Monthly Archives: April 2016
We are just 48 hours away from the start of the 2016 NFL Draft, live from Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. Picking third, we all now know that the draft truly begins with our beloved San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have the luxury of knowing the first two selections will be quarterbacks, giving them pick-of-the-litter among all the non-quarterback players.
To quote a famous line from comic book lore: With great power comes great responsibility.
The Chargers can not miss with this pick. This must be a player who will be a mainstay for the next decade provided he can stay healthy. We all know that is easier said than done in San Diego. This man must be a building block of the future, someone who can step into a starter’s role from game number one.
Many intriguing storylines are attached to the 2016 edition of the NFL Draft. Here’s a look at the biggest ones on everyone’s minds and lips heading into Thursday night.
1. What will the Chargers do?
San Diego can enlist a franchise player from this spot but will they? Temptation will be heavy to trade down and try to add picks and value. If the Bolts trade down and add picks, the chances of hitting on a prospect increase. The risk is passing on the next big superstar/future Hall Of Fame enshrinee. What to do, what to do…
As we’ve already seen, quarterbacks drive the action in this draft. The number one and two selections have exchanged teams. More movement to acquire the top five quarterbacks on the board will occur, most likely in the first round. Carson Wentz and Jared Goff will undoubtedly go in the first two picks. Expect Paxton Lynch, Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg to be drafted in round one.
Aside from the rookies, don’t be surprised to see Sam Bradford, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Colin Kaepernick traded in the first round. The Philadelphia Eagles (Bradford) and San Francisco 49ers Kaepernick) find themselves in the same boat. Both teams have quarterbacks that don’t want to play for them anymore. Both quarterbacks have plummeted on the field and in overall value. Will the two teams make the best of their bad situations and swap headaches (err…quarterbacks) especially after new 49ers coach Chip Kelly was just fired by the Eagles.
Whether it’s an even exchange or not, the Niners would be helping the coach that has set back their organization untold years. (Insert dramatic music here…) Quarterback desperate teams will rule the first two days of the draft. Sleeper team to be a player in the quarterback sweepstakes: The New England Patriots. You heard it here first.
3. Ole Miss players
There are always players that fall from grace in the draft. It’s most likely that player will come out of Ole Miss. Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil is considered the best offensive lineman on the board in the last five years. Robert Nkemdiche was the chosen one for the number one pick in the draft just six months ago. A handful of off-the-field incidents later, he is not expected to go until the second round or worse. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is the top-rated wide receiver prospect in the draft despite an unimpressive 4.6 40-yard dash time.
The NFL won its appeal and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will serve his four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal after all. This dark cloud will manifest itself multiple times during the proceedings, starting with the fact the first round will only be 31 selections due to the Patriots losing their first round draft pick. With the news dropping just 72 hours before the draft, it is sure to be a hot button issue all week long. As mentioned above, this news could also precipitate a move by the Patriots on the quarterback front.
5. Winners and losers
Every year, the talking heads will compile their winners and losers list for the draft as a whole. Some teams will reach way to high for a head-scratcher of a pick. One team will get the ‘steal of the draft’. We’ll all comb the internet and sports channels for the draftniks’ grades of each team.
We all know what’s coming, and like Christmas, we can’t wait for it to get here. We’re anxiously anticipating Roger Goodell taking the podium to thunderous boos as he announces the 2016 NFL Draft is underway and the Los Angeles Rams are on the clock.
The themes are the same, only the names will change. We’ll ogle a players’ smoking hot girlfriend. We’ll shake our head at a couple of players’ choices of suits. We’ll see that big name player plummeting down the draft board and keep a curious watch on how far he slides as if rubbernecking at the site of a car crash. We will watch every pick and celebrate the entire three hours like we’ve never seen it before.
Because football, that’s why.
Are YOU ready?
