Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I Would Do: San Diego Chargers Mock Draft

The NFL draft is always one of my favorite sporting events of the year.  It is the day that your favorite team drafts the building blocks for a potential Super Bowl run.  If you are a Carolina fan, you hope that the Panthers can add a player that can turn your fortune's around.  While the NFL lockout has made me weary of getting too jazzed, the appeal of the draft always puts me in front of the television.

For the San Diego Chargers, this draft is absolutely critical for the success of this team going forward.  They own five of the first 82 picks, and they really need to find at least three players ready to contribute.  This team has massive holes at defensive end, and both linebacker positions.  Starters Stephen Cooper and Kevin Burnett are unrestricted free agents, and backup Brandon Siler is a restricted free agent.

The Chargers also can use a developmental wide receiver, since Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd aren't likely to return, as well as a developmental quarterback to back up Philip Rivers.  The Chargers could also take a running back since Darren Sproles isn't likely to return.

The Chargers draft at:  18, 50,61, 82, 89, 182, 200, and 246, and should be able to fill most of their needs.  Here is what I would do if I were running the Chargers.

First Pick (18th overall) Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal:  In the research that I have done, some experts have Jordan going as high as 8th overall, and as low as 25th.  Hopefully, Jordan falls to the Bolts at 18. Draftbreakdown.com says Jordan "can be equally effective in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.  He has great awareness, and can be disruptive in the running game."  Would instantly start opposite Luis Castillo on the Defensive line.

Second Pick (50th overall) Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina:  At 6'1 and 241, Carter has the dreaded "tweener" label, but is known as a "freakish" athlete with an elite burst.  Ideally, Akeem Ayers out of UCLA would be ideal, but unless the Chargers trade up, he will not make it until pick #50.  Carter can play opposite Shaun Phillips, and give the Bolts another pass rusher off of the edge.

Third Pick (61st overall) Ben Ijalana, OT, Villanova:  The players available at inside linebacker and receiver aren't too intriguing, so the Chargers could add depth, and a potential starter at right tackle.  According to scouting reports, Ijalana has great strength, and is extremely powerful.  He is also tough, and can play through injuries.

Fourth Pick (82nd Overall) Casey Mathews, ILB, Oregon:  The brother of Packers standout Clay Mathews would be a solid pick here.  He obviously has the pedigree, and has an "outstanding IQ, and is a sturdy, powerful tackler.  If anything, he can help out right away on special teams.

Fifth Pick (89th Overall) Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State:  The Chargers love big receivers, and Pettis fits that mold at 6'2.  He isn't a burner, running a 4.61 40 yard dash, but has great hands, and the ability to pluck the ball out of the air.  Can also contribute on special teams, since he isn't likely to more that a 4th option right away.

Sixth Pick (182nd Overall) Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware:  He started off at Penn State, but transferred to the FCS Delaware Blue Hens.  Has good height at 6'4, and is pretty mobile.  He struggles to throw the deep ball, but did complete 68% of his passes in 2010.  Could turn into a useful backup to Philip Rivers.

Seventh Pick (200th Overall) Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State:  At 6'2 and 278 lbs, he has the bulk to play defensive end in the Chargers 3-4 scheme.  He is powerful, and is good against the run, but doesn't have great pass rushing skills.  Should add depth to the Chargers front seven.

Eighth Pick (246th Overall) Alex Wujciak, ILB, Maryland:  Is a flawed prospect, but what player in the seventh round isn't?  He is a good tackler, and is known to be a good tackler.  Can add depth, and play special teams for the Bolts in 2011.

This is merely a prediction for fun, I do not expect the Chargers to go after the same guys I have in mind.  I merely read scouting reports, plus made recommendations based upon what I have seen.  The Chargers need to hit a home run in this draft, their future in San Diego depends on it.




 

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