The rumors surrounding the San Diego Chargers first-round draft pick possibilities are depressing, mostly. Seemingly everyone outside of San Diego thinks that the Bolts will be drafting a pass-rushing OLB to back up Jarret Johnson, Shaun Phillips, Antwan Barnes and maybe Larry English.
2012 NFL Mock Drafts
- Mel Kiper: Whitney Mercilus
- Mike Mayock: Whitney Mercilus
- Dane Brugler: Shea McClellin
- Rob Rang: Whitney Mercilus
- Christopher Gates: Courtney Upshaw
- Ryan Van Bibber: Whitney Mercilus
Again, I don't see it. Luckily, Young Silver Fox has my back and also sees the Chargers needing to use a pick to fill that Strong Safety starting spot. When you're looking for a rookie to immediately start, you probably need to get them with an early draft pick. At this point, heading into the season with anyone besides Mark Barron (or maybe Harrison Smith) as the favorite to be the starting Strong Safety will have me concerned about John Pagano's defense.
If I'm A.J. Smith, I trade up and get Barron. Everyone knows that the defense's largest problem has been the lack of a true playmaker and, as much as I like Jarret Johnson, that problem still exists. Barron is one of the few playmakers in this draft that the Chargers could put on the field without sacrificing on-field time to someone that's probably better. I was all-in for the Chargers signing Mario Williams, and it didn't happen. For the same reasons, I'd be all-in to get Mark Barron.
As for what A.J. Smith will probably do? Who knows. He's gotten slightly more predictable over the years, so I guess you can probably expect one of those pass-rushers that will be around at #18 or possible David DeCastro to help replace Kris Dielman.