Tom Telesco was brought in alongside Mike McCoy to turn the Chargers’ misfortune around, and to build a championship caliber team. Now that he has had 4 seasons with the team, and is in the process of introducing a new coach, I thought it would be a good time to look at his history. We begin with the 2013 draft. I will include notable UDFA as well. If you’d like to read the instant reaction, read John Gennaro’s article grading that draft.
Round 1, Pick 11 (11th Overall)
D.J. Fluker, RT
Originally drafted to be a right tackle for the Chargers, after 4 offensive linemen were taken in the first 7 picks, Tom Telesco panicked in his first pick as Chargers General Manager and practically ran to the podium to draft a player many knew was much better suited to be a guard. He played at RT for a while, then was bumped into guard and hasn’t even been very good at Guard. He seems like a nice guy, he’s just not a good enough player to continue starting. Especially not at his current $8-million salary for this season. Players of note drafted after included Kenny Vaccaro, Sheldon Richardson, 3X Pro Bowl guard, Kyle Long, and Tyler Eifert. Not exactly a slam dunk of a pick. UPDATE: He has been signed to a one-year “prove-it” deal by the Giants. It is rumored to be for around $3 million for the season.
Who would have been an A: Any pro bowler drafted after Fluker. Sheldon Richardson, Eric Reid, Kyle Long, Tyler Eifert, Desmond Trufant, Xavier Rhodes, DeAndre Hopkins, and Travis Frederick.
Round 2, Pick 6 (38th Overall)
Manti Te’o, ILB
The Chargers traded up with the Cardinals, giving the Cardinals the 45th pick and the 110th pick (4th round), for the Cardinal’s 38th pick. (Ryan Nassib was selected by the Giants with the 110th pick, after a trade with the Cardinals). Meant to turn into the next Junior Seau, Manti has never played a full season, playing in just 3 games the last season, and has accumulated a total of 26 missed games in his first 4 seasons. He hasn’t shown the same instinct he did in college, and his athleticism is subpar. Most recently, he was captain in the 2016 season and was outplayed by Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown (5th round pick), and waiver pickup, Korey Toomer. Chances are he won’t be re-signed. UPDATE: Manti has visited the Saints, but no contract
Who would have been an A in round 2: Kawann Short, Jamie Collins, DJ Swearinger
Who could have been an A in round 4: Kyle Juszczyk, William Gholston, Devin Taylor
Round 3, Pick 14 (76th Overall)
Keenan Allen, WR
For someone who wasn’t exactly “injury prone,” in college, Keenan Allen ended his college career with a knee injury. Since then, he’s played in a decreasing amount of games each year, playing only 9 games total in the last 2 years, and played 29 the previous two. In total, he has missed 26 games for the Chargers, with injuries that don’t relate to each other. In 2012, he tore his PCL, in 2014, he broke his collarbone. In 2015, he lacerated his kidney, and in 2016, he blew out his ACL on a non-contact play. While on the field, he’s been absolutely unstoppable, amassing 2617 yards and 16 TDs in just 38 games, which is about a 68 yards per game average. The guys drafted in front of him? Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins, Cordarelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Aaron Dobson, and Terrance Williams. Of those 7 guys, only Terrance Williams and DeAndre Hopkins have more receiving yards, but Terrance Williams has never proved himself as a #1 WR, even with Dez Bryant being out for a whole season. Yes, he’s had bad injury luck throughout his career, but based on yards and TDs, he’s the 4th highest productive guy (also behind Kenny Stills) from that draft, and he was found in round 3.
Who else would have been an A in round 3: Jordan Reed
Round 5, Pick 12 (145th Overall)
Steve Williams, CB
Expected to come in right away and push Marcus Gilchrist out of Nickel and into a starting spot, Steve Williams only started 6 games over 3 years for the Chargers, picking up 2 INTs, 2 FFs, and 45 tackles. In a game on January 3, 2016, against the Denver Broncos, Williams had the best game of his career and ended with a sack, two forced fumbles, and an interception all in the same game.
Who would have been an A: Luke Wilson, Micah Hyde, Mike Gillislee, Zac Stacey
Round 6, Pick 11 (179th Overall)
Tourek Williams, OLB/DE
Hasn’t really done much, 45 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 FF. Probably won’t see a second contract. But honestly, how many 6th-round picks are as valuable as Tom Brady?
Who would have been an A: Latavius Murray, Theo Riddick, Andre Ellington, Spencer Ware
Round 7, Pick 15 (221st Overall)
Brad Sorensen, QB
This quarterback has spent time on 3 teams, including the Chargers, the Titans, and the Vikings. He has never taken a regular season snap. It looks like the Chargers alone have waived him 5 times. Nice.
Who would have been an A: Marquess Wilson
Notable UDFA Signed: Jahleel Addae, Marcus Cromartie
Jahleel Addae: Just signed a 4 year, $22.5 million dollar contract, with $10 million guaranteed. Over his 4 year career, Jahleel Addae has racked up 201 tackles, including 3 sacks, and 2 FFs. He only has one interception to his name, which was his 90-yard return for a TD last season. In 2013, there were 29 cornerbacks, and 23 safeties drafted. Addae’s 201 tackles rank ahead of all but 7 of them. Not bad for an UDFA. No, he’s not “elite,” but he’s a solid starter when he’s on the field.
Marcus Cromartie: Cousin of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Marcus was signed as an UDFA for the Chargers. He was on the Chargers for a season. He then signed with the browns, and was released and signed by the 49ers in 2014, and has been with the team since. He has recorded 21 tackles and 3 pass deflections in his career.