For this post, I'm going to be leaning heavily on friend-of-the-blog Craig Elsten. First, two pre-draft tweets:
My opinion, take a swing at it if you will: the #Chargers should think trading DOWN before trading UP. Too many holes. Not 1 player away.— Craig Elsten (@619sports) April 25, 2013
The value in this year's draft will either come from taking advantage of other teams' runs on positions, or grabbing 2nd/3rd rd value picks.— Craig Elsten (@619sports) April 25, 2013
I agree. Tom Telesco's plan for the San Diego Chargers should've been to either trade down or take the best player available. After 10 picks, his choices were to either trade down or take:
- The best Nose Tackle in the draft
- The 2nd best Cornerback in the draft
- The best Safety in the draft
- The best Inside Linebacker in the draft
- The 4th best Pass Rusher in the draft
- The 3rd best Guard in the draft
- The 4th best Offensive Tackle in the draft
As Craig stated in his tweet, the teams that will get the most value in the 2013 NFL Draft are those that draft positions that are being largely ignored and those that trade down. Instead, Telesco ignored the possibility of trading down (Let me restate that because the Patriots for 4 draft picks for their 29th overall pick; He ignored the possibility of trading down and didn't listen to any offers!) and drafted at the position that had been selected the most to that point.
If that doesn't scream "desperation", I don't know what does.
It's become obvious to me what the plan of the Chargers was, and it's so simple that it is bothering me. The way that Mike McCoy said that the team's intention is to get "the five best guys on the offensive line" regardless of where they played before spelled it out for me: They were going to take the highest rated offensive lineman.
It didn't matter if Haloti Ngata was there and Jeromey Clary was the best offensive lineman available (I'm not saying that was the choice, I'm just making a metaphor), Tom Telesco was taking the best offensive lineman available. That goes against everything that has been sold to the fans of the Chargers regarding his philosophy of taking the "best player available". There is absolutely, positively, no way that anybody can think that Fluker was the best player available at #11.
Let's go back to Elsten, because the pick is coming up:
OK. My pick would be Star Lotulelei. Shariff Floyd, Kenny Vacarro, Jarvis Jones also good for me. Not a fan on Fluker, but that's teh buzz— Craig Elsten (@619sports) April 26, 2013
Okay, the pick is about to be made and Craig's not a fan of the Fluker news. I wonder what other sports media types thought?:
#Chargers Worse case scenario for Chargers. Top five OL gone. Star or trade down.— Bill Williamson (@espn_afcwest) April 26, 2013
When you have the 11th overall pick, and get the 6th best offensive lineman, I'm not sure you're doing it right.— Ben Higgins (@XTRA1360Ben) April 26, 2013
Fluker will struggle at LT initially in NFL, many think he's eventually an OG at the next level. Rivers will still be looking over shoulder.— Brian Billick (@CoachBillick) April 26, 2013
You are skipping Pro Bowl-quality defensive players to get a lineman who was selected this high only because of a positional run.— Craig Elsten (@619sports) April 26, 2013
As I said repeatedly during last night's "Gernnaro-ly Speaking", this is an A.J. Smith pick. This is a pick by the Chargers that can only be defended by Telesco and McCoy saying that they're smarter than everyone else.
What a terrible way to start a new regime.