Draft Grades: San Diego Chargers

A.J. Smith and Norv Turner’s jobs are on the line, so this was a critical draft for the San Diego Chargers. Entering the draft, there were rumors about the Chargers trading up, which made sense if Smith and Turner felt they needed to land an impact player to help save their jobs. But they stayed put on draft day, and it payed off.

It was difficult to imagine a scenario in which Melvin Ingram fell the Chargers, but when he did their front office wasted no time snatching him up. Ingram may not technically be a starter in 2012, with Shaun Phillips and Jarret Johnson favored to occupy that role, but he will make a significant impact. He played a hybrid end/linebacker role in South Carolina, so he should be able to make a smooth transition in San Diego.

Kendall Reyes had value in the 2nd round, so I can’t argue with the selection too much. However, it’s tough to see how he fits into their immediate plans. He’ll compete with Vaughn Martin and Luis Castillo for playing time. It’s also possible that he is used as a part of a rotation, coming into the game in passing situations with Martin playing on the majority of run downs.

Brandon Taylor was a reach in the 3rd round, but there was such little depth in this year’s class of safeties that the Chargers likely felt the need to go off the board to fill a need. He may be given an opportunity to compete with Atari Bigby for the starting job at strong safety.

I love the selection of Lararius Green. He’s very raw, but has the potential to be an elite pass-catching tight end. He is now the heir apparent to Antonio Gates at tight end, but could be used in some two tight end sets this upcoming season. He’s a matchup nightmare, and has the potential to be a steal in the 4th round.

Johnnie Troutman was a reach in the 5th round and, on top of that, he is expected to miss the entire 2012 season due to injury. Unless a player has elite upside, which Troutman does not, it’s best to stay away from injured players in the draft.

David Molk fell much further than I expected. He’s a smart, physical interior lineman who could be given an opportunity to take over for Nick Hardwick in a year or two.

Edwin Baker also fell on draft day. The Chargers have limited depth behind Ryan Matthews, which should allow Baker to earn a roster spot.

Overall, the Chargers drafted a nice mix of players who can help immediately and can be groomed for the future. It’s a well-balanced class which should help save the jobs of A.J. Smith and Norv Turner.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Chargers, Draft Grades - 2012 1 Comment

San Diego Chargers select Kendall Reyes, Grade B

The San Diego Chargers had other positions of need, but they got a decent value here with Kendall Reyes.

Reyes fits nicely at defensive end in their 3-4 defense, but I didn’t view the position as a glaring weakness. Reyes will have to complete with two other young defensive ends, Corey Luigit and Vaughn Martin, for playing time and may have a hard time cracking the 1st-team unit.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Chargers Comments Off

1st Round Winners: San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers, somewhat unexpectedly, took a patient approach to the draft and came with one of the potential steals of the 1st round.

There were rumors that the Chargers were interested in trading up for Mark Barron, which would have been a desperation move in what may be the final year of the A.J. Smith/Norv Turner era. But they stayed put and ended up with Melvin Ingram, who could have an even bigger impact on the Chargers defense.

The pairing of Ingram and Shaun Phillips gives the Chargers two quality pass rushers, something which they have been lacking since Shawne Merriman began to decline.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Chargers Comments Off

San Diego Chargers select Melvin Ingram, Grade A+

This was a dream scenario for the San Diego Chargers. They needed to add another pass rusher, but no one expected Melvin Ingram to be on the board at this point draft.

Ingram already has experience playing with his hand off the ground which should ease his transition into the Chargers 3-4 defense. His versatility could also allow the Chargers to get a little more creative on defensive if they have any interest in morphing into more of a hybrid defense, rather than the pure 3-4 which they have run in recent years.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Chargers Comments Off

Draft Needs: San Diego Chargers

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the San Diego Chargers [full archive here].

Season Recap: The San Diego Chargers had a disappointing year, finishing 8-8. Phillip Rivers’ had an inconsistent season and San Diego had a tough time dealing with numerous injuries to their aging roster. GM AJ Smith seems to have noticed the need for more depth by signing a vast amount of free agents; something San Diego hasn’t done in the past.

