Monthly Archives: March 2014

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It happens every season at the spring Owners’ meetings. Rule change proposals are discussed. Some pass, some fail and some are “tabled”. Let’s take a quick look at this year’s changes.

Increase the height of the uprights by 5′. Any kick above the uprights is not reviewable, so this will make more questionable field goal attempts reviewable.

Loose balls in the field of play are now reviewable. Up until last year, these were only reviewable if at a sideline or in the end zone. This change was made in response to the blown fumble recovery call in the NFC Title game by San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman when Seattle was ruled to have possession of the ball. ( http://on.nfl.com/1m82shF )

Game clock will no longer stop after a QB sack. This makes the most sense of any other rule change. Offenses should not be “rewarded” with a clock stoppage after they give up a sack.

Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Sounds like simply an effort to make penalty enforcement a bit more consistent.

Protect players from getting the sides of their legs rolled up on — the rule already says a blocker can’t hit an opponent in the back of the legs, this proposal will add the side of the leg to the rule. Ultimately, the NFL seems to be seeking a block high mentality. This already is done across the NCAA. I don’t see a negative impact to the game with this change.  Considering the limited real practice time (in pads and contact) under this CBA, this actually helps coaching staffs.  There’s so little time to practice skills that now this won’t be taught.

During reviews, referees will now be allowed to communicate with NFL Headquarters. It’s about time!  This should speed up the review process as HQ should be able to proactively start reviewing calls that could be challenged, allowing the referees to see only pre-screened camera angles.

The one rule change that will spark the most debate among players and fans alike is the goal post “dunk”, which has been banned this season. Players can no longer use the ball as a “prop” for their celebrations. Personally, I think any kind of celebration, dance, gyration, etc. is stupid and should not be part of the game. Football is a team game and celebrations typically draw attention to individuals.

Let me know your take on the rule changes!

While free agency isn’t over, the draft is rapidly approaching.  I wanted to analyze what is the biggest needs the Chargers have and whether they address them in free agency or the draft.

Wide Receiver

  • Keenan Allen is a player to build around
  • Hoping Vincent Brown can get back to the player that looked on the verge of a breakout in preseason 2012
  • Malcom Floyd isn’t a guarantee to return
  • Eddie Royal was strong last year but we need more help

Overall this is a big need and given that offense is our strength, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team go after a player early.  However, the 2015 free agent class is ridiculous right now at the wide receiver position.  I expect some of those big names to be locked up by then, but the Chargers could really add a big weapon next year.

Offensive Line

  • Fluker and Dunlap were huge at the tackles (literally and figuratively)
  • Rinehart was a nice addition and played well
  • Beyond excited to have Hardwick back but we need to also groom for the future here
  • Clary is Clary…they missed him when he was out in the playoffs but they could definitely upgrade

Overall, there is a need for depth here if they are committed to Clary in 2014.  Fluker is the key here and he’s one to be really excited about.

Nose Tackle

  • Sean Lissemore is there and played well towards the end of last year
  • Cam Thomas is in Pittsburgh
  • Kwame Geathers is incredibly raw

Overall, this is a definite need.  The current free agents are definitely on the older side (Franklin or Sopoaga) and I don’t think you can use a first round pick on a NT unless you know he’s going to be an impact guy.  Could the Chargers think about moving Corey Liuget inside to DT or maybe just run more 4 D-line sets?

Cornerback

  • Shareece Wright is the one that you are hoping continues to build on the last couple years.
  • Steve Williams gives you hope at the slot
  • Maybe with the emergence of Addae you can move Gilchrist back into the mix at corner

Overall, they have some players but a lot riding on some young players to step up.  Marshall gives them a veteran presence but I expect this position group to be a HUGE battle in camp with all spots up for grabs.

Outside Linebacker

  • Melvin Ingram showed some flashes coming back from his knee injury.  Gives me hope that fully healthy he can make impact plays.
  • Larry English has 11 sacks in 5 years
  • Dwight Freeney is coming off a major injury and is up there
  • Tourek Williams played in 13 games last year, mostly due to injury
  • Jarret Johnson is still a solid player but needs others around him to step up

Overall, they have a lot of players here.  But this group was exposed because of injuries last year.  They definitely need depth, but they also need some luck on their side.

