Dear Mr. Telesco and Coach McCoy I would like to congratulate you on a great draft…. But I don’t think I can. Before I point out where I think you could have made this a “GREAT” draft lets briefly review our team’s needs. Highest priority of course was offensive line, no question about that. After the offensive line though we also know that we are extremely thin at Defensive line, particularly at the Nose Tackle position – which is considered the “cog” of the defense in a 3-4 alignment. We also are thin at LB, both Inside and Outside. In addition we have been looking for help in the defensive backfield for the better part of the last 10 years. After O-Line, Defense, then we still have question marks at WR, RB with TE probably being our most solid position barring continued injures to Gates. So with all that being said let’s talk about the picks.
1st round: 11th - DJ Fluker (RT). Okay we know that we need all the help at the offensive line that we can get, but you took the consensus 6th overall rated lineman here when the #1 SS, #1 OLB, #2 CB, #1 DT (and NT) all still on the board. Now it is a very fair argument that Fluker was the #1 RT BUT what are his weaknesses? That’s right pass blocking. And what was our biggest issue last year? That’s right, protecting PR17 on pass plays. So the question is does is this pick really the type of improvement that we need for our TEAM (not value) that we should have gotten for our (basically top 10) number 1 draft pick? Personally I don’t think so but I am fine with it if you follow up with a solid 2nd rounder that builds on this pick. So let’s talk about round number 2.
2nd round: Manti Teo (ILB): The truth is I like Manti Teo and I think that he is a solid pick for ILB BUT only if you follow that up with the appropriate 3rd round pick – we will discuss that later. Who you should have picked was Menelik Watson, the Left Tackle. If you are going to draft a RT in the 1st round who is not considered a strong pass protector but you are still compelled to draft him because you want to shore up our offensive line then selecting Watson is not only a common sense pick but it also shows a “purpose driven” draft that is focused on improving the TEAM and it also is still a very good value pick because Watson was clearly considered one of the best of the 2nd tier of Offensive Lineman at the LT position. With Watson and Fluker you potentially have your book-end tackles for the next 10 years in place to protect the most valuable position on a team – the Quarterback.
3rd round: Keenan Allen (WR): Okay so now I understand what is going on here. We are just grabbing “value” you picks regardless of how they will help the team. Maybe you were hoping that Terrance Armstead was going to fall to you here but the Saints stole him from underneath your nose. Well this would not have happened had you selected Watson (or Armstead for that matter) in the 2nd like you should have. But lets focus on this pick for a second.
Yes Allen was considered by many for most of the year the best WR in the class and then something happened….. injury? Our WR corps disappointed last year mainly for one reason – injuries. WR1 Danario Alexander really came one strong towards the end of the season but he has yet to play a complete season in his career because of injuries. His backup was not impressive at all and just couldn’t get on the same page as PR17 because his route running was limited. WR2 Malcom Floyd did the best he could but he also had injury issues for the 2nd season in a row. His backup is on-the-team-again, off-the-team-again Michael Spurlock and even still he hasn’t proven to be a solid WR. WR3 Vincent Brown is lost at the beginning of the season to a gruesome leg injury and we still are unsure what his level of play is going to be coming back from this injury . With all that being said drafting a WR makes sense, but the problem is HE WAS INJURED (ankle and knee). So withstanding his talent (which is legit) what we are doing is drafting yet another player with injury concerns to add to a group of WRs that already have injury concerns meaning that PR17 will have to learn yet another WR and how they run their routes. …. I don’t get it.
Not when you could have made a even better pick that would have filled a even bigger concern for the team – Nose Tackle.
Jonh Jenkins 6’4” 346lbs is a man amongst men. He could have both strengthened and solidified our young and improving defensive line. Cam Thomas has yet to show that he wants the starting NT position but this kid on size alone can hold the gap between the outside shoulders of both guards allowing our young and rising stars at the DT/DE positions to continue to excel and wreak havoc in opponent’s backfields. Not only that but remember your pick in the 2nd round, Manti Teo? Well it is believed that he doesn’t necessarily shed blocks that well so whoever picks him needs to help protect him from lineman so that he can excel. This selection at the Nose Tackle position does exactly that. You had your pick of any of the players who could actually really play a true NT position (John Jenkins, Jesse Williams, Montori Hughes, Brandon Williams) at this pick and you passed on all of them for a WR? Really?
Remember…. No 4th rounder, so you have to make this pick here and now regardless of what someone says about the “value” of the pick because it feels an immediate need and improves the play of multiple facets of our defense and our team.
5th round, Steve Williams (CB): He is 5’9”…. Who is he going to cover? Isn’t Gilcrest the inside db? If we already have a inside DB why draft another? Did you not see Cooper Taylor (Safety) on the board? I’m not sure how you could miss him at 6’4” and 228lbs… and he can run! Is that not the measurable of a perennial pro-bowler at the SS position? Or if you still want to improve our offensive line….. Ricky Wagner (OT) from what is becoming “lineman university” Wisconsin is still available.
6th round : Tourek Williams (DE) - Well at 6’3” and only 260lbs its pretty obvious he is not a 3-4 end which means that you think that he can play outside linebacker (read that as “a project”). The problem with that thinking though is that he hasn’t’ showed that he can play in space! As a 3 down OLB you have to be able to cover too and he hasn’t shown anyone that he can do that. Pass rush he can do but he still has weaknesses when it comes to even doing that so what is the reasoning behind this pick? Special teams? For a draft pick that is not a returner? I don’t get it.
Who you could have picked – Mike James (RB) out of Miami or Rex Burkhead out of Nebraska. Both of these players are improvements at the RB position… mainly because they can not only run but because they can block too. Personnaly I think Burkheadd is a steal here because on measurables alone he outshines RM from the perspective of the 1st 20 yards, he’s a more “heady” player, and he is also a more patient runner.
7th round: Brad Sorenson (QB): No comment. I understand it is time for us to get a younger QB as a backup but is he ready to play this year if PR17 does go down? I doubt it. Will he ever be a starting NFL QB? I doubt it. But why not Collin Klein out of Kansas State? Or Tyler Bray out of Tennessee? Don’t these guys have a higher ceiling and bring more raw physical talent to the position than Sorenson?
Overall I think this draft is only a D on the surface, possibly a C just because of the “value “ of picking Teo (ILB) and Allen (WR) but “value” is assessed to draft boards not on the field team performance. I’m just saying I really that that you could have done better by the Chargers this year.
|Round||Your Pick||Based on picking Fluker||My Pick|
|1||DJ Fluker (RT)||DJ Fluker (RT)||Kenny Vaccaro (SS)|
|2||Manti Teo (ILB)||Menelik Watson (LT)||Menelik Watson (LT)|
|3||Keenan Allen (WR)||John Jenkins (NT)||John Jenkins (NT)|
|5||Steve Williams (CB)||Cooper Tayler (SS)||A.J. Klein (ILB)|
|6||Tourek Williams (DE)||Rex Burkhead (RB)||Rex Burkhead (RB)|
|7||Brad Sorenson||Tyler Bray (QB)||Tyler Bray (QB)|
There I said it..... Flame on!