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J.J. Jones, Sam Tevi, and banging your head against the wall

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I take my shot at answering some questions by you, the readers.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Hello friends, it’s your friendly neighborhood deputy manager here at BFTB and I’m here to answer YOUR questions about all things Chargers in advance of Sunday’s match-up against the Buffalo Bills.

I want to keep the line of communication fairly open between the staff and those of you who give us your precious time on a weekly basis so a mailbag sounded like a splendid idea to fill this glaring omission.

Not much to say other than that so let’s get right to your questions.

(Long, audible sigh)

This is going to be a rough couple of weeks if Joe Barksdale finds himself sidelined. So as to not be negative from start to finish, I have to give Tevi some kudos. He took his lumps against the Chiefs after being forced into the lineup. However, he also helped spring Melvin Gordon for his first chunk run of the game, showing some nice poise as he worked to the second level.

Tevi is actually more athletic than Barksdale and it’s evident in how naturally he moves around the field. This doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t have the normal fundamentals down pat that you would want in a starting offensive tackle. Tev is still so raw and we can only hope that reps with the starters will surely help him get up to speed.

Do I think Forrest Lamp could step in and be a better right tackle than Tevi, or even Michael Schofield? Of course. Will that ever happen? Probably not. Coach Lynn and co. are still pretty predictable and there hasn’t been a word about Lamp potentially playing tackle since the days following his selection in last year’s draft.

I honestly think the more realistic option would be to stick Lamp at right guard and have Schofield play right tackle since Schofield has some experience in that position going back to his time with the Broncos during their Super Bowl season.

Oh hello Nick. Good to see you again.

You know, I’m not entirely sure. Realistically, no, I do not think Melvin Gordon is “bad” at his job, but I don’t think he’s as amazing as everyone expects him to be, either. There’s only been a handful of notable running backs in history to have averaged under four yards per carry during there career. The biggest nams actually being guys like Archie Griffin, Jerome Bettis, and Cadillac Williams.

We can all agree or disagree on what Gordon is actually good or bad at all day long, but the numbers speak for themselves. Backs who average under 4.0 per carry are almost always of the forgotten variety sooner rather than later.

If Gordon wants to prove Nick and the other nay-sayers wrong, he’s just going to have to show us on the field each and every week.

After the team let us all down after allowing the Raiders to sign DT Johnathan Hankins, I honestly don’t see another free agent that would be of much value to the team in the here and now.

Some websites have noted cornerback as a position the Chargers could use some FA help with, but that’s just not the case. Casey Hayward, Trevor Williams, and Desmond King will be just fine. Michael Davis seems to be coming along, as well.

Defensive tackle was really the only position I was open to and that got teased in our face before being yanked away as we reached out for it.

As much as we all got excited about Jones after his punt return touchdown in the preseason, myself included, the truth is that he is still a UDFA after coming from a division II school where he wasn’t really a game-breaker, anyway.

But if anything, it takes a special type of player to come into this team and not fall victim to “charger-ing” and I just don’t think Jones was ever going to avoid it.

If he gets another shot against the Bills, then so be it. If there was ever a chance for him to get comfortable back there, this is the game to do it.

My dream pick in the first round would be Jeffrey Simmons, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle prospect from Mississippi State. In the episode of our Almost Gameday Saturday podcast, Matthew Stanley and I talked about Simmons and his ability to play almost anywhere along the defensive line while being equally skilled in rushing the passer and playing the run. He is also currently the highest-graded interior defensive linemen according to Pro Football Focus after the first two weeks of the college football season.

No matter how you word it, the iDL is underwhelming and strikes no fear in the hearts of their opponents. The fastest way to the quarterback is a straight line and that means that the most devastating pressure is created up the middle, which is why players like Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins are out here getting paid the big bucks.