We went over what scouts are saying about Max Tuerk. The reason I did that is that you'll get unbiased, level-headed analysis from them. From my point of view, there won't be much of that. This was my reaction when the Chargers took Tuerk.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— KP (@KP_Show) April 30, 2016
MAX— KP (@KP_Show) April 30, 2016
You'll learn more why tomorrow after we go over both linebackers that were drafted but this team, Tom Telesco specifically, is like the girlfriend that continues to do so many dumb things that get on your nerves where you're on the verge of leaving her and in a matter of a weekend she does a complete 180, gets it together and you're back in the honeymoon phase. This is what Telesco did this last weekend. He drafted the best pass rusher in the draft, a tight end that run blocks better than some offensive linemen in the draft and, well, Max.
When I wrote about the top centers in the draft, I thought Tuerk was a mid 2nd round talent. For my money, they got the 41st best player at 66. Now, Tuerk is far from perfect. He isn't as strong as you'd like at the point of attack and doesn't have the mass to compensate. Complaining about Tuerk's strength is like complaining about Keenan Allen's speed. The irony is Tuerk had more trouble against speed rushers than power rushers.
Tuerk was easily the most exciting offensive lineman to watch during the draft. USC asked Tuerk to pull and operate in space quite a bit. I don't think I've ever seen a center cover as much ground as Tuerk does in his first few steps. It's pretty ridiculous.
It's one thing to move as well as Tuerk does. It's another to actually execute your blocks. Tuerk does both. You have to be a pretty damn good athlete to be able to hit moving targets the way he does. It looks effortless. If the thought process is to make life easier on Melvin Gordon by getting him to the edge and getting a center that can secure second level blocks, there's no better than Tuerk. Watching Max execute made me think I was overrating Alabama's center. Let's look at some plays from the Chargers center last year out in space.
Oh, Trevor Robinson. Good Riddance. Even the most simple blocks were a struggle to execute for the Chargers last year. Two plays why I don't think this will be an issue for Max. First, he knows he has to secure the first level before he can work to the linebackers. That said, he's athletic enough where even if he is a second or so late he can still get to the linebackers in time. Second, it's all effort. Tuerk has the mentality where he plays to the whistle. That was missing up the middle last year.
While many have brought up Tuerk's strength what they fail to mention is he has the length to lock out and keep defenders at bay. Before I show you what Tuerk can do in pass protection, let's look back at good old Robinson.
Let's just say that if the center position weren't upgraded this year, the boycotting would've been at an all-time high. The good news is that it was, and Tuerk doesn't have the same issues as any center that suited up last year. In the video below, the first few reps are against 1st rounder Kenny Clark.
1st rep anchors vs 1st rder Kenny Clark. 2nd rep drives him back a few yards. Then in space. This is my dude pic.twitter.com/FsuPY9P4gm— KP (@KP_Show) April 30, 2016
As you can in the other clips when Tuerk is in pass protection, he has a good base and the arm length helps him. More examples of him in space. The difference, this time, is he's finishing his man to the ground.
I could show you endless examples. Needless to say, this is a massive upgrade. Going from Robinson to Tuerk, assuming Chris Watt won't stay healthy because we have no evidence otherwise, is like going from McDonald's to gourmet burgers. Like going from Mark Jackson to Steve Kerr. From a 28" TV with the hump in the back and no HD to a 66" LED TV.
I don't have many complaints when it comes to Tuerk because I know how well he will compliment the rest of the offensive line and help spring Gordon on long runs. This was my favorite lineman to watch in the draft, and if he's healthy, I imagine he'll be the week one starter for the Chargers. My analysis is he is #good, and you're welcome Philip Rivers, you no longer have to worry about not having a pocket to step up into nor will you have to worry about your center getting beat almost instantaneously off the snap. This is my favorite pick of the draft. If San Diego took him at the top of the 2nd, I would've just nodded along like there was nothing to see here. Getting him at the top of the third is about as good at is gets. Well done, coupon god.