Which positions do you hope the Chargers address in free agency or the draft?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Justin Holmerud

 

Jackson1.5

 

Word has gotten out that the Philadelphia Eagles are looking to trade their best wide receiver, Desean Jackson. The Eagles asking price is a third round draft pick. Teams like San Francisco, Cleveland, Carolina and Seattle are believed to be in the mix for the 5’10 speedster as well as the New York Jets, who just acquired Jackson’s former teammate Michael Vick to be their new quarterback.

The San Diego Chargers are in need of depth at wide receiver. The playing careers of wide receivers Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander are yet to be determined. They both suffered career-threatening injuries lasts season and it remains to be seen if they play at all, much less in a Chargers uniform, which also is no certainty. Keenan Allen burst into the lead wide receiver role as a rookie and was a close runner up for offensive rookie of the year.  The Chargers are desperately in need of a number one quality threat opposite Allen. In a perfect world, Jackson would be a perfect fit.

But we don’t live in a perfect world do we?

Among many of the problems hampering the possibility of Jackson coming to San Diego is his salary. Chargers general manager Tom Telesco is dealing with being cash-strapped for a second straight year, forced to sign platoon players off the second teams of other organizations and resigning his own talent. Over ten million dollars is tied up in dead money from Jared Gaither, Derek Cox and Robert Meachem make up over ten million of the 12 million in dead money that will be off the books by the end of this season.

Desean Jackson is scheduled to make 10.5 million this season and according to the New York Daily News, he is unwilling to restructure his deal. The big money is limiting the Eagles ability to trade him and they may be forced to release him outright rather than keep him in town for one more season.

Last season, Jackson caught 82 balls for 1332 yards and 9 touchdowns. He is one of the fastest players in the league and is only 27 years old. Entering his seventh season as a pro, Jackson is entering his prime. Yet, in an Eagles offense led by new head coach Chip Kelly, they are letting Jackson go. Is it about the money or the player? At Oregon, Jackson collected the nation’s fastest players and racked up an obscene won-loss record outscoring opponents by ridiculous margins. Something doesn’t add up.

All wide receivers are known to be divas. Jackson however, has a reputation as one of the top diva receivers in the league. He has been known to pout and call out his quarterbacks, teammates and coaches in the media when he feels he is not getting the ball enough. Jackson also infamously shut himself down a couple season ago as the Eagles season spiraled downhill, gathering losses along the way. When Jackson is on, he is among the best receivers in the league, but when he feels disrespected he pouts and shuts down making a nuisance of himself in and out of the locker room.

Would the Chargers take that chance?

Assume for a minute that Tom Telesco could get Jackson to agree to restructure his deal making it a possibility to sign him. It would be an excellent fit. San Diego is a perfect spot for the troubled wideout. Jackson is from nearby Long Beach. He would be able to play near family and friends. San Diego fans would shower Jackson in love and the media glare would be considerably, noticeably less searing than it is in Philadelphia. All Jackson would have to do is show up, catch balls from a Pro Bowl quarterback and go on a Super Bowl run with a team on the rise.

What Telesco would have to consider is Jackson’s history. Would he be a distraction? Would he be up to the same shenanigans he was up to in Philadelphia? Could he be a good example to the stable of young wideouts on the Chargers roster? Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown and Seyi Ajirotutu are still in their NFL infancy. With Floyd and Alexander out, Jackson and Eddie Royal would be the veterans of the Chargers receiving corps. Would Jackson accept his role as leader of that group?

What Jackson needs is a change of scenery. Philadelphia has been an underachieving disaster of a team for the amount of talent on their roster. Jackson’s outbursts are a result of frustration over losing, the intense media and fan pressure and a front office resembling a rudderless ship. Jackson is a ultra-competitive, passionate player who seems unable to keep his feelings in check. Sound like another Charger we all know so well doesn’t it?

I still contend Jackson would make San Diego the most lethal offense in the league opposite Keenan Allen. With Brown and Royal in the slot, tight ends Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green working the middle of the field and Danny Woodhead lining up anywhere, Philip Rivers would have a field day finding open receivers. Jackson’s speed takes the lid off the secondary’s coverage, leaving the middle of the field vulnerable to the run and the pass.

