effectively.

Porter is a pass rusher at heart, in ‘12 he was asked to play more coverage as the team switched to a 4-3. As a junior, he registered 17.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. He does have limitations at 230 lbs and shorter arms.

Davis is a Division II prospect who had an up and down Senior Bowl week but possesses above average speed and cover skills and has really earned respect of scouts. Bit of a knock on him is physicality and make up speed, along with inferior competition.

2 of the tackles would seem safe here, but with not much of a ceiling. However, Fragel is one of the more fascinating players for me to watch. A converted TE only played 1 year at tackle but shows promise at the position and is a very good mover with room to grow into a quality LT. So if we're going to get a developmental tackle, do we wait this long?

Murray_medium

Rounds 6/7

OT

Chris Faulk, LSU

OG

NT

Kwame Geathers, Georgia

ILB

Vince Williams, FSU

OLB

S

Cooper Taylor, Richmond

Ray-Ray Armstrong

CB

RB

Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook

Latavius Murray, Central Florida

WR

Marquess Wilson, Washington State

What I Think: Let me start with one of newest favorite players. Over the weekend Buck, Ryan, and I were watching Murray run and were as giddy as a girl who just found out she won homecoming. He's 6'3, 220+ and ran a 4.39 at his pro day. He's a one cut and go guy and if there was EVER a time in the draft you felt that you wanted to take a running back, he was it. For the Mathews naysayers, he had 407 career carries, and lost 1 fumble, as a freshman. He was out running guys smaller than him, his burst was exceptional.

Maysonet is a solid, steady option that can break tackles and move the pile.

If the Chargers are to take a flier on a pass catcher late look no further than Wilson. His story is well documented and he's taking a less-traveled path to the NFL. He's another Rivers-type WR who led the Pac-12 in receiving as a sophomore with 1,388 yards, is a good route runner and a jump ball machine. His immaturity is in question but has the talent to start in the NFL from day 1.

Faulk would be more of a "redshirt" player because he didn't even play in ‘12 due to injury but is talented and at this point, why not?

Geathers is strictly a run player, he's a load, but might be exactly what the Chargers D needs in the middle with his strength and ability to cover up gaps.

The safeties are interesting here, Armstrong dismissed from the school but was widely regarded as their best player and Taylor a transfer from Georgia Tech is 6'4 230 lbs and ran a 4.49. I'm not sure he would fit in the defense but with his physical skills, might be worth the gamble.


Summary

Going over all the different scenarios I expect all 7 players drafted to be on the roster come the time the Chargers play the Texans. While there isn't the once in a generation player in this draft, there is incredible depth, and the Chargers will be able to take advantage of getting a good player in every round. Telesco takes pride in building teams through the draft, and come Thursday, April 25th, he'll finally get a chance to show off his talents.

Now that we've looked at the potential draft board what round should the Chargers target what position? What's the biggest need? What needs are most being overlooked? Under looked? Let us know in the comments.

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