Now I'm not saying that I know who the Chargers will take in the upcoming draft because frankly, no one does. But I'm listing the possible prospects that the Chargers (IMO) should take in the draft to elevate their level of play next season. I won't compare these prospects to NFL veterans simply because some players don't turn out the way they should. Also just remember that alot of things will change after the combine.
1st Round: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
I would be glad if we could take Van Noy in the first round. Not only is he very athletic for a linebacker, but he is also very instinctive. He can rush the passer yet he can also cover running backs and to some extent, some slot receivers. He is very mature for his age and coming from a very religious school, there will be no problems of him making headlines for the wrong reasons. There are always a risk in drafting potential first rounders and Van Noy has some red flags attached to him. I think Van Noy hesitates when blockers are coming for him and that is usually an automatic win for the lineman if he can get the linebacker to hesitate. He sometimes overshoot a running play because he wants to get to the quarterback immediately. You do that in the NFL and your defense will suffer. Lastly, he is not very physical, relying on trying to get around the lineman than trying to shed them. Now I said that I wouldn't compare prospects to NFL players but since I have an idea who his upside could be then why the hell not? His upside could be a poor version of Von Miller. They both have speed to make tackles all over the field and they could use that speed to rush the quarterback. They also have pass coverage ability which is really hard to find from a linebacker nowadays. Now I think his downside could be the faster version of Manti Teo. They both hesitate to "shoot the gun" on plays and that sometimes take them out of the play. They also overshoot the ballcarrier sometimes, which is very frustrating. In conclusion, if Van Noy is in our play in the draft, go pull the trigger! (P.S. Telesco did say he wants to infuse some speed lol)
2nd Round: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
Look, as much as I want to draft Stephon Tuitt here, I think he'll be gone by then. Plus I don't think he's all that considering the fact that he played with Louis Nix, which helps alot if you're playing next to him. Plus I think Cam Thomas is a really good role player. Just find someone that can stop the run the first two downs then have Babyzilla come in on third. Now some of you might argue that SJB is probably the 11th best CB in this draft, but I also think he could be the closest player Richard Sherman is. All the cornerbacks ahead of him are 6'0 ft. and under. Now I don't think he'll be the next Sherman, but his height gives him a chance against bigger receivers. He's a 3rd round talent, but his measurable will have a team drooling for him and he'd be gone by then. I think this could be a high risk - high reward pick considering the fact that Telesco needs to hit this draft in all cylinders and SJB is worth this pick. SJB can play man coverage and reroute his receivers on the line (You hear that Pagano?). His athleticism is good and that helps him play for the ball in the air. He has good mental maturity which in my dictionary means that, if the quarterback decides to pick on him, he would welcome that as a challenge. His hips are fluid enough for his size to switch directions while running with the receiver. My knock on him is that he lacks physicality. He also can't tackle. But it's better than Denario Cocks giving up that Julius Thomas touchdown without trying to even touch him. SJB also bites on double moves hard. That will not translate well into the NFL, but going up against Keenan Allen or Vincent Brown(who is good at double moves) should help him. All in all, I think that picking up SJB here is a must. SJB could be a sleeper and will reach his full potential with proper coaching. PROPER COACHING!
3rd Round: Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming OR De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon
Ugh! I am so torn between these two. Telesco I want both of them please! But we only have one 3rd round draft pick and we might only get one of the two. Here's my five cents on these two. They're faster than lightning. Ok poor analogy there but it describes both of these players. These players are a mismatch to a defense and I think they could give the Legion of Boom fits next season. Fits and beat are different definition. While we need a receiver next to Allen (imagine what LOB will do to Vincent Brown), I think these guys are better than what Royal brings to the table and could be our 3rd receiver. I think they would help the O-line's job too because of the fact that they get open that quick. So it's best if we hold off getting a lineman in the draft. I don't know what else to say so I'm gonna go on a different direction here and make a comparison chart.
Robert Herron- 5'9, 193 lbs, 4.38 40
Strengths: Tough, is willingly go in the middle and catch the ball, soft hands, straight-line speed, good lateral agility and vision, very quick and balance, shows up in big games(Texas)
Weaknesses: Unpolished route running, questionable competition, small for a receiver
De'Anthony Thomas- 5'10, 176 lbs, 4.21 40
Strengths: Can play in the return game, could be the fastest player in the draft, every touch is a potential touchdown, elite agility to make people miss, can take a top off the defense (demands alot of attention if on field), solid hands, and can beat people to the corner with ease
Weaknesses: Undersized, no experience running a variety of routes, durability concerns, size and strength hinders him from running well between the tackles, will not be very good if speed goes
Even if you aren't hearing their names getting mentioned alot for this upcoming draft, mark my words that some teams are secretly favoring two of these players and would not mind drafting them a little higher in the draft. If Telesco is really serious about bringing speed to the team, then he should strongly consider drafting one of them. Oh and I don't want either of them getting drafted by the Eagles.
Round 4: Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman
I lied about not drafting any lineman. This is a good mid-round value pick.
Round 5: James White, RB, Wisconsin
Round 6: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Sleeper value with this pick. Was a leader in the Oklahoma secondary before getting injured at practice in the senior bowl. Nice size. Very physical against the run and in coverage, which our corners lack. Tough mentality. Aggressiveness can get him in trouble in coverage, which could result in PI calls. In contrast, isn't that how the Seahawks corners dominated the Broncos receivers?