Telesco has already made a run at another undersized, disgruntled wide receiver when he offered a contract to former Carolina Panther Steve Smith. That play alone shows he’s not afraid of a ‘diva’ wide receiver if he produces on the field. Attitude issues resolve themselves in the right locker room with the right leadership. Smith and Jackson are cut from the same cloth. Both are blazing fast deep ball threats, cocky, showboats, durable faces of their franchises. Both have been consistent veterans of multiple Pro Bowls. It would be foolish for Telesco not to make a play for Jackson based solely on what he can do on the field. Telesco mentioned team speed as an area he wants the team to upgrade and Jackson definitely addresses that area.

Is a third round pick too much?

In a word, no. Look what last year’s third round pick yielded, Keenan Allen. If this year’s third round pick lands a top five NFL wide receiver who is young and also a special teams solution, that’s getting your money’s worth. As it stands, Telesco may be able to get Jackson and keep his third rounder as it looks like no team wants to pony up that pick knowing the Eagles are on the cusp of having to release him anyway. Even diva veteran receivers know a good thing when they see one. The Chargers are a stock a player would want to buy before it gets too high.

It’s time to come home to sunny San Diego Desean.

 

Bolt Up!!

 

#TelescoMagic

 

The Greg One

8

8

Happy Birthday Twitter!

This week, Twitter turned eight. To celebrate, they asked everyone to think back one, two, three, or for some—eight years to their very first tweet. I thought it would be fun to take a look back to some of our favorite Chargers player’s very first tweets.

Take a look at some of them, below. Find your own first tweet here: https://discover.twitter.com/first-tweet

And as for our fearless BoltBlitz leader?

What was your first tweet?

 

 

Draft2

 

 

One term that we have heard for a long time and will continue to hear will be a team taking the “best player available” or BPA  for short.  That term is used for teams who may have been “robbed” of a player they planned on taking in the draft that went higher than they are picking, thus leaving them to take the best available player.  BPA is also a strategy for teams who may not be glaringly weak nor strong at any spot leaving the entire field as candidates to join the organization.  The term BPA, to me, is an incomplete phrase.  The term should be “best available fit” or the BAF.  Here’s why.

Hypothetically, let’s say your beloved Chargers trade up to the 5th pick for player A.  San Diego quickly finds out they did not get high enough for A therefore leaving them with players D, E, F, etc.  Player F is the best and most logical fit for SD, but interpreting the BPA, San Diego would be foolish to pass up on Player D and E.  Player D is the 3rd best quarterback in his class, need I make a case why he is not needed?  Player E is the best RB in the entire draft.  We not only strengthened our RB corps with the Donald Brown signing, but Trent Richardson all but convinced the entire league why not to take a RB with a top pick, let alone the first round at all.  Player F is the best corner in the draft, which is one of San Diego’s biggest needs.

Just as some food for thought on what I think of when I hear “BPA”.  Do not be surprised when I make BAF a huge thing.

#ReadTheBlitz

#BAF

Jarvis Royall

Kras

Tom Krasovic writes for the hometown paper at the UT right here in San Diego. He covers both the Padres as well as the Chargers. Tom is also a Major League Baseball Player HOF voter. He’s an old school writer in that he can tell a story in print and not just 140 characters on Twitter. You can often chat with Tom about the Chargers every Monday on the UT website at 11am. Tom’s articles have been printed on ESPN.com, USA Today, CBS Sports,.com and AOL.com to his credit. He’s also a graduate from SDSU. I’ve introduced you to a few people you should be following for great Charger information. Now, I’m bringing you someone you must be following. You can follow Tom on Twitter @UTkrasovic.

 

 

Tpowell: One of the newest things on the UT is the chat on Mondays at 11am. You did this during the season and sounds like you and Gehlken are going to platoon during offseason as well. I really enjoyed the chat (fans can ask questions online to Krasovic about team and previous day’s game) What’s been your take on the chat?

