The Last time I did this, I thought there was NO WAY the Chargers would go on a late season run and get near .500, well, I guess the Chargers showed a lot of "pride" towards the end of the year. Honestly, it might've just been Norv intentionally screwing the Chargers over, by making sure they don't get into a good draft position.
Regardless, the Chargers now have the 11th pick in the draft, which isn't bad, but it limits the potential moves they can make. There's far less value for the #11 over-all pick, than there is for the #5-6 pick, which is what they were in line for previously.
So here's my new plan.
I was surprised by the fact Greg Roman's name hasn't been mentioned for the HC job, I think he would be a great fit, he would bring the physical/creative running game they need. If they aren't interested, they aren't interested. Maybe it's because the 9'ers are still in the play-offs, but I haven't even heard rumors.
I don't want to see a retread like Lovie Smith or Jim Mora, we know what they are, and they're nothing special. I also don't want to see a guy with no experience in the pros (Chip Kelly).
So here's the HC'ing candidates I like. Ken Wisenhunt & Josh McDaniels, you could say they're both "retreads", but I don't lump them into that class, because they're relatively young and haven't been around forever. These are the 2 that intrigue me the most. And of those 2, I have to go with the young guy McDaniels.
His system is the envy of the rest of the league, and I think he learned a lot from his stint in Denver, he'd come into this situation not only humbler, but smarter. He would build the team around Rivers, and would give him the up-tempo style and control at the LOS that I think would turn around his career. And an underrated aspect of his system is the running game, did you know the Pats ranked 7th in rushing offense? Just don't give him full control of the team, and you'll be fine.
This part hasn't changed much, Jake Long. Make it happen. Do some cap trickery, do the salary shuffle, or whatever you want to call it. It's not a necessity, but it's close to it. He's expensive, but it's because he's really good.
NE, New Orleans, Denver, Houston, and most great teams, don't cheap out on the O-line and surprise, their QB's put up monster numbers. I'm sure that's just coincidence, right?
Also find a decent CB/NB in FA, I don't think it's such a big need that they need to use a high draft pick on it (because there are way more pressing needs), but it's still a need that should be addressed.
I have a list of players they should target an why they should target them.
Taylor Lewan- Top tackle prospect who will be available.
Eric Fisher- 6-8", long armed athlete. He'd be a good downfield blocker and good against the speed rush.
Chance Warmack- A guard at #11? I could see it, and Warmack is a big, physical run blocker. He'd improve the O-line, a massive upgrade over Tyrone Green, but so are a lot of players.
Barret Jones- I was surprised when I saw in a mock draft that he might go in the 2nd round, I think he's every bit the player of the other lineman I've mentioned. He's big, physical and versatile, it's rare to find a guy who can not only play 5 positions on the field, but can play them well.
Kyle Long- Solid tackle prospect, what makes him intriguing is if they hire McDaniels, not only will he be fine with the pace they play, it'll actually be a step back in the pace for him.
Travis Frederick- He's a Wisconsin lineman, so we know what he's about. 6-4" 330+ pound road grader.
Receivers & Tight Ends
Zach Ertz- Antonio Gates is crumbling from the ankle down, he can't make those quick, on a dime cuts that made him uncover-able. He's not a replacement, but he would be an eventual starter, and would give them a well rounded TE that would give Rivers another weapon and would help with blocking.
Joseph Fauria- Athletic freak, he's Jimmy Graham except he has way more football experience.
Robert Woods- He's a fast, lightning quick receiver, that would give them the added dimension they've desperately lacked the past few years, a receiver who can get open quickly and do something with it.
Ryan Swope- I'd say he fills a similar need that Woods does, just differently. He's got good speed, and he's a running back with the football in his hands. He reminds me of Hakeem Nicks and Michael Crabtree, and they would be able to get him in the 3rd or 4th round.
Da'Rick Rogers- Athletically gifted. 6-3", 210 pound and fast. He's the type of receiver the Chargers have liked. I just think they already have guys like him in Danario Alexander and Floyd, they need more versatility with their receivers, not just guys who can run down field and get jump balls.
The Running Backs
Stephan Taylor- Physical no nonsense runner, exactly what the Chargers need. Much like the other backs I will list.
Le'Veon Bell- 6-2", and I'd say 245 pound beast. I guess you could call him a power back.
