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
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.
On Thursday, a blockbuster trade was announced between the Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans. In the deal, the Titans sent their first overall pick (1), and their fourth- and sixth-round picks to St. Louis. In return, the Rams sent Tennessee their first-round selection (15), two second-round picks and a third-round selection in the 2016 draft. In addition, the Rams include their first- and third-round picks in 2017.
Nevermind free agency, this is the best thing to happen to the San Diego Chargers this offseason. This mega-deal comes down to three main points:
1. The Rams are preparing to select their quarterback of the future. They need to continue the momentum from the euphoria of moving back to Los Angeles by adding star power. They need to stay in the news in a city like Los Angeles, which is not starving for sports selections. Every major league sport is now represented in Los Angeles with the return of the NFL. L.A. is about box office. The Rams may have a future star with Rookie of the Year running back Todd Gurley, but if there aren’t enough big names on the marquee, the fickle L.A. audience will forget you sooner rather than later. Adding the top quarterback in the draft will address their biggest need and be another name to add to the marquee.
2. The top two picks in the draft will be quarterbacks. The Cleveland Browns select second in the draft and need a quarterback as badly or worse than the Rams do. North Dakota State signal caller Carson Wentz and California Bear Jared Goff are the consensus top-two quarterback prospects in this draft. They will be the first and second picks, the only question is the order in which they will be selected.
Is it possible the Browns could choose a player other than a quarterback with the second pick?
If the Browns are smart they will stay at two and pick their quarterback. If they were choosing anyone other than a quarterback then wise thing to do would be to trade out of the second spot for a nice boatload of picks like the Titans and add starter-quality players to their decrepit team. Then again, we are putting the Browns and smart in the same sentence. This is, after all, the team that burned the second of their two first-round picks on Johnny Manziel only two drafts ago.
3. San Diego will get the No. 1 player on their draft board. Despite what happens with the Cleveland pick, the odds of anything happening aside from Goff and Wentz going in the first two picks are slim and none. Thankfully, the Chargers do not need a quarterback, meaning they will have their choice of the entire draft field to choose from. With eight picks to use over seven rounds, they not only have the top of each round to select the best player available, they have the maneuverability to re-enter a round to accommodate a player who is falling or trade down for value.
The draft truly begins with the Chargers selection. The pressure is on GM Tom Telesco and his braintrust to not screw up this pick. After being left at the altar by the league in the race to L.A. sweepstakes, and not being able to come to an agreement with Rams owner Stan Krownke on co-habitation of the future L.A. mega-stadium, the Bolts should add Kroenke to their Christmas card list.
This trade assures order at the top of the draft. It assures the Chargers the pick of the litter of non-quarterback skill- position players. It’s assures the Bolts a King’s ransom for those other quarterback-hungry teams wishing to jump ahead of other quarterback-hungry teams sitting in the top half of the draft. (Think San Francisco, Philadelphia and possibly Dallas sitting at picks 7, 13 and 4, respectively).
The ball sits in the Bolts’ court. Who should they give it to? Leave your thoughts on whom they should select below.
The Greg One
When 80% of the league shows up to see you work out, that’s a good thing. For quarterback Paxton Lynch, formerly of the Memphis Tigers, that was the case on Wednesday. At his Pro Day workout, 26 of the 32 NFL teams had representatives present.
That’s a good problem to have.
Lynch is widely regarded as the third-best quarterback prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft behind University of California stud Jared Goff and North Dakota State University signal caller Carson Wentz.
Per ESPN, Lynchs’ Pro day workout consisted of 70 scripted passes, of which only 10 were scheduled to be from the shotgun formation. Lynch operated from shotgun his entire tenure at Memphis. In eschewing the shotgun, Lynch intended to show he can effectively run a pro-style offense which requires operating predominantly from under center.
