2014 NFL Draft Grades: San Diego Chargers

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft class for the San Diego Chargers is filled with specialists, but that might be a good thing.

Round 1, Pick 25 (25th overall): Jason Verrett, CB

The more I think about this pick, and read about it, the more I like it. As I pointed out on Twitter, the only real downside to this selection is that Verrett is such a perfect fit for the San Diego Chargers' current defensive scheme that he may be a weakness if the team switches schemes in a year or two. For the moment, though, that perfect fit means that Jason will be able to be an immediate and effective starter, which is about as much as you could ask for with the 25th overall selection.

Grade: A

Round 2, Pick 18 (50th overall): Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB

This pick, and the trade up seven spots to get it, will be the most scrutinized pick for the team. If Attaochu turns out to be Melvin Ingram (which is possible), it's a steal. If he turns out to be Larry English (which is also possible), it's a waste. There's really no in between, either.

I believe it was Bill Polian (who mentored Tom Telesco) who once said that there are really only 50 potentially great prospects in every draft and teams should be willing to sacrifice later round picks to get one of those 50. That's one philosophy and there is plenty of evidence to back it up, if that's what you want to do.

As far as Attaochu goes, a lot of his immediate impact will depend on health. He likely isn't jumping over Melvin Ingram or Dwight Freeney on the depth chart without one of them getting injured, but his skillset and college stats seem to say that there'd be almost no drop-off if he had to become the teams #1 or #2 pass rusher. That seems awfully valuable.

Grade: B

Round 3, Pick 25 (89th overall): Chris Watt, OG

As far as projections go, Watt is kind of all over the place....

  • BFTB Big Board: 5th round
  • CBS Sports: 6th-7th round
  • NFLDraftScout.com: 6th-7th round
  • Walter Football: 3rd-5th round

The consensus seems to be that he is a good run blocker that struggles against physical defensive linemen, and his pass protection needs a lot of work. More than that, he had two separate knee injuries (torn PCL and MCL in his right knee) towards the end of last season that kept him out of the Senior Bowl before pulling a muscle while running the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

In a nutshell, this is a raw prospect with a body that is falling apart. He'll likely go behind Chad Rinehart, Jeromy Clary, Rich Ohrnberger, and Johnnie Troutman on the OG depth chart. He will be useful next year, when Clary and Ohrnberger reached the end of their contracts. He's a better fit for the zone-blocking scheme than Troutman, so he could be a starter in 2015.

Grade: C

Round 5, Pick 25 (165th overall): Ryan Carrethers, NT

Kyle and Jerome had Carrethers graded for the 5th round. That's what made me go take a look at him before the draft, because everywhere else I looked had him as a 7th rounder or an undrafted free agent.

What I found was a big, strong player dominating lesser competition. His bowl game against Ball State was a pleasure to watch. Despite his 4 sacks last season, I think he'll be a one-dimensional run-stuffer type in the NFL. Could turn into Aubrayo Franklin if he can consistently keep his pads low.

Probably not a starter at NT in his rookie season, but he could get more and more playing time as the year goes along. Defensive Line Coach Don Johnson will have a lot to work with here.

Grade: A

Round 6, Pick 25 (201st overall): Marion Grice, RB

I thought the team might jump on a RB in the later rounds. Grice is a really interesting prospect, as someone that might be able to be more than a 3rd Down RB with a Zone Blocking Scheme that would allow him to cut-back and use his speed-balance. He'll need to start running with some confidence through the line of scrimmage, though.

I thought Grice was a bit of a tweener. A little too big/slow to be Danny Woodhead, and not nearly strong enough to be a starting RB like Ryan Mathews. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets cut in camp, but I also wouldn't be shocked if he's splitting carries with Donald Brown next season. High-risk, high-reward picks are what the 6th round is all about.

Grade: B

Round 7, Pick 25 (240th overall): Tevin Reese, WR

Sweet feet! I love this pick. LOVE. I loved watching Reese in college and will foolishly be rooting for him to play a big part in the Chargers offense in his rookie year.

Reese is a little guy (skinny, not short) that will likely face some injury issues in the NFL, but he is fast. Really fast. He's the type of guy that Cornerbacks are terrified of. He forces them, and the safeties behind them, to get back. Then he takes advantage with underneath routes. A natural playmaker that finds the right running lanes in the open field, the team could maybe look at him as a kick returner.

If he can stay healthy, he should be a part of the offense in 2014 and a replacement for Eddie Royal in 2015. Another matchup nightmare to go along with Woodhead and Ladarius Green.

Grade: A

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