The San Diego Chargers have a few holes to fill going into the off season. The biggest, and least sexy, is the offensive line. The line has been a deficiency for a long time, though it hasn't always been as apparent due to the great play of guys like Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson. It is time to follow the recent strategy employed by Dallas and build a wall of an offensive line.
When you look at a castle wall head on, moving from left to right, you will usually have a turret or tower on the end, a section of wall, a gate house, another section of wall, and another turret/tower on the other end. It's now easy to transition that over to the Tackles being the "turrets," Guards being the "sections of wall," and the Center being the "gate house."
I am assuming, pretty safely in my opinion, that the Chargers will re-sign King Dunlap to play LT, so we have one Turret built. I also believe the reports that the team plans on moving DJ Fluker to RG, so we have one section of wall built. The team also has Chris Watt who could play either C or OG, which gives the team flexibility in building, allowing them to look for either a gate house or section of wall.
The Chargers need to build a Turret and either a gate house or section of wall. So what is the best way to go about building?
Bring in pre-fab castle parts:
Free agents are like pre-fab parts. They are already built, you know how they are going to look and how well they will work. Looking at the list of guys set to be Free Agents this off season, there is only one name that really stands out and that is Bryan Bulaga the RT from Green Bay. Knowing that, he will have plenty of offers which will drive up his price and ultimately make signing him not a very good deal. This leads us to look at the draft.
Building from scratch:
This leaves you with a bit more guesswork. With pre-fab, you know how the player is going to function, you've seen it before. Building from scratch, through the draft, sometimes the blueprints don't always work out the way you want. However, just like in actual building, when you start from scratch and do it right, you wind up building something much stronger. Building from scratch also gives you much more variety since you can do almost whatever you want. Lucky for the Chargers, this draft has a good amount of talent on the OL so they will have plenty of options.
My vote here is to build from scratch. Yes the thought of having 2 sections of our wall be new and untested is scary, but we have a very good architect with Tom Telesco. In my next few articles I will give my take on some of the options TT will have to chose from when building Rivers his wall.