Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy went into their first draft with the San Diego Chargers with plenty of holes on the roster. Many of those holes still remain three days later, but steps were taken to make this a more exciting and more complete team. Let's see how each pick grades out:
Round 1, Pick 11 (11th Overall)
D.J. Fluker, RT
I still don't totally understand this selection. If D.J. Fluker is going to be the cornerstone of your offensive line, then your offense is going to be heavily based around the running game and probably isn't going to be running a Zone Blocking Scheme.
So, why bring in Joe D'Alessandris to be the Offensive Line Coach when his resume shows him to be a "Zone Blocking" guru that has helped install the scheme at every place he's been?
Also, why bring in Danny Woodhead, who isn't going to challenge Ryan Mathews as an every-down "power running back"? Are they comfortable with building the San Diego Chargers offense around Ryan Mathews now?
I can see how improving the running game could take some pressure off of Philip Rivers but doesn't the lack of a starting-caliber Left Tackle sort of even that out?
I have nothing against Fluker. If this were a team that was a piece or two away from going to the Super Bowl, like the Pittsburgh Steelers for instance, I would love this pick. However, improving the RT spot when there are so many other holes on the roster is confusing. At this team, at this time, I have a hard time rating it as anything but "mediocre".
Many of those that didn't appreciate my initial reaction to the pick argued that Tom Telesco would find a Left Tackle in the 2nd or 3rd round and then I'd have to shut my mouth. Well, he didn't, and now Rivers' blindside will be protected by King Dunlap or Eric Winston or maybe Bryant McKinnie, all of which are available because they haven't been very good Left Tackles, in what will be the most crucial season of his career. That's scary to me.
Round 2, Pick 6 (38th Overall)
Manti Te'o, ILB
Another head-scratcher of a pick.
Just like I would like the Fluker selection if the Chargers didn't have so many holes, I would love trading up for Te'o if I thought the team could afford to be throwing away 4th round picks.
If this was just a 2nd round selection, I'd love it. Te'o dropped down draft boards for silly reasons, and everyone seemingly forgot that he was the best Linebacker in college football in 2012 and almost single-handedly carried the Fighting Irish to the national championship game.
My grade is for this being both the 38th & 110th selections combined, which takes a lot of the value away from it.
Round 3, Pick 14 (76th Overall)
Keenan Allen, WR
I love this pick. When I watched Allen last season, I saw a WR that was very strong. Strong hands, strong cuts, and someone that could simply out-tough opponents.
I've heard comparisons to Anquan Boldin, but I think a better comparison is Michael Crabtree. Boldin was a 2nd rounder and Crabtree went in the 1st round. Allen has some knee issues that will keep him from competing for a starting spot this season, but if he can get 100% healthy he could be the team's #2 WR for years to come.
Round 5, Pick 12 (145th Overall)
Steve Williams, CB
This pick showed me that Telesco knows and understands that Chargers' roster. Steve Williams is a possible improvement over Marcus Gilchrist at Nickel CB, which allows Gilchrist to either challenge for the starting spot at outside CB or Strong Safety. That type of versatility comes only through roster depth, and Telesco just created that.
Round 6, Pick 11 (179th Overall)
Tourek Williams, OLB/DE
This is another pick that creates versatility. Williams is probably a better 4-3 DE than he is a 3-4 OLB, but there's a place for those types of guys on this defense. If he has a good preseason, Williams could be kept on the roster for someone that steps in for Jarret Johnson in the Nickel defense package. Seems a bit like a luxury pick.
Round 7, Pick 15 (221st Overall)
Brad Sorensen, QB
As per usual, the Chargers use a late-round draft pick on a QB that they hope can out-duel the current backup QB (which currently happens to be Charlie Whitehurst). Sorensen seems to have good tools but will need a good QB coach to fix his flaws and get him reading defenses quickly. Otherwise, he'll end up on the San Diego practice squad at best.