Krasovic:  I enjoy them. Even though it’s easy for me to be detached, I know what it’s like to care about a team to the extent many Chargers fans do. I’ve found that more fans want to chat after a tough loss than a win. That’s not surprising. Coaches and players say the tough losses stick with them the most. Bill Walsh, for one, said he never got over the big losses.

Last year’s season gave us a lot to discuss. Really, it was one of the more entertaining seasons in Chargers history. I think we’re headed toward another interesting year.

 

Tpowell: So, we all have gotten to know you as a writer. Let’s get to know Krasovic as a person. What do you like to do when you’re not covering the Padres and the Chargers?

Krasovic: I enjoy family and San Diego. For about 20 years my job took me out-of-town from 3- 5 months a year. While that was great, I’m grateful to be here year-round. My travels made San Diego that much more special to me.

Tpowell: Social Media is taking over the Sports world. But nothing beats waking up to the printed newspaper. What do you see as the future for newspaper in the sports world?

Krasovic: I agree about waking up to a newspaper. I’ll add that our Sunday paper is two dollars well spent for anyone interested in San Diego’s sports teams. (The Sunday sports section runs about 16-22 pages.) As much as I enjoy the dead-tree edition, I suspect the bulk of newspapers’ future is on the Internet. Alas, it seems that monetizing the Internet is a lot harder than anticipated many years ago.

 

Tpowell: Your knowledge on the Padres, as well as the Chargers, is admirable. You cover both clubs. What are some of the differences about the 2 organizations? Padres have a new stadium, yet, are under producing and the Chargers are over producing yet can’t get to step 1. Your thoughts?

Krasovic: It’s funny, each envies the other in one aspect. The Chargers would love to have a downtown ballpark built largely with public money. The Padres would love an NFL-style economic structure.

Tom Telesco reminds me of a few MLB executives such as Theo Epstein (who used to work for the Padres). Bright. Strategic. Seems to have a feel not only for scouting, but the business side of the GM job. I think he is sort of like Bobby Beathard and Kevin Towers, too, in that he loves scouting players.

 

Tpowell: What are your thoughts on the new Chargers regime? How does this one differ from AJ/Norv Era in your opinion?

Krasovic: Mike McCoy showed us that good ideas matter. That’s probably the biggest thing I took from his first season. He’d never been a head coach, but he had a clear idea what he wanted to do with Rivers and the offense. He and the coaches he hired put those ideas into place and the whole team benefited from it. You know the particulars — a no-huddle offense, a quick-passing game and more playcalling for Rivers. Norv went about it a different way. And although Norv’s offenses had a lot of success here, it is pretty clear that McCoy’s plan suited Rivers and the 2013 Chargers. (Better players helped too.)

Up top, the difference in management style couldn’t be greater. With A.J., there was a lot of drama — with agents, with one of his head coaches, with the media, with players. Telesco, no drama.

 

Tpowell: Headed back to Social Media for a minute. I see people misconstruing reporters tweets a lot and assuming it as fact. What are some of the positives and negatives you see about the new Social Media; specifically Twitter?

Krasovic: I see the Twitter tradeoff as well worth it. Sure, you will be misconstrued, but, for an old newspaper grunt like me, it is amazing to reach so many people so fast and with such ease.

 

Tpowell: In reporting a breaking story, how many sources do you use to confirm before you will report it? Who exactly is a “Source” normally?

Krasovic:  Most of the breaking Chargers stories I write in the offseason draw from other media reports or a team’s press release. So it requires little or no confirmation. During the season, if I’m the original author, the information is usually coming straight from a Chargers player, McCoy or an opponent. In those cases, I’m directly quoting the person involved.

 

Tpowell: What are some of the misconceptions you see that fans have of the players themselves?

Krasovic:  Many players are smarter than folks believe. NFL football is pretty complicated. And within a team such as the Chargers, the bright players will smarten up a teammate who is willing to listen. Also, the NFL game is faster and more violent than people know.  Even with today’s mega-pixels, the telecasts do not convey how brutal it is.

 

Tpowell:  What are some obstacles for Sports Reporters when reporting on a sport they haven’t ever played professionally?

Krasovic: Some of us don’t know what we don’t know.

 

Tpowell:  What is your opinion on the Chargers going into the 2014 season?