Rex Burkhead- Likely a late round pick. he reminds me of Jacob Hester, not because he's white though. He's a north sout runner and has great potential as a receiver. What makes him different from Hester is his speed and burst, he's not a Fullback.
Marcus Lattimore- I was shocked when he entered the draft, but I think he's worth a look in the 7th round or as a rookie FA. He has the potential to be the steal of the draft.
Jonathan Franklin- Stephan Taylor clone, yet doesn't get nearly the same respect. If they could get him in the 5th or 6th round, it would be great. He and Taylor remind me a lot of Ridley in NE.
Kenjon Barner- This is like a game of which running back doesn't belong, but Barner is fast and a threat to score a TD every time he touches it, which the Chargers have lacked since Sproles left.
Curtis McNeal- He probably won't get drafted, but I like him a lot personally. Nothing special physically, 5-7 and 190 pounds soaking wet, but he's a fiesty back who runs like he's 220. Not fast, but he's lightning quick, he's in the mold of a guy like Danny Woodhead or Kevin Faulk (if he improves his receiving).
I don't think defense is a focal point, and the Chargers shouldn't use an early draft pick on a defensive player, but there are some intriguing mid to late round prospects.
Tyrann Mathieau- He's not great in coverage, and he's got off the field issues, but he's a play maker. If he plays safety an keeps his nose clean, he could be as good as Polamalu, an if he stays at corner, he could be the next Charles Woodson. He's that good. At worst, he'd be the best special teamer in the NFL returning and covering kicks and punts.
Chase Thomas- Best player in possibly the best front 7 in college football. and he fills what many view as a need, rush linebacker.
Anthony Barr- A converted running back, just a pure speed rusher. Could be great in this league.
Kiko Alonso- Great in coverage, and spear headed a very underrated Oregon defense. He's a possible replacement for Takeo Spikes.
Michael Clay- Undersized, but explosive and productive. Needs to add a few pounds, but the Chargers need Linebackers who can cover ground in the passing game and the running game.
These are either players without a defined position or play a position that isn't a big enough need to get its own section.
Collin Klein- While I think Rivers is still elite, I also know that he's 31, and after these past 2 years, he probably feels 38, and his contract is up in a few years. They don't need an immediate replacement, but they need to think about one. Klein is a big physical football player. He's a 3-5 year project player, but if they can fix that throwing motion, he could be a very good starting QB.
Jordan Rodgers- Aaron's little bro, and they are very similar. He's not polished, but he's got a decent arm an he's a very underrated athlete. He went to Vanderbilt so you know he's smart. Take him for the same reason as Klein.
Denard Robinson- Not a QB, so don't even try. I see him as a Josh Cribbs/Brad Smith type of player.
Ryan Hewwit- Versatile, he could play the Aaron Hernandez position in this offense. He's not the athlete Hernandez is, but he's smart and he's a much better blocker.
J.C. Copeland- He's a Dinosaur, but if Jurrasic Park taught us anything, it's that Dinosaurs in modern times can wreak havoc. He'd boss short yarage/goal line situations.
Obviously, it's a mathematical impossibility to draft all these players, so here's the perfect scenario.
1st- Taylor Lewan
2nd- Joseph Fauria
3rd- Travis Frederick
4th- Ryan Swope
5th- Jonathan Franklin
6th- Tyrann Mathieau
7th- Michael Clay
Get Rodgers or Klein in FA, with Hewitt, Copeland, and McNeal
Here's how I envision the players to fit in on offense. Lewan and Frederick will slide into starting positions on the right side. Fauria will be the #2 TE and become the heir apparent to Gates. Swope can play either the slot or out wide, either way he'll be great at getting YAC. Franklin, Matthews, and McNeal would all see the field depending on the situation. Same thing with Copeland and Hewitt, Copeland in short yardage/Goal line situations and Hewitt in a hybrid role. Rivers gets an improved O-line with 3 new starters (Long, Frederick, and Matthews) and gets better weapons.
Defensively, not many changes. Mathieau wouldn't really have a defined position, like Polamalu. Clay might not be big enough to play on running downs, but as a nickel LB, he could really help this team, he and Butler would cover a ton of ground
This is the ultimate best case scenario, not likely to happen, but if it does, it would be awesome.
In case you couldn't tell, I was very, very bored. Stupid Vikings, why must you suck so bad?