The Greg One
On Thursday, April 28 the NFL Draft will officially be underway from Draft Town in Chicago. I will be there in person, ready to document the twists and turns as I have every season since the Telesco/McCoy era began for the San Diego Chargers in 2013.
There are always great stories to tell for the most casual fan who attends the Draft. The NFL goes out of it’s way to make this three-day weekend a spectacle. They make the stars and legends of the game up front and center and you don’t need a front row seat to meet them.
Personally, I remember the deafening roar of the crowd when the Chargers drafted Manti Te’o. Hot on the heels of the catfish scandal, the roar was half-mocking and half-surprised but it was undoubtedly the loudest roar of draft weekend.
I was fortunate enough to be at the bottom of the stage (with Boltblitz owner and fearless leader Dave ‘BoogaP’ Peters) when the Chargers announced the selection of Jason Verrett in 2014. Verrett, smiling from ear to ear, walked down the steps at the side of the stage. As he reached the bottom of the steps where myself and a handful of other Chargers fans waited he saw me in my powder blue Rivers jersey cheering for him. Verrett walked over and hugged me. I can always say I was the first person aside from the Commissioner to give Jason Verrett his first post-draft hug.
Speaking of the Commissioner, i’ve been able to meet and take photos with Roger Goodell every year. The Commish makes the rounds walking amongst the fans shaking every hand and signing every autograph he can in the time he is allowed. For all the heat he gets (especially when he takes the stage to announce the beginning of the draft festivities and every draft pick for the rest of the first round) he is unflappable, undaunted.
Upon meeting the Commish at the draft last year I told him, “On behalf of Chargers fans everywhere, we want the team to stay in San Diego. Don’t let them move.”
“I’ll do what I can.” was his response to me. Looks like he’s held up his end of the deal so far. The rest is up to the voting public in San Diego County.
As you’ve seen on TV, the Draft is the center of the football universe. You can’t walk down the street without running into a taping of Sportscenter, NFL Network or related program. Running into current NFL stars is easy, the hard part will be recognizing them out of uniform. Vendors troll the streets with free merchandise in tow.
Last season, I ended up in an elevator with the very relieved father of Randy Gregory. Gregory had just been drafted just hours earlier. At the hotel hosting the players I ran into Melvin Gordon three times. He was still showing the same thousand-watt smile he sported on the draft stage and was still sporting the same Chargers lid at 11 p.m. at night.
It was very easy to walk around and get the full draft experience. Everything is centrally located in Chicago in the Draft Town area in downtown Chicago. Almost all the players, coaches and talking heads you see on TV are there for the party as well and we’re all invited to partake.
I sat at a table in a hotel where Chargers great Courtney Hall told tales of his time with the team. I had an interesting chat with former Eagles and Chargers All-Pro Jon Runyan about the potential move to L.A. and how he was enjoying being a politician. Runyan was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (NJ) from January 2011 to January 2015.
Those are just a handful of the many experiences I’ve already enjoyed after three consecutive years of attending the NFL Draft. This will be my fourth year in attendance and I’m excited to see what this year brings. It will never be easier for a sports fan of any major American sports league to rub elbows and talk shop with the guys you see wearing your team’s colors, calling your team’s games or braking down your team’s play than it will be at the NFL Draft.
And did I mention that it costs you nothing to attend? The NFL is selling tickets to the combine now! Take advantage of a rare free opportunity before that changes too!
If you’re a diehard NFL fan, this should be a bucket list item. You won’t regret it!
The Greg One
It is said in football that depth is a must. After all, it is the nature of the beast. Injuries can happen at any time, from mini-camp and training camp, to practice and games. A team HAS to be prepared for that eventuality.
While the San Diego Chargers were bitten by that bug, most often on the offensive side of the ball (particularly the last two seasons), there were stretches where the defense was banged up, as well. The offseason has seen the Bolts part ways with Donald Butler and Kavell Conner. Of the linebackers currently on the roster, half will be second-year players and at least three of them had limited playing time due to injury.
