Jonathan Crompton

2010 Draft Grades: Chargers

Considering they only had five picks, its hard to imagine the draft going any better for the Chargers.

I definitely think they reached for Ryan Mathews, but I wholeheartedly support the decision to move up and draft him. They have every reason to believe they can be a Super Bowl contender in 2010, and they need a running back like Mathews to make it happen. He was the only running back in this year’s draft class that projected as an immediate starter in their offense. Even C.J. Spiller wouldn’t have been a good fit because he’s too similar to backup Darren Sproles. They overpaid for him, but it was a move they simply had to make.

In the 3rd round they got great value for Donald Butler. Linebacker wasn’t a glaring hole, but Stephen Cooper is nothing special. In fact, he probably should have already lost his job to Kevin Burnett. Butler has an excellent chance to see significant playing time this season.

I was surprised by the selection of Darrell Stuckey because safety isn’t much of  a need. Eric Weddle has the starting free safety job locked up. Stuckey could probably play strong safety, but I don’t see him as a potential starter at that position. He’ll likely be nothing more than a backup and special teams contributor.

I was shocked that the Chargers didn’t address their need for a nose tackle within the first four rounds, but they got an absolute steal in Cam Thomas. He was never terribly productive at North Carolina, but I believe he just wasn’t a good fit for their defensive scheme. He’s a prototypical nose tackle, however, and has a shot to earn the starting job this season.

I don’t have a problem with the Chargers taking a developmental prospect at quarterback, but I’m not sure Jonathan Crompton would have been my first choice. Yes, he was great down the stretch this year. But he was absolutely terrible for his first year and a half as a starter. Essentially if Tennessee had any other option to replace him at quarterback, he wouldn’t have gotten a sniff from the NFL. That said, he has NFL size and a NFL arm and he’s in a position in San Diego where he won’t have to see the field anytime soon. Its a good place to sit and learn.

Dedrick Epps will add to their depth at tight end and probably play some special teams. He’s nothing special, but he’ll be given an opportunity to compete with Kris Wilson for the backup tight end job.

Overall, I love what the Chargers did in this draft. They filled their biggest hole with the one player in the draft capable of making an immediate impact in their offense. They then followed that up by landing Butler and Thomas, who at the very least will provide quality competition in training camp for the incumbent starters at their positions. This is what a draft should look like for a team that is already in contention for a championship.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Chargers, Draft Grades - 2010 Comments Off

Combine Invitations Officially Released

combineThe 2010 NFL Combine invitations have been handed out. When over 200 players are invited, they’re never going to miss any big names. But, as always, a few names do appear to be missing from the list. Here’s a few snubs that caught my eye:

Freddie Barnes – WR – Bowling Green

Easily the worst of the snubs. He doesn’t have impressive measurables, but the guy can play. He’ll be a 4th or 5th round pick.

Bill Stull – QB – Pittsburgh
After a truly awful junior year Stull rebounded and was arguably the best quarterback in the Big East last season. He deserves a serious look in the late rounds.

Jonathan Crompton – QB – Tennessee
Like Stull, Crompton came out of nowhere and was impressive late in the season. He has the size and arm strength, so if it really did click for him this past season he’s a legitimate prospect.

Matt Nichols – QB – Eastern Washington
I always like to see FCS players get invited to the combine because its their chance to shine in front of a large audience. We already know what to expect from the big school guys. He has the size, and put up great numbers (33 TD, 6 Int) this season.

LaMarcus Coker – RB – Hampton
Coker was kicked out of Tennessee for failing multiple drug tests, but looked good during his time at Hampton. His athleticism, plus his experience on special teams could land him a spot in the late rounds.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald – DE – Kansas State
Fitzgerald isn’t a great athlete, but he has elite size and strength for the position. He may be a candidate to switch inside to defensive tackle. Could also play end in a 3-4.

Deji Karim – RB – Southern Illinois
Only 5’9″, but has good speed and is well built. Would have benefited from showing off his strength in person and dispelling the belief that he’s too small.

Danny Batten – DE – South Dakota State
Highly productive FCS player that should be a mid-to-late round selection. He has the athleticism to play linebacker in a 3-4 system.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft Comments Off