draft profile

Bosa5

At long last, the San Diego Chargers have signed their first-round draft pick Joey Bosa today. The selection shocked everyone from all the media pundits to the Bolts fanbase themselves. The four-year deal is worth $25.8 million with a $17 million signing bonus according to Chargers.com and various major media outlets.

While waiting for his contract to get done, Bosa was a full participant in all training activities and  impressed teammates with his work ethic. Newly-acquired defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had this to say about Bosa on Chargers.com:

“He’s a good guy. He asks questions. He always soaking up knowledge. He’s a little quiet right now. I can see he’s got a little nasty side in him so that’s a good thing. I think he’s a great player. I think he’s going to be a real help on our defensive line.” said Mebane.

“He don’t get tired out there. I’m thinking I’ve got to get my cardio up man. “Mebane joked. “He has great technique from what I’ve seen on the field. For a rookie he has great technique already. Seeing how good he is now compared to how good he’s going to be…once we get more and more reps every day, I think he’ll probably be a Pro Bowler.” Mebane added.

Linebacker Jerry Attaochu also had glowing words for Bosa. “He’s a great kid. Looks like he is going to give us a lot of help up front.” Attaochu said.

Offset language became the biggest point of contention holding up the deal. Offset language is simply if Bosa is cut or released during his rookie contract the Chargers are off the hook for any remaining salary he was scheduled to make.

Bosas’ management didn’t want any offset language in the contract. It means if Bosa did get cut or released before his rookie deal is up he would still get paid his full rookie contract. Players call it double-dipping, meaning a player is making full salary from his old team and his new team simultaneously.

The contract standoff deprived Bosa of needed training camp time and has also cost him the first three games of the preseason. The longest contract holdout since the inception of the next salary-slotted rookie wage scale, the Chargers’ and Bosas’ management team dug their heels in. Neither side was willing to budge over the offset language.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune and ESPN, a change in agents was the key element in breaking the contract impasse. The two sides returned to their seats at the bargaining table after the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings and two days later, Bosa is finally a member of the San Diego Chargers.

Growing frustration over Bosas’ high-profile absence raised the ire of the fanbase and his teammates were beginning to voice their disapproval as valuable training and bonding time dissipates with each day passing.

Only 13 days remain until the start of the regular season.

The Chargers’ private jet went to Bosas’ hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida last week only to return empty. Cooler heads have finally prevailed and the two sides have come to a compromise. Bosa got what he wanted, his $17 million signing bonus is fully guaranteed. He will get 85% up front and the other 15% in 2017. The Chargers got what they wanted, the offset language clause is in effect.

The deal is done. It’s time to ball. Here’s a quick look at the man who is all the buzz (both good and bad) of the Chargers’ offseason. Looking forward to seeing lots of shrugs on the field in 2016!

Welcome to San Diego, Joey Bosa!

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#Shruglife

semisch3

The San Diego Chargers secured the future of the tight end position with their selection of Arkansas Razorbacks All-American, John Mackey Award-winning stud Hunter Henry in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Henry is tabbed as the heir apparent to Hall-of-Fame bound Antonio Gates. As we all know, injuries are a very real thing in pro football. The Chargers have been decimated by injuries season after season. Unfortunately, not all high draft picks pan out.

One can never be too prepared.

With the first two slots on the depth chart filled, the challenge of finding a solid third tight end will be an interesting camp battle to watch. Stepping up to the challenge are:

1. Asante Cleveland, a second-year pro out of the University of Miami.

2. Jeff Cumberland, a seventh-year pro who spent his first six seasons with the New York Jets.

3. Sean McGrath, a second-year pro out of Henderson State.

4. Matt Weiser, an undrafted free agent rookie out of the University of Buffalo.

One of the biggest long shots in the field is literally the biggest of the entire group. While the aforementioned four players all average a stout 6’5″, 250-pounds, Tim Semisch stands 6’8″, 267-pounds.

Semischs’ pro career began with the Miami Dolphins where he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015. After toiling away on the Dolphins’ practice squad he was released in November and signed to the Chargers’ practice squad in December.

Semisch signed a futures contract in January 2016 and will be competing for a spot on the 53-man roster. Semisch played his college ball at Northern Illinois University. While he’s not fast (ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 at NIU’s pro day), his height, length and versatility will be features that make him a viable candidate as a possible third tight end or special teams.

In a pre-draft interview, Semisch explained that at NIU he was able to take advantage of his size advantage, be a good pass catcher or blocker, can rush the passer if needed and he also became a good long snapper. He stated his desire to play wherever is necessary to make the team.

While he was used primarily as a blocker he did show the ability to make big plays in the passing game, as evidenced in the video clip below. In three seasons he caught a grand total of ten passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. If he makes the 53-man roster with Rivers throwing him the ball, he’s likely to eclipse those numbers in one game.

