In the midst of all the turmoil that is the NFL right now I choose to stick my head in the sand and still get excited about the upcoming draft. And if the Chargers run on the field come August for pre-season football, it will be with the benefits of having the second-most picks in the first three rounds, only being outdone by the pick-hoarding Patriots. They will no doubt trade some away again this year in order to get better picks next year. They kind of remind me of that neighborhood boy who was annoyingly good with his money and way too frugal; always trading with over-eager youngsters and stocking their piggy bank. But who cares about the dark side represntitives of the NFL? We are here to talk Chargers draft strategy.
In my prior post regarding the draft, I discussed the possibility of the first pick being a 3-4 defensive end, and while I consider that the best course of action, there is no telling what the always unpredictable A.J. Smith will do with the pick. We have seen him trade up with out giving it a second thought, and there have been occurrences of trading down in recent history. We have seen the Chargers decide based on need with their first round pick like last year, and we have seen them simply go with the best available. So without being able to predict whether they will trade up or down and having already looked at their biggest need, let’s look at who will most likely be the best available.
The consistent view among scouts of the top players numbers 10-20 go as followed.
|10. J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin|
|11. Tyron Smith||OT||USC|
|12. Cam Newton||QB||Auburn|
|13. Julio Jones||WR||Alabama|
|14. Nate Solder||OT||Colorado|
|15. Cameron Jordan||DE||California|
|16. Aldon Smith||DE||Missouri|
|17. Mark Ingram||RB||Alabama|
|18. Corey Liuget||DT||Illinois|
|19. Adrian Clayborn||DE||Iowa|
|20. Gabe Carimi||OT||Wisconsin|
The first thing that jumps off that board is the obvious: Cam Newton won’t be there at pick 18, nor would we want a QB anywhere near the first round. The first player on that list who instantly jump out to me as a “best player available” possibility for the Chargers is at number 11 Tyron Smith the OT out of USC. Smith could be a great improvement over our current RT Jermey Cleary and, if still available, could easily be considered the “best available player’. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that he will be someone who rises up the boards in the weeks preceding the draft. The other obvious one is Julio Jones, the WR out of Alabama, but that would most definitely be too good to be true; and I don’t forsee that happening. There are a few really good corner backs who are not included in this list, but other teams would really have to be drafting based on necessity in order for the likes of Prince Amukamara out of Nebraska to fall to us. The last player on my list that also falls under the “too good to be true” category is Robert Quinn, the trouble DE from Chapel hill. In my mind, he is a player who could have easily been vying for the number one selection had he not been suspended and missed all of last year.
So here’s to sticking your head in the sand and getting a little to excited for April 28th .
About the Author
Written by Jeff Burke
I am 25 years old living in sunny San Diego. I am married to my beautiful wife Kara. I have been a Chargers and Padres fan through the good times and the bad. I played baseball at Poway high school and Monterey Peninsula college. I have won eight fantasy championships on yahoo since 2001.