So, what do you do if you are in Tom Telesco’s shoes?
Maybe you look for someone who can fill the bill in the form of Su’a Cravens.
Weight: 225 pounds
40-yard Dash: 4.65 seconds*
Arm size: 32 1/8 inches”**
Hand size: 9 1/2″ inches**
Vertical jump: 30 1/2 inches”*
Broad jump: 114″ inches**
*Pro Day **Combine
The former USC Trojan converted from linebacker to safety late in his college career. Has room to fill out his frame. A natural playmaker, he is instinctive, tough and smart. Aggressive and athletic, a blitzer. Will not hesitate to jump into the mix. Very physical dropping back and does a great job in press coverage. Would be able to hold his own in man coverage against tight ends and wide receivers. Outstanding with his hands. Ability to engage and quickly disengage his blocker.
What could possible be a weakness for Cravens? Well, the fact that many people aren’t sure where to place him on their D could be considered a problem. Being tagged as a tweener could be tough. Linebacker or safety? His speed is not impressive, at all, and his size for the linebacker position may be a problem at the NFL level. Additionally, he struggles to finish plays while defending the run, occasionally taking poor angles. Knowing that he is still learning the linebacker position, it will take him time to adjust to the power and quickness of the pros, especially when thinking about his ability to shed the blocks of NFL offensive lineman.
Su’a Cravens has a great deal of positional flexibility to offer any defense. The rub will be that he would need to go to a team that can take advantage of his ability to shift back and forth between linebacker and safety. Putting in reps on special teams while adjusting to the speed of the NFL — plus having distant cousin Manti Te’o to learn from and encourage him — would be something for the potential draftee to look forward to.
Hearing Su’a Cravens’ name called as the next citizen of San Diego this week during the draft would certainly help the Chargers’ defense.
Thanks for reading!
The United States Court of Appeals has reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension due to his involvement in what has been dubbed #DeflateGate.
What does this have to do with the Chargers? Not too much.
I just wanted a reason to use the Nelson pic.
On Tuesday, the Chargers announced on the team’s official website that they are inviting the public to join them for a signature-gathering event in support of the Citizens’ Initiative.
Here is the official release from the organization:
It’s that time of the year again. We’re less than three weeks away from the 2016 NFL Draft and every talking head in the media is on their ninth mock draft. Not to be left out, The Greg One is back doing what started as a gag and has become a tradition, my Raiders MOCK draft. Bagging on the Raiders never goes out of style and I will lovingly take the opportunity to do so every chance I get.
On that note, let’s take a look at the team that evolution forgot and see who the Raiders will select in the NFL Draft this year:
Round One: The Roman Colosseum
This is probably the most no-brainer pick the Raiders have ever made. They have no long-term lease at any stadium. They were left out of the race for Los Angeles and they have to wait second in line behind the San Diego Chargers for the opportunity to speak to the Rams about moving into Kroenke-World next year.
Why build a stadium when you can draft one, right?! Said Raiders owner Mark Davis, “This is a great opportunity to move into a stadium that is rich in history, was a place where Emperors sat on high and gladiators did battle with lions on the field! Our team will draw from the energy of those warriors and we will win!! I’m excited to bring Raiders football to the fans in Georgia!”
Amidst the raised eyebrows and other team executives chuckling into the elbows of their business suits, a microphone picked up NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent leaning over to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and saying, “He thinks the colosseum is in Rome, Georgia! The Colosseum is in Rome, Italy! It’s decaying stone, no indoor plumbing and structurally unsound…” Said Goodell to Vincent….
Round Two: Jabba The Hut, offensive line.
With this pick the Raiders eliminate the need for a five-man offensive line, saving money for improvements for other parts of the team. Jabba is the offensive line. Huge, bulbous and mean, it will take defensive linemen too long to go around him. As a result, the quarterback will have plenty of time to throw. The only issue to work out in camp will be just how Jabba will snap the ball. More importantly…
Where will the quarterback place his hands?
