Instead of a recap this week, I want to do a reset of the Chargers' likely positional needs going into the next draft:
|QB||Probably none needed. Chargers seem to be sticking with veterans at all 3 spots.|
|RB||Will probably need to add at least one barring a Sproles return. Bonus points if he can return kicks/punts.|
|WR||The Chargers will likely lose Vince Jackson and possibly also Malcom Floyd since both will be free agents. The remaining WRs don't project as #1 WRs, so a high pick could be used on the position.|
|TE||Probably none needed, but perhaps a late round flyer on a decent prospect to compete for a 3rd string job.|
|OT||With the signing of Marcus McNeill and the decent showing from Brandyn Dombrowski the team would probably just be in the market for a backup/project at OT. Jeromey Clary will be a free agent, so someone needs to come in, but it could be a veteran.|
|OG||None needed. Plenty of depth here.|
|OC||Probably none needed. Hardwick still has some years left. Could draft one if they saw value, I suppose.|
|DE||Travis Johnson and Jacques Cesaire will be a free agents and the unproven Vaughn Martin waits in the wings. They could draft for a starter or draft for depth at this position.|
|NT||None needed. Plenty of depth here.|
|OLB||Shawne Merriman is gone, Jyles Tucker could be as well, Larry English is iffy, Shaun Phillips is getting older and the rest of the crew isn't very proven. This could be a very high priority and maybe even get addressed with multiple picks including one high one.|
|ILB||Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett and Brandon Siler (RFA) are all on the last year of their contracts. That leaves only the IRed Donald Butler. They could re-sign one or more of these players, they could draft an ILB high or they could draft for depth.|
|CB||Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer have solidified this position going forward. The team still could spend a somewhat high pick here if they plan to move Jammer to safety or if they just want a solid nickel back. KR/PR abilties are a plus. Most likely though they will have a similar mix in 2011 as they do in 2010.|
|S||Eric Weddle is on the last year of his contract (although he'll probably be an RFA). Darrell Stuckey is unproven. Steve Gregory is not a long term solution. Paul Oliver is not irreplaceable. They could draft this position high or for depth or re-sign Weddle and keep the status-quo.|
|K||Probably none needed.|
Here's the matchups I'm focusing on for week 7:
|Missouri||(5-0)||vs||Texas A&M||(3-2)||Saturday 10/16 9:00 AM PT||(Fox Sports)|
|Texas||(3-2)||vs||Nebraska||(5-0)||Saturday 10/16 12:30 PM PT||(ABC or ESPN)|
|Ohio St.||(6-0)||vs||Wisconsin||(5-1)||Saturday 10/16 4:00 PM PT||(ESPN)|
Every week I'll also ask all of you to please share what games you'll be watching and what players you'd think would look good in blue and gold or just generally impressed/disappointed you.
Missouri vs Texas A&M
This game, for scouting purposes is all about one player. OLB Von Miller. As I mentioned in the intro, the Chargers could be looking to find a difference maker at OLB. Miller gets a challenge in that he's playing a ranked, undefeated team in Missouri this week. The Tigers also boast one of the better pro prospects at QB in Blaine Gabbert, so his pocket presence, line reads and quick passing will all be challenges for Miller. Wake up early and see if we've found our next great pass rusher.
Von Miller, Texas A&M, OLB, Senior, 6'3, 238 lbs (1st or 2nd round) - Miller led the FBS last year with 17 sacks and threw in 4 FF and 21.5 Tackles for loss for good measure. This year teams are scheming against him and he's only got 1 sack, so a breakout this weekend could help his stock. He's seen as more of a 3-4 OLB since as a DE he's not much of a bull rusher and as a 4-3 OLB his pass rushing talents are wasted. He's also got great top end speed so he make plays from the LB spot that don't involve getting to the QB. He uses his hands to set up defenders which really helps him get to the ball carrier in the run game. He motor is high, he's quick, he's a strong tackler, can provid a big hit and is character-issue-free.
Texas vs Nebraska
I introduced you to Texas' 3 CB prospects (Aaron Williams, Chykie Brown and Curtis Brown) in week 5. I brought to you one of the top CBs in the nation in Prince Amukamara back in week 3 when I previewed Nebraska. This week those two teams meet in a rematch of last year's Big 12 Championship game. Its just too bad that neither team has much of a passing game to test these CBs. The Cornhuskers do have WR Niles Paul who will be challenged by the Texas secondary, but my guess is that they'll try to run the ball a lot and leave him mostly out of the game plan. The 'Huskers also have Junior DE/DT Jared Crick who will work to stop the run, get after the passer and force the Longhorns to possibly give something for the Prince to get after.
Pierre Allen, Nebraska, DE/OLB, Senior, 6'4, 261 lbs (mid to late rounds) - He's not a natural pass rusher even though he plays DE in Nebraska's defense. However, he does have the athleticism to play OLB in the 3-4 and the skills in run defense that could make him valuable. He's strong and can hold his defenders at the point of attack and still be quick enough to disengage and make plays. He'd be a bit of a project, but he's a good effort guy that could use his tackling and athleticism to help on special teams while he develops.
