On the eve of the NFL Draft, there is always plenty of hearsay, gossip, buzz and noise circulating around the potential futures of 32 NFL franchises. For the Chargers, it is no different as there is plenty of speculation as to what the team will do when they are on the clock tomorrow night.
Josh Rosen: Smoke or fire?
There has been a plethora of whispers the last several weeks about the Chargers as a possible team that would be willing to execute a trade for Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Josh Rosen.
On Monday, Adam Schefter reported that the Giants, Chargers and Dolphins are the three “primary” teams in play for the former number one pick. The Cardinals have been holding out for a first round pick in exchange for Rosen, but are unlikely to get that value in return. But rumors began to circulate around the Chargers being interested in parting with their second round pick (60th overall) to acquire Rosen as a developmental QB to mold behind Philip Rivers.
Earlier this week, General Manager Tom Telesco spoke with the Media and had this to say regarding the possibility of Los Angeles making a trade for a potential Rivers’ successor
Talked with Chargers GM Tom Telesco and asked him about the possibility of securing a developmental quarterback to groom behind Philip Rivers through trade (like Josh Rosen): “I would say that would be unlikely.”— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) April 22, 2019
During the free agency period, the Chargers signed Tyrod Taylor to a two-year $11 million deal, giving the team a capable veteran backup. Taylor’s contract is another reason to believe that the Chargers wouldn’t be a serious candidate for Rosen as the team would be taking on an additional cap hit at the QB position on top of giving up draft capital.
Time will tell on If the smoke surrounding these rumors has any fire behind it.
Since he became the GM of the Chargers in 2013, Telesco has had a reputation of keeping the Chargers draft strategy close to the chest. This year, Los Angeles owns the 28th overall selection, which brings a number of different possibilities along with it. One of those options could be to trade out their first round spot and move down to acquire more picks. On Monday, Telesco addressed the possibilities of trading down.
The Chargers have not selected this late in the draft since 2007. Depending on how the board falls to them, Los Angeles could be open for business to negotiate with teams looking to get back into the tail end first round.
What are the experts saying?
Mock drafts have peaked our interest for the last several months. Now with only one day remaining until Draft Day, here are the latest predictions from analysts on what the Chargers will do with their first round selection:
CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson: DT Dexter Lawrence-Clemson
“Don’t be fooled by his 6-foot-4, 342-pound frame” Wilson says. “Dexter Lawrence is an incredible athlete and while first appearance might suggest otherwise, he’s a three-down player. For some perspective on just how versatile he is, during the 2018 season Lawrence ranked fourth in Pro Football Focus’ pass-rush productivity metric and was sixth in run-stop percentage. There’s also this: In Los Angeles, he’ll be bookended by Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Good luck stopping that.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: DT Jeffery Simmons- Mississippi State
“I thought the Chargers might target a defensive tackle with the 17th pick last year, but Vita Vea and Daron Payne were both off the board. They ended up with Derwin James, one of the best picks of the entire draft, but still have a need along the interior of their defense. Simmons might not be picked in Round 1. He tore his ACL in February and could redshirt this season. But he’s a top-15 talent, and he’s going to be on my Big Board. And he could be a steal here.”
The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak: OT Dalton Risner-Kansas State
“I think Risner is worth a look at tackle where his length and technique both shine” Solak says. “Players with slower feet and less explosiveness than Risner have survived out there, though there is some concern with Risner’s balance when faced with shifty rushers. Either way, love his energy and tone-setting aggression.”
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: CB Rock Ya-Sin -Temple
“There are other needs here -- safety and defensive tackle among them -- but it was apparent that the Bolts need to add some talent on the outside based on their performance against the Patriots in the Divisional Round of last season’s playoffs.”
Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo: S Nasir Adderley-Delaware
“The Chargers are strong all-around defensively, but Adderley adds a true free safety to pair with strong safety Derwin James. Adderley has incredible range and ball skills on the back end, evidenced by his 89.9 coverage grade, six pass breakups and five interceptions last season. Adderley and James are perfect for their respective roles and one of the best young safety duos in the game.”
USA Today’s DraftWire’s Luke Easterling: CB Byron Murphy-Washington
“There are bigger needs elsewhere on the roster, but the Bolts need to pounce on the value here. Murphy is the most complete corner in this year’s class, despite concerns about his lack of size or speed.”
The Draft Network’s Trevor Sikkema: DT Jerry Tillery-Notre Dame
“The Chargers need some new blood on that interior defensive line” Sikkema says. “They have Bosa and Ingram on the edges, but they’re not getting enough pass rush from their inside guys, at least if you ask me. Tillery’s stock is rising, but there is still a chance he could be available here. If the Chargers can get their hands on him, he’d become an instant starter. He would give Los Angeles a 3-tech pass rush threat next to Brandon Mebane.”