Krasovic: I think the overall talent will be improved from last year. I am curious to see how the team responds to heightened outside expectations. The schedule looks a little tougher.

 

 

A huge shoutout and thanks goes to Tom Krasovic for this interview.  I know I really enjoyed reading his responses, and I hope you did as well.  Be sure to follow Tom on Twitter for constant updates on the team.

 

Gaither

When I first decided to do this post, I had planned on writing my thoughts on the former Chargers that are listed below and what they are doing now.  I have since changed my mind due to reading those names below and becoming incredibly angry at that money being paid to players that are no longer on the team.  So instead, I’m just going to leave this chart here ( credit to overcap.com ) and go look at some of the free agents that were signed by other teams.

 

Dead Money

Name Cap
Number
TOTAL $12,543,317
Jared Gaither $4,000,000
Derek Cox $3,900,000
Robert Meachem $3,750,000
Le’Ron McClain $833,334
David Molk $27,976
Nick Becton $5,000
Randy Richards $3,334
Dan Molls $3,334
Marcus Cromartie $3,334
Michael Hill $3,334
Devan Walker $2,000
Josh Johnson $2,000
Greg Brown $1,667
Brandon Moore $1,334
Ben Cotton $1,334
Chibuikem Okoro $1,334
Luke Tasker $667
David Rolf $667
Jamarkus McFarland $667
Richard Kent $667
Mike Hermann $667
Frank Beltre

 

Every team, every year, has dead money on the books from players that have been released, waived or cut.  But when you look at a team that overachieved in 2013, to think about being able to add a few key free agents would have been a great momentum-builder going into May’s draft.

I am not, by any means, suggesting that the Chargers should have gone on a spending spree.  I am ecstatic with what Tom Telesco has done with so little room under the salary cap.

I am not sure that we will see much more activity in free agency, but I do know that I have complete faith in what Telesco is doing. I also know that I am certainly looking forward to watching it all unfold.

 

 

Booga Peters

How many times have you played a sports video game on rookie mode and dominated?  Then you switch it to all-star and all of the sudden you really have to think about what you’re doing.  The same can be said for young players making the jump from college to the pros.  A lot of times they can rely purely on their athletic ability to win matchups in college.  It’s also going from a very structured environment that tells you when to train, eat and study.  They have great facilities available to them and usually a coach helping to guide them in what to do.

When they jump to the pros, everyone is above average and the expectations are that you take care of yourself in the offseason and show up in shape.  It doesn’t always work out that way.  We all remember Ryan Mathews at the beginning of his 2nd year showing up out of shape and failing his conditioning test.

There’s one player who’s going from undrafted rookie to 2nd year player who is clearly dedicating himself to getting better.  Jahleel Addae has been putting in work for the past month plus now and posting his workout videos to his Instagram account.  He is clearly motivated to build on the promising rookie year he had.  Not only that, his Instagram account name (hitman37_) conjures up memories of another hard hitting safety that wore #37.  Love seeing a guy so dedicated to improvement and carrying a chip on his shoulder.  One post on February 20th is titled: “I think imma dedicate this one to all the people who thought I wouldn’t make it here !”

Love seeing this from a young player who seems to have a bright future ahead of him.  Here’s a couple videos from his Instagram feed, but highly recommend giving him a follow and checking out his great videos. http://instagram.com/hitman37_

Thanks for reading.

Justin Holmerud

The 2014 NFL Draft is only a couple of months away and the big names in free agency have been snapped up.  As a result, numerous teams around the league have seen their draft needs change.  Taking into consideration these changes, while understanding that many teams maintain a “best available player” approach to the draft, I humbly submit my first mock draft.  Let’s get to it!

ROUND ONE:  The San Diego Chargers select…

Jason Verrett (CB – TCU)

Verrett TCU

 

At 5’10” some general managers have expressed concerns in matching up with bigger NFL receivers.  There are also some concerns with an injured Labrum in his shoulder that required surgery this spring.  It is this second guessing that could very well allow Verrett to slide to us at pick 25.  However, the TCU Horned Frog posted impressive numbers at the combine running a 4.38 40 yard dash and posting a 39 inch vertical jump.  Jason is very smooth in his back pedal and closes on the ball in a flash.  He doesn’t back down against taller receivers and attacks the ball at the catch point with regularity.  He plays with a confidence and swagger that I like!  Simply put, he plays bigger than his size and is a flat-out playmaker.