Ohio St. vs Wisconsin
Ohio St. got one of my early previews back in week 2. Since then we've been tracking the ups and downs of WR DeVier Posey, the rise of CB Chimdi Chekwa and solid performances from ILB Ross Homan as the Buckeyes have made their bid as the nations #1 ranked team. Homan will have the most work to do facing the power running of the Badgers. I've also got a new prospect to introduce since he's caught my eye as a better fit for the Chargers as the season's gone on. Wisconsin will look to knock Ohio State off their pedestal and will do it featuring some players I preview in week 5. Gabe Carimi is a solid run blocking OT, but with Marcus McNeill's signing isn't as a high a priority as he once was. WR Nick Toon is the most intriguing for Chargers fans. He'd be a depth acquisition in the middle rounds and doesn't project as a #1 WR though.
Brandon Saine, Ohio St., RB, Senior, 6'0, 217 lbs (3rd round or later) - I skipped Brandon Saine the last time through because I saw him as a bruising back that the Chargers wouldn't draft too high. Wisconsin has one of those guys in John Clay that I just can't see the Chargers drafting. However, Saine has become more involved in the passing game, especially with wheel routes, and that's an area the Chargers do covet. So, you end up with a big back that can run between the tackles, but also help with the passing game in the flats and down the sidelines. He's also a willing pass blocker and just overall strikes me as a very interesting 3rd down back (and perhaps more).
Tracking Prospects Mentioned In Previous Articles:
|Prospect Name||College||Position||Week 4 Opponent||Notes|
|Jacquizz Rodgers||Oregon St.||RB||Washington||25 car. 83 yds. 1 TD. That's not a good YPC. Also, 3 rec. 43 yds.|
||9 rec. 111 yds. 1 TD.
||5 rec. 111 yds. 2 TDs.
|Ryan Broyles||Oklahoma||WR||Iowa St.|
|Michael Floyd||Notre Dame||WR||Western Michigan
||7 rec. 59 yds. 1 TD
||5 rec. 72 yds.
||8 rec. 188 yds. 1 TD. Excellent day.
|Greg Little||North Carolina||WR||NCAA ruled him permanently ineligible.
|Chris Owusu||Stanford||WR||Bye||3 rec. 73 yds.|
|Niles Paul||Nebraska||WR||Texas||Only 1 catch, but Nebraska barely threw the ball
|Austin Pettis||Boise St.||WR||San Jose St.
||4 rec. 81 yds
|DeVier Posey||Ohio State||WR||Wisconsin
||8 rec. 108 yds. 1 TD. And all those catches were on wobbly balls. His QB can't throw a spiral.
|Terrence Toliver||LSU||WR||McNeese St.
||6 rec. 111 yds. 2 TDs against a good secondary.
|Nick Toon||Wisconsin||WR||Ohio St.
||6 rec. 52 yds
|Titus Young||Boise St.||WR||San Jose St.||6 rec. 97 yds. 1 TD|
|Gabe Carimi||Wisconsin||OT||Ohio St.
|Jason Pinkston||Pittsburgh||OT||Notre Dame
|Stephen Paea||Oregon St.||DE/DT||Washington
|Ian Williams||Notre Dame||DE/DT||Western Michigan
|Da'Quan Bowers||Clemson||DE/OLB||Maryland||2 sacks|
||1 sack. 1 offsides penalty
||Back surgery, out indefinitely|
||2 sacks including a stripsack. Awesome.
|Ross Homan||Ohio State||ILB||Wisconsin
|Nate Irving||North Carolina St.||ILB||East Carolina
||Half sack. Broke up a pass.|
|Greg Jones||Michigan St.||ILB||Illinois
|Casey Matthews||Oregon||ILB||Bye||Interception in red zone.|
|Quan Sturdivant||North Carolina||ILB||Virginia||Injury has limited his playing time lately.|
|Travis Lewis||Oklahoma||LB||Iowa St.
|Chykie Brown||Texas||CB||Nebraska||Picked up a sack|
|Rashad Carmichael||Virginia Tech||CB||Wake Forest
||Pass defensed and a pass interference.|
|Chimdi Chekwa||Ohio State||CB||Wisconsin|
|Marcus Gilchrist||Clemson||CB||Maryland||Not a great day returning kick and punts. Fumbled a punt.
|Janoris Jenkins||Florida||CB||Mississippi St.
|Patrick Peterson||LSU||CB||McNeese St.
||Good on kick returns. Fumbled a punt.|
|Ahmed Black||Florida||S||Mississippi St.||Recovered a fumble on special teams.|
|Quinton Carter||Oklahoma||S||Iowa St.|
|Deunta Williams||North Carolina||S||Virginia
||Forced a fumble in first game back.