Round three: Referees
What better way to win a game than with your own referees? The Raiders skewed logic once again seeks to begin trends as they become the first NFL team to draft officials. (And you thought taking a punter in the first round was a bad idea…). Every year the Raiders seek to outdo themselves and it looks like they’ve succeeded.
Round four: The Kardashian sisters, not-so-tight ends
No collective group of women have been responsible for the demise of more athletes and performers than the Kardashian sisters. Also known as “Black man’s kryptonite,” the Kardashians have already emasculated Reggie Bush, Lamar Odom, Ray J, Kanye West, Miles Austin, Nick Cannon, Matt Kemp and James Harden, just to name a few.
The sisters would line up backwards on either side of the line of scrimmage in a two-tight end set with their bulbous asses facing the bulging eyes of the 90% black populous of the NFL. While the opposition stands drooling and hypnotized, the offense will be able to score at will. In return, they save money because the Kardashians will be willing to work for free since they already have more money than the NFL and they will be able to feast on NFL studs every week.
Round five: Mexico
After the one-year lease on O.Co stadium ends after the upcoming season, the Raiders will, again, be without a place to play, so why not draft one? In his interview post-selection, Mark Davis was quoted as saying, “Go big or go home! We did better than drafting one little city, we drafted a whole country, son! Recognize! Avacados and Tequila for everyone! Viva La Mexico! YEEEEHAAAAAAWWW!”
Round Six: The Waterboy, middle linebacker
During the draft, the Raiders war room turned on the TV to watch game film. They saw the story of an inspirational player that destroyed every player on the field in spite of his lack of brains and a speech impediment. This player was so great the fan base only called him by his nickname. The Waterboy. After they picked their jaws up off the floor, they filled out the draft card and high-fived each other until they all got tennis elbow over how the rest of the league missed on this guy…
Round seven: Bill Cosby, equipment manager
Because someone has to man the Gatorade for the visiting team. Why not a well-known celebrity? (He already looks like the man on the helmet). You may not want to expect much from the post-game press conference from the other team though… In other news, the Raiderettes have decided to quit and go to the Jerry Springer show, where they’ll be safe…
There you have it, the 2016 Oakland Raiders MOCK draft. As always, these will be better picks than the Raiders themselves will make. They can feel free to bring me on as an expert scout for an exorbitant fee. I will supervise the Colosseum move myself free of charge.
Rust in pieces, silver and whack….
The Greg One
We here at BoltBlitz.com are preparing to add to our team to ensure the most extensive Chargers’ coverage possible. Although I am always looking to add talented writers, now is the time for us to make a push to bring on as many as 10 people who would like to write about your San Diego Chargers.
If you are interested in being a member of the staff here at BoltBlitz.com, please email me a short writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. These are all unpaid positions as we don’t currently do any advertising or make any money.
We have a very good staff here, but I want to make sure that we are giving our readers as much information and coverage as possible.
I love doing this because it’s really cool to get a chance to read pieces from Chargers fans all over the world. I am really looking forward to talking with all of you and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions that you might have regarding the process. You can also get a hold of me on Twitter, @BoogaPeters, in addition to sending the email.
Thanks in advance for your interest in being a part of a great team.
This gallery contains 2 photos.
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!
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
* NFL type arm
* Goes fluently through his progressions
* Handles blitz well
* High pocket presence
*Second best release in his class
* High football IQ
*Highest potential ceiling at QB
* 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
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.
Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst, is one of my favorite draft prognosticators in the business. He does a solid job of analyzing prospects, giving his full opinion regardless of what those around him believe to be to the contrary.
On Monday, Brugler released a full seven-round mock draft.
You can find the article here.
When looking at his selections for the Chargers, one can get excited at the prospect of adding such quality players.
Below you’ll find Brugler’s draft choices for the Bolts, and his thoughts on their first three selections.