Team Needs:
1. Outside Linebacker: In today’s game a consistent pass rush to put pressure on opposing quarterback’s is very important. The San Diego Chargers need a capable pass rusher to compliment Shaun Phillips, who managed only 3.5 sacks in 2011. Jarret Johnson, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, was signed but he is more of a run-stopper. Nick Perry and Shea McClellin are possible fits in round one.

2. Cornerback: Antoine Cason is set at one spot but Quentin Jammer will be 33 by the start of the season. San Diego needs to begin looking for a replacement for Jammer, who has been a starter since the 2002 season. Janoris Jenkins could slip in the draft and possibly be had in the second round. If not, Alfonzo Dennard would be a nice addition.

3. Offensive Guard: Longtime starter, Kris Dielman retired this offseason leaving a hole at OG. San Diego has had success finding starting lineman in the middle rounds of the draft. Kevin Zeitler and Amini Silatolu are two possible targets in round two.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Chargers, Draft Needs - 2012 Comments Off

2011 Draft Grades: San Diego Chargers

Does A.J. Smith want to get fired? The San Diego Chargers GM is on the hot seat, and this was not the draft of someone looking to save his job. After a decent 1st-round selection, Smith made reach after reach and could now be in his last few months as GM if the 2011 season doesn’t result a deep playoff run.

Corey Liuget wasn’t the best player on the board at his position, but at least he was a consensus 1st-round pick and fills an area of need. He will be a heavy favorite to win a starting job in training camp.

Marcus Gilchrist was a reach at No. 50. He’s a safety/corner ‘tweener and may struggle to find a defined role in San Diego. Based on their needs, they’re likely to start him at corner where he’ll compete for the nickel job.

Jonas Mouton was a reach of epic proportions – the type usually reserved for Al Davis. I did not give him a draftable grade, and wouldn’t have even ranked him among the best undrafted players. I don’t see how he fits into the defense in San Diego.

Vincent Brown is a decent 3rd-round pick, but another slight reach. Given the uncertain futures of Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd, however, adding a receiver here was necessary. Depending on how things play out, he could end up playing a significant role in the offense as a rookie.

Shareece Wright may actually be a better cornerback than Gilchrist. He isn’t as polished and doesn’t have as much experience, but could prove to be the better player in the long run.

I love the selection of Jordan Todman in the 6th round. I felt he was overrated by many prior to the draft, but in the 6th round he could be a steal. Adding him behind Ryan Mathews was one of the few smart decisions the Chargers made in this draft.

I also like the selection of Stephen Schilling, one of the more underrated linemen in this class. As a four-year starter at Michigan he gained valuable experience playing in multiple offensive schemes. He could compete for playing time early in his career.

Andrew Gachkar is undersized and may struggle to win a spot on the roster. He’ll be converted to inside linebacker and may need a year on the practice squad before he’s ready to see action.

This draft was nothing short of a disaster for the Chargers, who failed to add the necessary pieces to make another run at the playoffs. In a weak division they may still be competitive in 2011, but anything less than a playoff appearance will end the A.J. Smith era – and this draft class will be a big reason why.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Chargers, Draft Grades - 2011 Comments Off

Top 10 Draft Day Decision Makers

10. Thomas Dimitroff, Falcons
This Bill Belichick disciple rebuilt the Falcons in one draft, possibly even one draft pick, with Matt Ryan in 2008. What Dimitroff has accomplished in three drafts is impressive, and makes you wonder just how good he could make the Falcons in another three years.
Best 1st-round pick: Matt Ryan (2008)
Best late-round pick: Kroy Biermann (5th round, 2008)
Biggest bust: Peria Jerry (1st round, 2009)

9.  Mike Reinfeldt, Titans
Reinfeldt’s first two 1st-round picks (Micael Griffin, Chris Johnson) have already developed into Pro Bowlers, and Kenny Britt is poised for a breakout year in 2011. Reinfeldt has also started to get production from some late-round picks such as Jason McCourty, Gerald McRath and Alterraun Verner.
Best 1st-round pick: Chris Johnson (2008)
Best late-round pick: Jason McCourty (6th round, 2009)
Biggest bust: Chris Henry (2nd round, 2007)
Read more

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Falcons, Giants, Packers, Patriots, Ravens, Steelers, Titans 1 Comment

Draft Needs: San Diego Chargers

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the San Diego Chargers [full archive here].

