We are continuing our review of the Chargers roster as we attempt to determine what positions need to be addressed in the 2017 NFL Draft.
This is the one you have all been waiting for. It’s time to look at the full back position!
The starters: Derek Watt
The backups: None
What they need: To avoid using a draft pick on another full back.
Last year, the Chargers used a sixth-round draft selection to make former Wisconsin FB Derek Watt the new lead blocker for running back Melvin Gordon. I’m sure you know by now that Derek Watt is the younger brother of Houston Texans superstar DE J.J. Watt because that's all anyone in the media talked about when he was drafted. Or when they talked about the Chargers during training camp. Or anytime Watt stepped onto the field during the regular season. You get the point. The Chargers drafted Watt, in part, because of his familiarity with Gordon, as the two were teammates during MG3’s record-setting junior season at Wisconsin. After a disappointing rookie year for the Chargers running back, I'm sure the team wanted to try to make Gordon more comfortable and increase his confidence by adding the guy who helped him accomplish so much at the collegiate level.
Last season Melvin Gordon showed tremendous improvement over his rookie year, leading the way as the spear-head of the chargers offense. So did Watt make a difference? Whatever gripes you may have about Derek Watt’s ability as a blocker, it has to be acknowledged that it is possible he was at least a contributing factor in Gordon's success. A players confidence and comfort levels do matter when talking about contributors to athletic performance. So if having his old full back did help Gordon in those areas, then Watt could have been a factor in that way. And of course, Watt wasn't completely terrible as a player throughout the season either.
As far as this draft goes, there is no reason for the Chargers to use any of their draft picks on another full back, nor is it likely. The Chargers drafted to Watt to help Melvin Gordon, and after seeing his dramatic improvement from one year to the next, they likely will not find any reason to change up his lead blocker. This is one position Tom Telesco should skip altogether during this week's events. There is just no reason for the Chargers to add another full back through the draft.