Eddie Brown III

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Articles from Chargers.com:

 

Articles from ESPN.com:

 

Articles from The San Diego Union-Tribune:

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Chargers.com provides links to their top-five most viewed article this offseason.

 

Eddie Brown of The San Diego Union-Tribune talks about Ladarius Green’s chance to step it up.

 

ESPN.com NFL Insider Matt Williamson gives his take on what to expect from the Chargers’ offensive line in 2015.

 

Eric Williams, also of ESPN.com, has two articles for your reading pleasure:

Williams believes that Philip Rivers is one of the top-three impact players in the AFC West

He also expects to see Jerry Attaochu’s defensive numbers go up with more opportunities

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Eddie Brown III of UT San Diego posts a full 3-round mock draft.

 

Chargers.com writes about the hiring of Mike Nolan to replace Joe Barry as San Diego’s LBer coach.

 

Kevin Acee of UT San Diego talks about LaDainian Tomlinson’s comments about San Diego pursuing Adrian Peterson.

 

Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com profiles the 2015 tight end position for the Chargers.

 

Derek Togerson of NBC San Diego interviews offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles.

 

Fanspeak.com came up with a unique simulator for the 2015 NFL free agency period.

 

Stay tuned for my interviews with Gene Cubbison of NBC San Diego, NFL linebacker Thomas Keiser and Charger offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles in the next week or so.

 

 

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Welcome to the second annual meeting of the minds between myself and draft extraordinaire, Eddie Brown III of UT San Diego. Eddie was kind enough to sit down and talk draft with us again.  I asked Mr. Brown some questions and even had him critique the second edition of my 7 round Chargers mock draft.

Let’s get right to it!

 

Eddie: Big ups, Bolt Fam! In case you missed last year, my name is Eddie Brown. I’m U-T San Diego’s resident NFL Draft/Fantasy Sports guy. I also author The Cure page in every Monday’s sports section. You can tweet at me @UTEddieBrown. I’m in my 11th year as a journalist – six with the U-T – and sports is like air for me.  I need it to survive.  Tacos are my favorite food, and I enjoy a good scotch, but extra dirty martinis with three olives are closing the gap. I’m becoming refined in my old age (I’m 33) .  Enough about me, let’s do this BoogaP!

 

1)  With the draft being about a month away, is there any talk around Chargers Park regarding a specific player or position that will be addressed in the first round?

Eddie:  It sounds like they’re focusing on cornerbacks, defensive lineman and receivers with most of their visits, but for obvious reasons, they’re keeping it close to the vest.

2)  San Diego’s need at cornerback is obvious to even the most novice of fans.  Is there going to be a cornerback available at 25 that you believe would fit nicely in John Pagano’s defense?

Eddie:  My top two cornerbacks will be long gone – Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert and Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard – and Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller goes to Cincinnati at No. 24 in my current Mock Draft. (Shameless plug alert! My Mock Draft – currently through five rounds – is updated every Wednesday at UTSanDiego.com.) Fuller’s physicality would play well in Pagano’s system. Personally, if those three are gone, I’d address the pass rush, and wait until the second round for a corner.

3)  The Chargers are currently returning all 5 starters on the offensive line from 2013.  That being said, I feel like the Jeromey Clary cap number must be dealt with prior to the draft, and, perhaps, as soon as possible.  Is there an interior lineman in the draft that you feel could step in and contribute immediately as a starter?

Eddie:  Certainly. I’m a big fan of Baylor’s Cyril Richardson and Clemson’s Brandon Thomas. Both will likely be around in the third round. Both will play guard in the NFL, but are versatile enough to play tackle. Another issue they could address is the future of the center position. Nick Hardwick came really close to retiring this offseason. I’ll be surprised if he returns after next season. There are six really good center prospects in this draft: Colorado State’s Weston Richburg, USC’s Marcus Martin, Arkansas’ Travis Swanson, Florida State’s Bryan Stork, Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard and Utah State’s Tyler Larsen. Ikard and Larsen could likely be had after the fifth round. All could help at guard until Hardwick decides to call it quits.

4)  After having what many consider to be a very successful haul in last year’s draft, is there any additional pressure on Tom Telesco to replicate last year’s success?  Or does the organization believe that last year was a bit of an exception?

Brown:  Quite frankly, I believe I’m in the minority in saying while Telesco’s first draft was a success, it could have been even better, and I plan on writing about it before Draft Day. There’s always significant pressure on general managers to have successful drafts, so I don’t believe there’s any added pressure after you hit one out of the park. In fact, successful drafts end up buying GMs more time. A.J. Smith essentially had one great draft (his first one), and he milked that for all it was worth.