 

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TDSemisch82

Here’s to rooting for the underdog and unearthing more diamonds in the rough! Good luck Mr. Semisch.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TrainingCamp2016

 

chestnut2

 

 

The San Diego Chargers hope to keep their legacy of uncovering diamonds in the rough through their undrafted free agent class this season. Many prospects have been brought in when you count the 20-player UDFA class signed immediately after the draft. Another twenty have been to Chargers Park for three-day tryouts.

As the old saying goes: Many are called, but few are chosen.

One player to keep an eye on during training camp will be West Virginia cornerback Terrell Chestnut. Standing 5’11”, 188-pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds, vertical jumped 34″, broad jumped 10’2″ and ran the three-cone drill in 7.13 seconds at the Mountaineers Pro Day.

Overshadowed by his secondary teammates Karl Joseph and Darryl Worley, Chestnut had a standout season in 2015. Lining up at cornerback last season, he tallied 35 tackles (25 solo), 7 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.  To further show his impact on the field, consider this tweet from Pro Football Focus:

So why did this man go undrafted?

There are two main answers to this question. One is he was overshadowed by his teammates Joseph and Worley. Joseph, a strong safety, was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 14th overall pick in the first round. Worley, a cornerback, was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the 77th overall pick in the third round.

Knee injuries derailed Chestnuts’ freshman and sophomore seasons. He played six games as a freshman and ten games as a sophomore. Chestnut did finish strong, as he did not miss a game in his final two years at West Virginia. His draft stock may have dropped due to injury concerns and overall body of work.

The Chargers may have indeed found another gem, this time on the defensive side of the ball. Chestnut is bound to make the most of his opportunity. This is what he tweeted after signing on the dotted line:

Chestnut will be company on the Chargers as the team also signed his teammate LB Shaq Petteway to an undrafted free-agent contract. Current second-year Chargers’ running back Dreamius Smith was a West Virginia teammate who is very excited to see his running buddies coming to San Diego.

Here’s hoping that West Virginia chemistry spills over onto the field. Good luck, Terrell!

 

Bolt Up!!

 

The Greg One

 

#TelescoMagic

 

 

 

 

henry1

The San Diego Chargers drafted tight end Hunter Henry with the 35th pick in the 2016 draft. General manager Tom Telesco appeared to be drafting what the Chargers need rather than the highest-rated player in the draft. The Chargers lost Ladarius Green to the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency. Antonio Gates, while one one of the greatest tight ends to play for the Chargers, is probably playing his last year of football. Henry is a much-needed addition to the team.

Hunter Henry played for the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Henry is is 6’5 and 253 lbs.  In three years with the Razorbacks (38 games), he had 1,661 yards and nine touchdowns.  He won the John Mackey Award for the best tight end in the nation during the 2015 season.  He was also a 2015 Consensus All-American, along with the Chargers third overall pick, Joey Bosa of Ohio State.

Henry has been regarded as the best tight end in the draft.  He did not drop a single ball in his junior year at Arkansas. His receiving skills are impressive along with his route running. Experts are comparing him to Dallas Cowboys All-Pro tight end Jason Witten.

Henry brings good run blocking to the team, which was has not been a strong part of the tight end corps of the Chargers in recent years. Melvin Gordon is looking to improve his performance from 2015 and this will be a huge help.

Veteran Antonio Gates will have at least one year to mentor the young tight end. Henry being able to learn and play alongside Gates will not only teach him how to be a better player but also, how to be a great team player.  Henry said in an interview, “Growing up, I watched the Chargers quite a lot so just being able to to see him [Gates] throughout his career and the progression he’s made and all the success that’s come his way, and he’s so deserving of it, it’s going to be really cool to be able to work with him.”.

Henry does not have a whole lot of weaknesses.  Some experts feel that he does not have the best hands, but he did go through all of 2015 without a single drop.  His biggest weakness is that he gets grabby during run blocking.  He had holding calls in 2015 and it will only get worse in the NFL if he does not work on it.  He will also need to work on his speed after receptions so that he can expand the the field more.

Some might disagree with drafting a tight end with the 35th pick but the Chargers did not want to miss the chance to take the best tight end in the draft.  He most likely will be a starter and should make an impact on the team, especially in the running game.

Welcome to Sunny San Diego, Hunter!  Go Bolts!

 

This gallery contains 2 photos.

 

Wentz

 

With 3rd pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select…

A quarterback? Most likely not.

Who is this Carson Wentz, though? Why are some calling him the consensus “no-brainer” pick? A virtual unknown before his junior season at NDSU, he’s taken this draft class by storm.

Is he a can’t-miss pick? Could he be the next Andrew Luck, as some “draft experts” are claiming?

