I am not a reporter.
I am not trying to break any news.
But since I have been writing and getting deeper and deeper into this football thing I've gained some buddies that are connected to the team. So I have some nuggets to share.
You don't have to believe me, that's fine. This is the same guy who told me it was down to Bradley Roby and Jason Verrett a few years back. He said they're going running back and told me they had Melvin Gordon>Todd Gurley. Even last year, he said a week before the draft they were zoned in on Joey Bosa and by Thursday night had Hunter Henry. Needless to say, he's plugged in.
Here are some nuggets:
As of this morning, they really, really like Solomon Thomas. If he's there at 7. That's the pick. Gus Bradley played nickel defense last year 72% of the time. So you'd see a line of Bosa-Thomas-Liuget-Ingram. That's pretty nasty.
He won't be there, though. I doubt he gets past 3. So scratch that pipe dream.
It's the same thing this year. The Chargers have fallen in love with another pick. I'm not going to say who it is, but if you use the clues that Tom Telesco and company have dropped throughout the process it's not too hard to figure out. Think of where they struggled last year late. I'll give you this, it's an offensive player.
Every pundit ever has linked the Chargers and safety Malik Hooker. Telesco has made it clear he does not value the safety position. Hooker is a different case as he possesses the type of skill-set you take early in the draft. That said, he's unlikely to be the pick. A lot would have to happen for Hooker to be a Charger. He's currently their 5th target.
The dark-horse here is Deshaun Watson, Quarterback from Clemson. I wrote about Watson and he's quite good. He would have to sit obviously with Rivers contract situation. So he's not helping the team right away.
Speaking of, those Mariota rumors a few years ago when the Chargers were going to trade up for a quarterback were far-fetched. That was never going to happen. He's a couple years older and after last year the team feels like it might be time to find a successor. Watson is the only quarterback they're targeting in the 1st.
Watson's teammate, wide receiver Mike Williams, is also very high on their board. He's likely their 2nd option if they stay put at 7 and their top target is gone. This goes back to where they had issues last season. Tyrell Williams made strong strides and is a ridiculous athlete. He still has a little ways to go. I don't get a sense that they believe Keenan Allen can stay healthy. So getting Rivers a big receiver who can bail him out on jump balls and win in the red area is a big deal. Expect a receiver to be drafted before day 3.
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah and NBC's Josh Norris have linked Christian McCaffrey to the Chargers in their latest mock drafts today. McCaffrey is not a target for the team at 7. It's interesting to see what info these "top" guys are being fed. I believe this is a smokescreen to get somebody to trade up. It appears it's working based on the offers they've received.
The Chargers have received several multiple offers, some teams in the teens and some in the 20's, to trade back. This is a very realistic goal and this is what I think they're going to do. They can trade back and still get their top target. If their top target is gone, they're going to take Forrest Lamp. I think Lamp is the 6th best player in the draft. He's fantastic. So getting a player that good while trading back and picking up an extra pick would be the dream. I was also told not to rule out them doubling down on another lineman in the 2nd round. They are really high on Dan Feeney.
With Anthony Lynn, he values football smarts and athleticism. Players that can process info quickly and move. That is lamp and Feeney. That is not Orlando Franklin and D.J. Fluker. So the goal is to revamp the line and make one final push with Rivers. If they do trade down, which is a strong possibility as of this very moment, they are going to take a free safety or receiver with that other 2nd round pick they acquire. As of right now, I don't know the targets.
Other things that I found interesting is that they have Jabril Peppers>Jamal Adams on their board. Adams is not a target for them in the 1st. Peppers is.
So in short, if Solomon Thomas is there, he's the pick. If not, then the pick is _____. If they decide to trade back the goal is Lamp/Feeney combo with a skill player with the other pick.
Things could change. But this is where they stand for now. Tonight will be entertaining if nothing else.