Let me start out by saying I was one of the rejected applicants for a BFTB staff position, and this fanpost would be my first ever experience in sports writing. I was encouraged by John's recent post introducing the new staff members to take to the fanposts and show what I'm capable of. I don't know what exactly I'm capable of, but here goes.
With the needs this team has at OT, OG, NT, SS, ILB, and CB, there are so many different draft scenarios that the Chargers could run with on the first couple of days that it's quite difficult to predict what approach the front office is going to take. We've been speculating as fans about this since free agency died down and there seems to be a million and one different opinions on how we should spend the 11th and 45th pick, all of us claiming we know exactly what's best for the team moving forward. One approach that doesn't seem to be talked about much is the option of trading down and stockpiling picks, so here's my claim that I know exactly what's best for the team moving forward: the Chargers need to trade the 11th pick for a late first and early second round selection, to go along with their 45th pick.
The logic behind this is simple: the Chargers have too many holes to fill on their roster and not enough draft picks to fill them. In a draft that has excellent depth in almost every one of our positions of need, we can still pick up quality starters all the way through the third round. There is one draft scenario that would bring us the most value out of our picks while also addressing as many needs as possible.
First we need to find a team that is willing to trade away their mid-to-late first round pick and second rounder to grab someone at 11. I believe this team is the Vikings, who have a surplus of picks and are in need of a Percy Harvin replacement to complement Greg Jennings, like say Tavon Austin or Cordarrelle Patterson. This SB Nation article seems to agree that the Vikings are willing to move up in the draft to take a receiver ahead of the Rams at the 16th pick, and the Chargers could be perfect suitors. The Vikes have two first round picks, a mid-round second and third, and two fourth rounders. In order to take the 11th pick, they would most likely need to give up their 23rd overall pick, their 52nd pick in the second, and their 102nd pick in the fourth. That would leave the Chargers in prime position to stock up on talent in the first first two days of the draft with the following picks:
First Round (23rd overall): John Jenkins, NT, Georgia. This dude is enormous at 6'3" and 360 lbs, and he dominated in the SEC against the likes of Chance Warmack. I'd give him the edge over other NT prospects because of his size and the fact that he has experience playing the zero technique in a 3-4 at Georgia, unlike a lot of other prospects who played 4-3 DT in college. He could contribute immediately at nose and compete for the starting spot in training camp against Cam Thomas, at the very least providing excellent depth at a position that currently has none. He also hails from the toughest conference in college football, a fact that I feel is sometimes underrated when comparing prospects.
Second Round (45th overall): Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Armstead is not as highly touted as some of the other tackle prospects coming out this year, but is quickly climbing up draft boards because of the freakish athleticism he displayed at the combine. I know I just said players should be given a boost for playing in a tougher conference, and the SWAC is not exactly regarded highly in the college football world, but apparently he turned down the likes of Ohio State in order to play shot put at APB. He has the most upside of any of the second-tier tackles in this year's draft in my opinion. His mix of good size and incredible athleticism is very appealing, and his nickname is Terronnosaurus Rex for God's sake. If he can work on his lower body strength, he can compete for the starting left tackle spot and be an instant impact player.
Second Round (52nd overall): D.J. Swearinger, SS, South Carolina. I would be absolutely ecstatic if we decided to pick this guy up in the second. Swearinger has the attitude of a Bernard Pollard with the same big-hitting ability and potential for better cover skills. He's a bit undersized at 5'10", but has a strong build and would complement Weddle perfectly as an enforcer-type in the secondary. He was a four-year starter in college and was elected team captain, and has experience at both free and strong safety, even lining up regularly at corner which would suggest he has a strong ability to cover tight ends. I love the idea of having a safety in our secondary that receivers can fear down the middle of the field, and D.J. is exactly that type of safety.
Third Round (76th overall): Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama. Barrett Jones is appealing for a few reasons. For one, he is extremely versatile, as he's played all five positions on the o-line for Alabama. If Johnnie Troutman turns out to be a good guard, Jones can definitely do well at center as Nick Hardwick's successor in the near future. If Troutman is not so great, he is very capable at the guard position. He is also an intelligent player who excels at making pre-snap reads, and is known for never taking plays off. He's definitely not the best guard in this draft, but is an excellent value in the third round and could help solidify the interior of our line for the next decade if he uses his excellent work ethic to sharpen up his game.
This is the most ideal scenario for the Chargers in the first two days of the draft, in my own personal opinion of course. I know it's riddled with assumptions and high hopes, but that's the case with most mock draft proposals this time of year. If they can get a fourth rounder out of the trade with Minnesota, they can also use one of their picks on an inside linebacker like A.J. Klein if he's available that late. With this arrangement, we are addressing almost every position of need with quality impact players who possess a ton of upside. Let me know what you guys think of this scenario, and while you're at it I would appreciate a critique of my sports writing skills (or lack thereof).