Let’s break it down!

Measurables:

Height – 6’5″

Weight – 237 lbs 

Arm Length – 33 1/4″

Hand Size – 10″

40-yard dash time – 4.77 seconds*

Vertical Jump – 30 1/2″

Broad Jump – 118 inches*

3-Cone Drill – 6.86 seconds*

* Wentz tied for second in the QB class in these three categories

 

STRENGTHS:

* NFL type arm

* Goes fluently through his progressions

* Escapability

* Handles blitz well

* High pocket presence

*Second best release in his class

* High football IQ

*Highest potential ceiling at QB

WEAKNESSES:

* Tendency to slouch in the pocket (not fully playing to his height)

* Small school prospect

* Tends to check it down too much.

* His accuracy could be an issue at the NFL level

* His footwork needs work

* Should probably sit one year

* Deep ball accuracy could be a problem

*Locks on to his main target at times

FINAL ASSESSMENT:

Though the Chargers most likely won’t draft Wentz, if I was a team looking for a franchise QB, he would be a fantastic pick. Having a veteran in front of him to learn from, allowing him to sit for at least a year, would be highly beneficial to his growth. The fact that he came from a small school shouldn’t be too much of a red flag; given NDSU ran a Pro-Style offense. Can he be the next Andrew Luck? I would say yes. But only if he is groomed correctly.

 

Chris Hoke

 

MylesJack1

 

Chargers fans – the time has come to look past Eric Weddle and his signing last month with the Baltimore Ravens. Will it be difficult to replace his presence in the secondary? Perhaps. However, there is hope in the upcoming draft at the end of this month. That hope could be in the form of former UCLA Bruins linebacker Myles Jack.

Measurables:

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 245 pounds
Arm Length: 33 5/8″*
Hand Size: 10 1/4″*
40 yard Dash: N/A
Vertical Jump: 40″**
Bench Press: 19 reps at 225 pounds*
Broad Jump: 10’4″**

*Combine Results (2/28/16)
**Pro Day Results (3/15/16)

Because Jack had not been cleared to run at the Combine, there are no times available for running drills. Still rehabbing his right knee due to the meniscus tear from last September, he also chose to not run at UCLA’s Pro Day.

Strengths:

Naturally strong and fast, an instinctive player. Athletic. Tremendous versatility evidenced by his performances as a former running back who converted to defense and can play inside/outside linebacker, corner or safety. This will make his on-field presence a boon to defensive coordinators, as he can be plugged in to many sub-packages. Has the strength, speed and athleticism to cover tight ends, running backs and some slot receivers. Energetic and can back-up linemen upon engagement..

Weaknesses:

His height could be a drawback when going up against taller TEs and WRs, but his long arms and large hands coupled with his athleticism should help bail him out. Inconsistent against the run, occasionally getting pushed off his blocks.

Analysis:

Jack could be the long-term solution at safety for the Bolts. His versatility at both linebacking positions, as well as corner, gives defensive coordinator John Pagano the opportunity to change things up against opposing offenses. Throw in his ability as a runner, especially at the goal line, for example, where fans have seen many tackles report as eligible, and perhaps the Chargers have another weapon in the arsenal.

Overall, if Telesco cannot draft defensive back Jalen Ramsey, selecting Myles Jack would be a solid addition.

Thanks for reading!

Cheryl White

#BoltUp!

Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

 

Joey Bosa was everyone’s consensus No. 1 pick before the college season ended only to have some major question marks attached to him. Some people have even dropped him out of the top 10 after Alabama won the National Title. Well, despite all of the naysayers, Bosa is still my favorite player of this draft, and one I think will take the Chargers’ defense to the next level.

Measurables:

Height: 6’5″

Weight: 269

Arm Length: 33 3/8″

Hand Size: 10 1/4″

40-Yard Dash: 4.86 seconds

Vert: 32 inches

Bench: 24 reps

Broad Jump: 120.0 inches*

3-Cone Drill: 6.89 seconds*

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.21 seconds*

*Best combine result among his position

Analysis:

Bosa is a monster. There are questions about whether or not he can play in a 3-4 defense and if he has potentially already hit his ceiling. Well, if you watch his tape you will see that he answers both those questions with his play. He is quick off the edge and has shown the ability to play 3-tech. He’s a horse and seems to always be disruptive and always around the ball. Adding Bosa as the other Defensive-End opposite Corey Luiget upgrades the pass defense and the defense as a whole.

The knock on Bosa for me is he seems to be slow off the ball and will take some plays off. Now, we don’t know if he pulled a Jadaveon Clowney and saved his body, or if he really did “take plays off”. If that is the case, with him not going 110%, he could end up being a two down DE, and at the third pick in the draft that is something Telesco is going to have to consider.