Lynch held his workout outdoors with thunderstorms on the horizon, causing the workout to be moved up 45 minutes. In the elements, most particularly 25-mile-per-hour swirling winds, he completed 57 of his 69 attempts. Lynch’s agent, the legendary Leigh Steinberg, described the workout as “pretty spectacular.”
What else would you expect an agent to say?
However, the fact Lynch did not cancel his workout given his throwing conditions speaks volumes. Conditions like that are going to happen in the NFL. His ability to hit those passes only increases his draft stock. Lynch will be given a pass for his missed passes but will be given extra credit due to his accuracy. It’s a brilliant play from what looks to be a very intelligent, well-prepared quarterback.
Now the hard part begins.
Those 26 teams are going to want to see Lynch in person and put him through their own drills. That brings us to this nugget from NFL Insider Ian Rapoport:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 6, 2016
Would the San Diego Chargers seriously consider tapping Lynch in the NFL Draft? The Chargers still have a lot of holes to fill, but the role of heir apparent to Philip Rivers has been a role that has been largely ignored. The Bolts would have to use their second-round pick, technically pick number 34 since New England was docked a first-round draft pick due to the Deflategate scandal, to pick Lynch.
That’s a pretty high investment for a player who will only see the field in the preseason. But the question remains, is it worth it?
Per NFL.com, Lynch stands an imposing 6-foot-7, 244 lbs., boasts a 36-inch vertical jump and 118-inch broad jump (best among all QBs) while running the 40-yard dash in 4.86 seconds. Lynch has the size, strength, mobility and, most importantly, the time to watch and learn from a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback in Philip Rivers. Rivers himself sat and learned from Drew Brees for two seasons until it was his time to take the reigns in San Diego. Lynch would find himself coming into an identical situation. Check out these clips from his Pro Day:
— Trotter (@Corran24) April 6, 2016
— NFL (@NFL) April 6, 2016
Still don’t think Tom Telesco would pull the trigger on a quarterback so early? Consider this fact. New Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was at the Pro Day and he specifically asked Lynch to throw specific routes during the workout. Chargers management is looking to answer the dilemma of life after Rivers and they know Kellen Clemens is not the answer.
The Chargers have eight draft picks to use in seven rounds. Plenty of moves could still be made, even if they do take Lynch at the top of the second round.
Options in play include packaging picks to move into the second round for a second time. We all know how GM Tom Telesco likes to trade up by now…
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. A second-round pick is paying a lot, but the return could be greater than the investment, in the end. It’s time to fill the potential starter role once and for all, and this is a great place to start. This move would get my full support.
Would you endorse the Chargers drafting Paxton Lynch in the second round? Leave your thoughts below.
The Greg One
The 2016 NFL draft is just over two months away, while the NFL Combine is now only three days from Tuesday.
It goes without saying that NFL organizations are putting in serious overtime to prepare their draft boards in hopes of adding the necessary pieces to improve their teams.
After a seriously disappointing campaign in 2015, the San Diego Chargers secured the third selection of the first round in this year’s draft, finishing with a dismal record of 4-12.
With so many holes all over the roster, the Bolts are in a position to draft the best player available with each of their selections — especially in the first round.
Media pundits everywhere have prognosticated the Chargers drafting a number of players in the first. Having such a high position is a luxury earned by playing terrible football the previous year.
There are a number of players to be drafted by the Bolts who could come in day one and make an immediate impact. Names like Joey Bosa, Jalen Ramsey, Laremy Tunsil, Carson Wentz and Robert Nkemdiche have all been floated around when discussing the first-round options for San Diego.
Due to the aforementioned holes on the roster, general manager Tom Telesco could be looking to move down in the first round, securing additional picks to supplement a team that needs improvement in several areas.
So, I leave it to you, Chargers fans: Which player would you like to see the Chargers elect in the first round?
Below is a poll and you know the drill. Place your vote and then leave a comment supporting why you voted the way you did.
Thanks in advance for reading and voting.
I look forward to your feedback.
P.S. My vote is for Jalen Ramsey.