1 (3) – Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
2 (35) – Ryan Kelly, OC, Alabama
3 (66) – Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
4 (102) – Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
5 (175) – Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia
6 (179) – Vincent Valentine, DT, Nebraska
6 (198) – Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma
7 (224) – LeShaun Sims, CB, Southern Utah
|Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss: With Tunsil available, the Chargers have a choice to either help stabilize their offensive line or go after a stud on defense. With Philip Rivers in the final years of his career, San Diego needs to protect him at all costs.|
35. San Diego Chargers
|Ryan Kelly, OC, Alabama: A glaring hole on the roster, Kelly would be a day one starter capable to opening run lanes inside.|
66. San Diego Chargers
|Darian Thompson, S, Boise State: With Eric Weddle in Baltimore, San Diego needs to add depth at safety and develop a future starter.|
The additions of Tunsil and Kelly in the first and second rounds, respectively, would show that the Chargers are done messing around with the revolving door that has become the team’s offensive line. Both players are considered to be the best at their positions, and Tunsil is said to be the best prospect in the entire draft class by many evaluators.
The third-round selection of Thompson would do just as Brugler suggests, providing depth at safety and giving the team an option for a future starter at safety.
After the Bolts watched Ladarius Green leave for Pittsburgh via free agency, the tight end group is a bit of an unknown. Though the team has All-World tight end Antonio Gates, the former undrafted free agent is not getting any younger. The signing of veteran Jeff Cumberland to the position group is clearly not a long-term solution.
With the selection of tight end Nick Vannett, formerly of Ohio State, the Chargers could add their tight end of the future. Vannett has good size and was underused in college. Although his not overly physical as a blocker, he does provide the ability to become a solid pass-catching tight end in the San Diego offense.
Rounding out his draft on behalf of the Bolts, Brugler gives the team four players that can give the team depth and special teams players.
Malcolm Mitchell would come in as an unheralded wideout worthy of attention. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, but multiple knee injuries derailed his collegiate career, to a degree. On a positive note, Mitchell can flat-out fly, running in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash.
Striker of Oklahoma is listed as an outside linebacker, but teams have been working him out as a safety in addition to ‘backer drills. He would become a special teamer as a rookie, working toward getting playing time on defense further down the road in his career.
Overall, I love the idea of beefing up the offensive line via the additions of Tunsil and Kelly. That being said, in Brugler’s mock, defensive back Jalen Ramsey was available for the taking at the No. 3 spot (Any of you who visit this site know of the “draft crush” I have on Ramsey).
Should the draft for the Chargers play out the way that Brugler suggests it will, Bolts fans should be very happy with their draft haul.
Thanks a lot for reading.
Donald Butler, formerly of your San Diego Chargers, still remains a free agent after Tom Telesco cut him earlier this offseason.
In 2014, Butler signed a seven-year deal worth up to $48 million over the life of the contract should he have played out the entire contract.
As reported in 2014 by Ian Rapoport, the Chargers basically signed him to a three-year deal worth up to $20 million with an escape clause of sorts should Butler underperform.
That is exactly what Butler did during his last two seasons with the organization.
Due to his underwhelming performance on the field, Telesco used the team’s 2015 second-round draft choice on former Miami Hurricane inside linebacker Denzel Perryman.
It didn’t take long before Perryman’s play forced the club to get him on the field more often, forcing Butler to the sideline.
The move immediately improved the Chargers’ defense, as Perryman showed he can be one of the building blocks of a young, up-and-coming defensive unit for years to come.
With the NFL draft right around the corner, teams could look to add Butler once the draft concludes.
When healthy — which wasn’t too often — Butler was a serviceable player, capable of making plays here and there. But the former Washington Huskie showed that he was unable to stay healthy, and when he was on the field, his play left a lot to be desired.
The 27-year-old amassed 373 total tackles with seven sacks, 12 passes defensed, three interceptions and five forced fumbles during his time with the Bolts.