After losing at Denver to the Broncos in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, the San Diego Chargers will receive the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Prior to the team's improbable run that catapulted them from 5-7 to the sixth seed, the Chargers would have had the 12th overall pick.
I think we can all agree that making the playoffs and winning in the first round is worth the lesser draft position. The last five players selected with the 25th overall pick are cornerback Xavier Rhodes, inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower, offensive guard James Carpenter, quarterback Tim Tebow and cornerback Vontae Davis.
The takeaway from that is that you can find players with the 25th pick assuming you don't do something insane like reach for a QB that profiles better as a fullback. In particular, teams have had success recently taking defensive players with the pick and that's where the Chargers just so happen to be weak right now.
The last time the Chargers had the 25th pick was 1972 and they used it to select Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers. You have no reason to remember him, so don't be troubled by the fact that you don't. The last time the Chargers picked around the 25th pick was 2008 when they selected Antoine Cason with the 27th pick. That one didn't exactly work out the way we hoped, but Cason was a decent enough role player on a couple good teams.
Nothing about the Chargers' history suggests an abundance of confidence with a pick in the 20s, but Tom Telesco wasn't involved with those drafts. Granted, the Colts recent selections Anthony Castonzo (22nd pick) and Donald Brown (27th) aren't exactly franchise cornerstones, but if the Chargers get a player of their caliber in May, Chargers fans should be happy.
If recent mock drafts are to be believed (and they're not, but oh well), players like Louis Nix, Jason Verrett, Kelvin Benjamin, Bradley Roby, and Kyle Fuller could be available in the pick 25 range and while those players might not necessarily fit here in San Diego, it's not unpleasant to see so many corners projected around where the Chargers will be picking.
Who do you think will be available and who are you hoping the Chargers will pick?