Summary:
Bosa is an instant upgrade and one teams will have to game plan for within time. If Bosa is there at number three, which he should be, Telesco may regret passing him up. He has his flaws, like every rookie, but he is to me the most ready prospect in the draft.

For more on Bosa: For full combine breakdown, click here

-Zak Darman

Ramsey1

 

With Eric Weddle as good as gone via free agency, there is no question the San Diego Chargers must consider searching for his replacement this offseason. That brings us to the draft. There is a certain talent in this year’s pool of NFL hopefuls that could help make the post-Weddle era as smooth as possible: Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey.

Measurables

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 209 lbs

40 Yard Dash: 4.41 sec

Vert: 41.5 inches*

Broad Jump: 135 inches*

*Best combine result among his position

Analysis

Athlete. That is the first word you think of when you see this kid’s tape. He will blow you up with a big hit, he will wrap you up for the sure tackle and he will display some of the best cover skills you could ask for from a rook. He has top-notch speed and athleticism, allowing him to make play after play in coverage. One thing that stood out to me was how smart he looked on the field. There are certain plays where you can tell he spends some time in the film room and puts it to use on gameday.

One of few knocks against his game is why he’s being considered as the third player taken in the draft. While he played mostly as a corner in college, many scouts believe he’s better suited as a safety in the pros. He must still work on his hips, as well as showing a little more leadership on the field.

Summary

Ramsey is a prime-time athlete who has rangy ability to make plays on any level of the field.  He just needs a little bit more of a nasty streak to bring some aggressiveness to a defense that has lacked that trait for some time.

For more on Ramsey:

 

Jarvis Royall

Mariota Heisman

 

Wondering whether or not Tom Telesco has the name “Marcus Mariota” inked on the white board for draft day? Let’s take a look at what his being on the Chargers roster could provide.

Measurables:

Height: 6’4″
Weight: 218 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds

Analysis:

Marcus Mariota is currently projected as one of the top-two quarterbacks entering the 2015 draft. While at the University of Oregon, he primarily worked out of the shotgun formation. The shotgun formation is one that Philip Rivers likes and the Bolts presently utilize most. Combined with his ability to run for yards, the former Oregon Ducks quarterback could be a dual-threat in San Diego’s offense for many years to come. His speed will be something that defenses will need to take into account, as it helps him escape from the pocket.

In his 41-game college career, Mariota threw for 10,796 yards, and had a touchdown to interception ratio of 105:14. For his final season, he had 4,454 yards passing with four picks and 42 touchdowns (a 68.3 completion percentage), while leading the Ducks to a 12-1 record in 2014. Additionally, he rushed 117 times for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Summary:

Regardless of what team drafts Mariota, he will most likely need to sit behind a veteran QB for a bit while he learns to better read defensive schemes, identify pre-snap blitzes and recognize when he should step up into the pocket rather than attempt to escape from it.

The NFL comparison for Mariota is Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback. They are of similar stature, though at 233 pounds and almost 6’5″, Kaepernick is a bit bigger. Even their college statistics are comparable, despite the Niners’ signal caller having more rushes (600), yards (4,112), and touchdowns (59) over four years of collegiate play versus Mariota, who is entering the draft as a junior.

Three of Mariota’s many awards in 2014 were the Heisman Trophy, the PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year and being chosen as the Offensive MVP of the 2015 Rose Bowl. He was the first player from the University of Oregon to win the Heisman trophy.

 

 

It will be interesting to learn if or when he fits into the big picture for Telesco and company. What do you want to see happen? Please leave your comment below.

Thanks for reading!

#BoltUp!

Cheryl White

ShaqThompson1

 

Exit, Reggie Walker…enter Shaq Thompson?

Walker was a versatile linebacker for the San Diego Chargers who lined up inside, outside and on special teams. He
signed with the Denver Broncos in the offseason. There’s always a need for another defender. Could Thompson fit the bill?

Measurables:

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 228 pounds
40 yard Dash: 4.64 seconds

Analysis:

Thompson was a triple threat player at the University of Washington. As a defender, the former Huskie compiled 81 tackles and four takeaways (all returned for scores). He is aggressive, agile and instinctive. His vision and ability to read action quickly make him effective as a blitzer, even though he is not an explosive hitter. Offensively, Thompson toted the ball 61 times for 456 yards and two touchdowns.

Summary:

Shaq Thompson received the Paul Hornung Trophy for being the most versatile player in the nation in 2014. Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano, who likes to mix up his schemes, could use Thompson in a hybrid linebacker-safety role. No matter where he lines up, he will be fun to watch.

What are your thoughts on Thompson trotting out onto the field in lightning bolts? Share your comments, please, and thanks for reading!

#BoltUp!

Cheryl White

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