 

ROUND TWO:  The San Diego Chargers select…

Anthony Johnson (DT – LSU)

Johnson LSU

6’2″ and 300 pounds of explosive disruption up the middle.  Anthony has good strength at the point of attack and the ability to shoot the gap on passing downs.  The disappointing play of DE Kendall Reyes last season opened the eyes of many to the importance of a dominant DT to free up Reyes to do his thing.  Johnson isn’t just a space-eater though, he is a playmaker.  A player requiring double-team consideration by offensive coordinators.  Many NFL Draft writers have labeled him a “high-ceiling” guy who is likely to develop into a dominant force down the road.  Sounds like our kind of guy to me…

 

ROUND THREE:  The San Diego Chargers select…

Carl Bradford (OLB – Arizona St.)

Bradford ASU

Bradford has some size concerns at 6’1″ and 250 pounds – which is why I project him slipping a bit in the draft, allowing us to snag him in the 3rd round.  He has displayed difficulty in providing run support, but is without question a ferocious pass rusher.  His presence on the roster would provide insurance behind an aging Dwight Freeney, who is returning from a season ending torn quadriceps muscle.  Additionally, he would provide instant improvement in our kick coverage teams.  If we invest a year or two in improving his strength against the run, Bradford has the makings of a pro bowl caliber linebacker in the future.

 

ROUND FOUR:  The San Diego Chargers select…

Joel Bitonio (OG – Nevada)

Bitonio NEV

Joel played left tackle in college, but he projects as a guard in the NFL.  He has good hands and packs a punch.  Bitonio consistently drives defenders back in the running game.  The upside for the young man is great.  Moving to guard will present some adjustment time for pass protection skills, but with patience and good coaching, Joel has starter potential by the 2015 season.

ROUND FIVE:  The San Diego Chargers select…

Martavis Bryant (WR – Clemson)

Bryant CLEMSON

Standing at 6’4″ and weighing 200 pounds, Martavis presents a big-time matchup problem for many cornerbacks in the league.  He reminds me of a young Malcom Floyd with better speed.  Like Floyd, Bryant excels as a red zone threat.  His ability to run the fade and out jump the defender is tremendous.  Many in the media have given Martavis the dreaded “Boom-or-Bust” label heading into this year’s draft, which accounts for him being available here in the 5th round.  I’m betting he’d blossom in Mike McCoy’s system.

 

ROUND SIX:  The San Diego Chargers select…

Brandon Coleman (WR – Rutgers)

Coleman RUT

Another gigantic target for Philip Rivers at 6’6″, Coleman is a project with equally gigantic upside.  He is a good downfield blocker that would help turn 7 yard carries into 20 yard gashes.  He is good at “posting up” smaller cornerbacks with his massive frame and then soaring high in the air to snag the ball.  For a receiver his size, Coleman is surprisingly adept at tracking deep throws as well.  Straightline speed is a bit of a concern.  He clocked a 4.56 in the 40 yard dash at the combine, but he is good out of the break with decent hands.  He is very raw and will need time to develop but I see this guy as a diamond in the rough…

 

ROUND SEVEN:  The San Diego Chargers select…

Russell Bodine (C – North Carolina)

Bodine UNC

 Selecting in the seventh round, the Bolts land a player who could develop into Nick Hardwick’s replacement at center.  Russell Bodine has been a very good run blocker at the collegiate level.  He is technically sound and very intelligent.  He was able to get to the 2nd level smoothly and consistently during his tenure as a Tarheel.  The question with Russell is whether or not he’ll be able to do the same thing against NFL defensive tackles.  He’ll need to bulk up and add some strength to be able to hold up as a pass protector.  His upside makes him intriguing.  With time and coaching, Bodine should develop into a starting caliber center.

 

…and there you have it.  My take on this year’s draft picks.  This is a topic that always generates plenty of debate, so feel free to comment below.  Thanks for reading and remember to come back to BoltBlitz.com for your daily Chargers fix!

