Tom Telesco’s early drafts as general manager of the Chargers were known for his fondness of trading up and sacrificing day three picks to do so. As such, his first two draft classes yielded six selected players each, and his third draft only five.
Since then, Telesco has managed to draft less than the traditional seven selections only once, in a draft that will be remembered for the selection of franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. The 2020 round two and round three picks questionably packaged to select linebacker Kenneth Murray sting much less thanks to the significance of the Herbert selection.
While Tom has (mostly) distanced himself from these frequent trade-ups, he’s picked up an additional, perhaps healthier, habit: Double-dipping. The “extra” picks have allowed him to take extra swings at players in the same position groups, yielding some objectively better drafts from his early years.
- 2022: Guards and defensive backs were targeted. Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer were both selected as guard prospects, JT Woods was selected as a safety with positional flexibility to cornerback, and Deane Leonard and Ja’Sir Taylor were both selected as cornerbacks.
- 2021: Defensive backs and offensive tackles were targeted. Asante Samuel Jr and Mark Webb were selected, with ASJ expected to play in the slot with outside flex, whereas Webb was seen as another slot back and potential safety/linebacker hybrid in sub packages. On the offensive side, Rashawn Slater and Brenden Jaimes were drafted as tackles, with Jaimes having flexibility to slide into guard.
- 2020: Even with just six picks, Telesco selected wide receivers Joe Reed and K.J. Hill during day three of the draft.
- 2019: Jerry Tillery was the first Charger selected this year and Cortez Broughton was the last when they called his name in the seventh round. Both players were brought on as defensive tackles.
- 2018: This year was a little trickier as there was a safety/linebacker hybrid selected in Derwin James, an outside linebacker selected in Uchenna Nwosu, and another safety/linebacker hybrid in Kyzir White. I’d consider this a double-dip in the safety/linebacker category, although I admit this one is a stretch. White ended up playing more of a pure linebacker roll for the Bolts.
- 2017: This was a draft most of us were initially thrilled over as our selections of Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney as guards seemed like the missing pieces to a formidable line. There was also the selections of Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King who were both considered safety prospects at the next level, although King found some early success in the slot.
Given that Tom is armed with seven picks this year and has flirted with trading down, what position group do you believe is most likely to see a double-dip in selections this year?
What position group will Tom select two players from in 2023?
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