Season Recap – Each year the Chargers seem poised to contend for the Super Bowl, but mid-season collapses continue to hold them back. Despite finishing the season ranked #1 overall in offense and defense, the Chargers, at 9-7, failed to make the playoffs. San Diego managed to win many games without the help from players Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill, both of whom missed games due to holding out. 2011 will likely be the last season owner Alex Spanos settles with a non-playoff qualifying season.

1. Defensive End
– Jacques Cesaire is set to become a free agent, which leaves only two defensive ends on the roster. San Diego needs to rejuvenate their front and this draft presents the perfect opportunity, considering the strength of the D-line class. Cameron Heyward should be available and would fit in great for San Diego. Read more

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Chargers, Draft Needs - 2011 Comments Off

Huge draft implications in Jets/Colts game… for the Chargers

The Chargers are huge Jets fans this weekend.

According to a report by ESPNNewYork reporter Rich Cirimi (via ProFootballTalk) the conditions of the Antonio Cromartie trade state that if the Jets advance past the Wild Card round of the playoffs the Chargers get a 2nd-round pick instead of a 3rd round pick.

That one-round jump is nothing to sneeze at.

With a 1st-round pick and two 2nd-round picks the Chargers would have the ability to be major players on draft day. Their biggest hole is right tackle, and they could easily land a starter with one of those three selections. They could also move up to select the guy the want if they were worried that someone such as Derek Sherrod may not be on the board at No. 18.

Another interesting development could come when a decision is made about Vincent Jackson. The Chargers are not likely to let him walk without getting something in return. So a sign and trade could very well net them yet another 2nd round pick. That may give them the ammunition to move into the top 10 if they wished to make a move for A.J. Green or possibly Julio Jones.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Chargers, Jets 2 Comments

32 reasons why no one in the NFL should want Moss

Cardinals – Need a lot more than one aging receiver to fix their quarterback situation.

Falcons – Why mess up a good thing between Matt Ryan and Roddy White?

Ravens – No room with Boldin, Mason and Housh. Moss would pout, ruin chemistry.

Bills – Ryan Fitzpatrick has been pleasantly surprising. Don’t mess with a good thing.

Panthers – Think Moss will be a good soldier on a team competing for the No. 1 pick?

Bears – Lovie and Martz have their hands full already with Jay Cutler in the locker room.

Bengals – T.O.  and Moss in the same locker room? No thanks.

Browns – If Mangini can’t get along with Braylon Edwards, how would Moss fit in?

Cowboys – The last thing they need is another distraction.

Broncos – Do you really think McDaniels will get along with Moss better than Marshall?

Lions – Can you picture Moss accepting role as a No. 2 receiver on a 2-5 team?

Packers – Chemistry on offense seems to be great. Don’t mess it up.

Texans – See above.

Colts – Manning prefers his no-name receivers. And it works just fine for him.

Jaguars – Last place Jags aren’t going anywhere. Don’t waste the money.

Chiefs – Already hold a big lead in a weak division. Why mess with what’s working?

Dolphins – Marshall and Moss is too much ego for any coaching staff to handle.

Vikings – Been there. Done that.

Patriots – Been there. Done that.

Saints – Brees seems to be doing o.k. for himself without an elite receiver.

Giants – Can you picture Moss backing up Nicks and Smith?

Jets – I think they’ve learned their lesson with Braylon Edwards.

Raiders – Been there. Done that.

Eagles – Been there. Done that.

Steelers – After trading Holmes, adding Moss would be a step backwards.

Chargers – Vincent Jackson is back.

49ers – Can you picture Moss being happy in last place in the worst division?

Seahawks – The last thing Mike Williams needs right now is a bad influence.

Rams – Last thing this young, overachieving team needs is a bad influence like Moss.

Bucs – See above.

Titans – Kenny Britt has enough issues to overcome without Moss influencing him.

Redskins – McNabb and T.O. didn’t work. Why would it work with Moss?

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 49ers, Bears, Bengals, Bills, Broncos, Browns, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Jaguars, Jets, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Patriots, Raiders, Rams, Ravens, Redskins, Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Texans, Titans, Vikings 1 Comment