Keep Believin’!

– Coach

Martin1

 

 

A few weeks back I posted the first edition of my Chargers 7 round mock draft.  It received, as expected, quite a bit of debate. Some people liked it, while others hated it.  Thus is the standard when it comes to mock drafts.  You can’t possibly please everyone.

I remember a time when….

Just kidding.  I am not going to talk incessantly prior to this mock.  Let’s just get on with it.

 

1st round:  Odell Beckham Jr.   WR   LSU  5’11”  198 pounds

It is no secret that the Chargers are in the market for another starting wide receiver.  They had been showing interest in both Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks prior to them signing with Baltimore and Indianapolis, respectively.  OBJ can take the top off a defense with his great speed.  He is very quick to get up to top speed due to his stellar acceleration.  He also brings to the table a solid ability in the return game.  Don’t let the drafting of a wide receiver from LSU in the first round scare you.  He can play.

 

2nd round:  Marcus Martin   C/G  USC   6’3″   320 pounds

Martin is the best center prospect in the entire draft.  Furthermore, he can easily play guard on the San Diego offensive line while Nick Hardwick finishes off his solid career in the NFL with the Chargers.  He is very physical and takes advantage of his short stature to gain solid leverage against defenders.  Has some nasty to his game and he has yet to reach his ceiling.  MArtin would be an excellent choice in the second round.

 

3rd round:  Pierre Desir  CB  Lindenwood   6’1″   198 pounds

Despite being incredibly raw, Desir has a bright future in front of him.  He has great size for the position and his speed is good for a corner of his size.  When looking at a small-school prospect like Desir, you want to see that player dominate against that level of competition.  He did just that.  He totaled 25 interceptions during his time in college.  He was a division II All-American as well.

 

4th round:  Brett Smith  QB  Wyoming  6’2″  206 pounds

The closer we get to the NFL draft, the more the Brett Smith hype train gets rolling.  Smith is athletic for the position and has good speed as well ( clocked in the low 4.5s at his pro day recently according to Benjamin Allbright).  He was little known due to going to Wyoming.  Had he gone to a big name program, his name would be on the tip of many people’s tongues.  His arm is not overly strong but when you watch him play you can see that he has enough arm strength to make all the throws.  Like most quarterbacks, he is not as accurate on the move.  Fans of the Mountain West conference have surely seen him play and most likely walked away very impressed.  I am not sold on Brad Sorensen as the quarterback of the future once Philip Rivers hangs ’em up.  Smith is a guy that could sit back and learn while Rivers finishes off his career in lightning bolts.

 

5th round:  Justin Ellis   NT  Louisiana Tech   6’2″   334 pounds

I know.  Finally a nose tackle.  Ellis is a big dude.  He had solid showings at both the East-West Shrine game and the Senior bowl. Quick for his size and a heady player.  Although he plays too high at times, he is good anchoring upon contact with offensive linemen; holding his ground and occupying blockers.  Due to his long arm, you’ll see Ellis bat down his fair share of passes at the next level.  Ellis would be a great pick in the 5th round.

 

6th round:  Cody Latimer   WR   Indiana  6’2″   215 pounds

Another wide receiver?  Yup.  If Latimer is still available here then you sprint to turn your card in right away.  He is one of the better receivers that most people aren’t talking about.  He has good height and is very good in space for that height.  One of my favorite attributes about Latimer is he is a good blocker in the running game for a wide receiver.  That is far more important than many people like to think.  A receiving trio of Keenan Allen, OBJ and Cody Latimer means the future would be looking really good for the Charger passing attack.

 

7th round:  Taylor Hart   DE   Oregon   6’6″  281 pounds

Hart hasn’t missed a start in his last three seasons in Eugene.  Very intelligent player.  Has good quickness for a defensive lineman. Played multiple spots along the line showing off his versatility.  He was named second team All-Pac 12 in 2013.  Hart would be a nice add this late in the draft.

 

That concludes this edition of my Chargers 7 round mock draft.  Let me know what you think by leaving your thoughts below in the comment section.

 

Booga Peters

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