Re: UPDATED MOCK DRAFT
posted at 4/22/2009 8:21 AM EDT
K, Why do you & Tex keep goin' Oline for SD? Its either Rey M, Tyson Jackson, or a RB. Some people are sayin 10-12 on REY M and he aint makin it past 18 for sure
Posted by jbolted
Several draft "experts" have list the OL as the Chargers' top need. For example, in his Draft Report, Mel Kiper sizes up the Chargers' needs as follows:
1.) OL: The focus is on the right side. At RG, Mike Goff is now a KC Chief. If the season were to begin today, his replacement would be Kynan Forney. A backup for them in 2008, he has plenty of past starting experience in Atlanta. I would prefer to see them find more of a long term answer in the draft. At RT, Jeromey Clary is nothing to get excited about.
2.) SS: Considering it was his first year as a starter, I was not surprised to see Eric Weddle have his ups and downs at FS. At SS, Clinton Hart's second season as a starter did not go as well as they would have liked. After recording 5 picks the previous season, he failed to pick off a pass in 2008...and his overall play left something to be desired. Steve Gregory has some versatility, which gives him value in a backup capacity. But, hes' not an option as a starter. They will look to find Hart's successor in the draft.
3.) DE: During his first four seasons, Igor Olshansky showed signed of becoming a very good starter. The problem is there were a number of other occasions where he was seldom heard from. The Chargers grew tired of waiting for him to become the consistent force that his talent level dictated he should be, and opted not to resign him. As it stands right now, the projected starter is Ryon Bingham. Hes' a workman-like performer who has shown steady improvement. But, I like him much more in a backup capacity.
4.) CB: A year ago, the Chargers appeared to have a rising star in Antonio Cromartie. Proving to be a playmaker second to none, he finished that season with 10 interceptions. But, in 2008, the big plays were few and far between, and his overall grades in coverage were very subpar. The Chargers are now left to wonder exactly what they have with this young man. At the other corner, Quentin Jammer is the exact opposite of Cromartie. Hes' not much of a ball hawk (3 interceptions over the past 2 seasons), but is very dependable. The top backup is Antoine Cason. If Cromartie struggles again, Cason could be the heir apparent. After him, you have restricted FA Cletis Gordon. Hes' a better contributor on special teams than he is at CB. If the right player falls to them, I would not be surprised to see the Chargers address the position early in the draft.
5.) RB: Able to come to an agreement with LT on a restructured contract, the position has become much less of a concern. LT will be backed up by Darren Sproles, who was hit with the franchise tag. The #3 RB is Michael Bennett, with FB Jacob Hester capable of seeing action here as well. Whereas I could have seen them using a first round pick to address the situation had LT no longer been on the roster, now I think it will be more of a mid round one. LT has taken a pounding through the years, and has been unable to remain healthy for their playoff run the last two years. Sproles is an excellent change of pace RB, capable of making big plays in a variety of ways. but, should LT be sidelined for 3-4 weeks with an injury, Sproles is not the guy you want carrying the pigskin 20-25 times a game. That brings us to Bennett. Since rushing for close to 1300 yards in 2002, hes' failed to eclipse the 500 yard mark in any season since that point. Hester's value comes more from his versatility than it does from his pure running skills.
6.) NT: Jamal Williams remains one of the better players at the position in the NFL. Entering his 12th season, the concern is always what happens if he is forced to miss any considerable amount of time due to injury? Behind him, you have veteran Ian Scott. Hes' serviceable in that role, but lacks the size to be the force at the point that Williams is. I could see then investing in a late round pick here.
7.) OLB: The defense never recovered from the loss of Shawne Merriman to season-ending knee surgery. One of the game's top pass rushers when healthy, we'll just have to wait and see if he can return to form. At the other outside spot is Shaun Phillips. He led the team with 7.5 sacks. Jyles Tucker got an extended chance to see action, and responded with 5.5 sacks. Marques Harris is a FA, and remains unsigned. I can see them adding a LB in the draft to take his place. Keep in mind that Merriman is entering his contract year. Worth mentioning: Although the Chargers are in pretty good shape at ILB, they could go in that direction in the first round, if the top player on their board resides there. *
Kiper predicts that they'll take Rey Maualuga. But, Phillip Rivers is not the most mobile guy in the world. He must be well protected. Plus, the Chargers were not able to run the ball as well last year as they have in the past. Tyson Jackson will be gone before they select at #16. Their choice should come down to Rey, a RB (Knowshon Moreno?), or OL.
Whats hurting the Bolts is that foolish Jacob Hester trade they made last year with the Patriots. It cost them the 47th overall pick this year. So, if they don't take an offensive lineman at #16, they'll have to wait to pick #78 to make the move. By then, the better OTs will be gone. Still, they could find a RT at that spot.