So this is it! The grand finale. Part 3 of 3 to determine who will be the Los Angeles Chargers first 3 selections in this year's NFL draft. For those who inexplicably missed the first two parts of this series, have no fear, just follow the rabbit hole here to see who I have Tom Telesco selecting in the first two rounds and why.
Round 3 has been somewhat a sore source of contention for Tom Telesco and the Los Angeles Chargers. For those grading at home, the Chargers GM hit on one pick, whiffed on 2 selections, and received an incomplete grade on his last pick.
2013 Draft: Round 3, Pick 76- Keenan Allen, WR
The best 3rd round selection of Tom Telesco’s career; Keenan Allen, fell to the third round of the draft due to injury concerns and a subpar forty time. Wide receiver wasn’t a need for the Chargers as they were “loaded” at the receiver position. With veterans such as Malcolm Floyd, Danario Alexander, Eddie Royal, Robert Meachem, and Vincent Brown, it is clear to see why this pick was a bit of a head-scratcher at the time. However, the Chargers GM looked past Allen’s red flags and his team’s needs. Instead, Telesco was enamored by the talent of the former California Bear. San Diego’s GM got it right here as he decided that talent trumped the needs of the Chargers.
2014 Draft: Round 3, Pick 89- Chris Watt, OG/C
Chargers great, Nick Hardwick, showed up numerous times on the injury report in 2013 with neck and concussion ailments. Between injury concerns to their all-pro center, and the underwhelming play of LG Tyronne Green, Telesco knew he needed some help along the interior line. As a result, the Chargers drafted for need in round 3 to help find the successor of Nick Hardwick and stabilize the offensive line. Telesco decided on Notre Dame guard Chris Watt who was projected to go in the mid to late 4th round. While there were other players that had a higher grade than Watt (Trai Turner, David Yankey); the Chargers fell in love with Watt’s football IQ and his versatility to play guard or center.
2015 Draft: Round 3, Pick 83- Craig Mager, CB
Well, this one will be quick because frankly I never understood this pick. When the Chargers selected Craig Mager, my initial reaction was, “Craig who!?!?” Which was then followed by some expletives. The only thing that came to mind is Tom Telesco fell in love with Mager because he could bring some toughness to the team like second round pick, Denzel Perryman. And being that the Chargers did not have a 4th round pick from the Melvin Gordon trade; Telesco panicked and decided he would rather reach for his guy, rather than lose out on him during the draft. This is what happens when teams trade away picks, they are forced to reach for targeted players in the later rounds of the draft.
2016 Draft: Round 3, Pick 66- Max Tuerk, C
San Diego was ravaged by injuries in 2015, in particularly along the offensive line. By now Chargers fans can recite the stat: the Chargers had 32 offensive line combinations in 2015. Center was the most affected by these injuries as San Diego used more than 3 centers throughout the year. In addition, the Chris Watt experiment was officially deemed a failure. So after going BPA in the first 2 rounds of the 2016 NFL draft, Telesco decided to go after a huge need in round 3 and nab the versatile Max Tuerk. Even though San Diego’s GM drafted for need, he was able to get decent value with this selection.
2017 Draft: Round 3, Pick 71-????
The second round is usually the round Telesco goes BPA. And as history has shown us, Telesco then seems to switch gears and draft for need in round 3. And while the Chargers have plenty of needs to fulfill, there is one in particular that LA is really focusing on this year’s draft, the QB position. This past week, LA head coach Anthony Lynn had some choice words about Phillip Rivers and the future at the QB position for the Chargers.
Lynn then went on to say when evaluating a young QB prospect, he covets ball security, accuracy, and leadership. These are all traits Pittsburgh QB, Nathan Peterman exudes. In the last 2 years, Peterman threw for over 5,000 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. During his career at Pittsburgh, Peterman showed admirable traits for a quarterback such as good pocket awareness, a high football IQ which helps him read the defense and make his progression reads, and decent accuracy. Not only does Peterman display numerous characteristics Lynn is looking for in a QB, but it also appears the Chargers are interested in him as well. Los Angeles offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, was spotted at Pittsburgh’s pro day scouting out the former Panther.
So let’s recap shall we:
Round 1- Mike Williams
Round 2- Kevin King
Round 3- Nathan Peterman
Once again please note these are not the picks I would be making as GM. Frankly, I would not reach for Peterman in round 3. I personally believe the Chargers should wait until next year to draft a QB, being that next years QB crop is loaded. Regardless, let’s hear from the fans, how would you all feel if Los Angeles’ draft went down like this?