5)  Of all the collegiate players that I have watched at least 4 games on, Kyle Van Noy is one of my favorite prospects coming out.  Van Noy looks to me like the epitome of a “football player.”  He doesn’t do anything spectacularly, doesn’t have great measurables and yet he is all over the field making plays.  Give us your scouting report of Van Noy.

Eddie:  First off, he has deceptive speed. He’s an absolute nuisance off the edge as a pass rusher. He’s naturally instinctive, which allows him to play faster than he actually is. He’s the definition of a “playmaker.” My one knock on him is his pass coverage. He’s decent in zone, but coaches will have to work with him in man. Overall, he’ll likely go in the second round, and would be the perfect OLB in a 3-4 or SAM in a 4-3.

6)  Back to the Oline.  When healthy and in the lineup, King Dunlap played admirably and graded out pretty well. DJ Fluker was very good for a rookie.  Has there been any talk of drafting a tackle of the future to replace Dunlap?

Eddie:  I don’t believe so. I think they were pleased with the performances they received last season with the group they have.

7)  Last night I posted the 2nd edition of my Chargers 7 round mock draft.  It certainly generated quite a bit of debate on multiple social media platforms.  So, I leave it to you.  Tear it up!  Tell the readers what YOU think of my selections.

Eddie:  Having updated a Mock Draft every week from December through May, you have my sympathies. :) Kevin Acee gave me some great advice: “Don’t read the comments.” Ha!

Your first round selection of LSU’ Odell Beckham, Jr. is inspired. He would certainly add an element to Chargers offense they currently don’t possess. Howeva! (Stephen A. Smith voice) This draft is ridiculously deep at wideout. Why not address the corner issue or a weak pass rush, and grab a guy like Oregon’s Josh Huff in the third or fourth round?

I dig your next two picks (Center Marcus Martin and cornerback Pierre Desir). I’ve already mentioned Martin, and I actually have the Chargers taking Desir in the second round. That’s how big of a fan of his I am. Big frame, athletic and a hard worker who paid his way through school.

Your fourth round selection, Wyoming QB Brett Smith, is inspired as well. It looks like you have the Chargers future in mind with this draft, but I don’t think their brass is thinking that far ahead. The signing of Kellen Clemens was solid as well. They’re in win-now/catch Denver mode.

You have them drafting a nose tackle in the fifth round. I personally believe that has to be addressed on the first or second day. Having said that, La Tech’s Justin Ellis is a fine prospect at the position if they wait until the final day of the draft.

Your sixth round selection, Indiana WR Cody Latimer, is expected to visit with the team before the draft. He’s a great value this late, but if there’s a position they should double up on, it’s cornerback.

Your final pick, Oregon DE Taylor Hart, is solid as well. This team needs as many pass rushers as they can stockpile.

8)  It goes without saying that drafting Keenan Allen in the third round last year worked out just fine.  The issue is at the other starting wide receiver spot opposite of Allen.  With Malcom Floyd’s return in serious doubt and the disappointing season of Vincent Brown, where do you see the Chargers drafting a wide receiver come May’s draft?  Or do they wait and give Brown another shot?

Eddie:  They definitely need to draft receiver, and I think they can push it until the third or fourth round. Players like South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington, LSU’s Jarvis Landry, Wyoming’s Robert Herron, Oregon’s Huff, Texas’ Mike Davis or Notre Dame’s TJ Jones would all be solid opposite Allen. I also believe Brown will be better this upcoming season, another season removed from injury.

9)  The importance of having a quality nose tackle in a 3-4 defense cannot be overstated.  Play at this spot has suffered for quite some time, save Aubrayo Franklin’s short stint with the team.  Talk a little bit about the prospects that will fit in San Diego.  ( Maybe 3 NTs and where they’ll be drafted)

Eddie:  I currently have the Chargers taking Notre Dame’s Louis Nix at No. 25. If Nix sneaks past the Chicago(No. 14)-Pittsburgh (No. 15)-Dallas (No. 16) corridor of the first round, there’s a good chance he falls there. He’s a Top 5 talent who had a subpar season at South Bend, mostly due to injury, but adding a big man like him can have ripple effects throughout the rest of your defense (See: Lotulelei, Star in Carolina). I also like Penn State’s DaQuan Jones (2nd or 3rd round), La Tech’s Ellis (4th or 5th) and Princeton’s Caraun Reid (5th). Reid, especially, is being overlooked because he played in the Ivy League, but almost no tape exists where he’s not being double and triple-teamed.

10)  And lastly, we missed you last year at the draft.  What are the chances of the UT ponying up some dough and sending you to NYC?  We’d love to meet up with you and talk shop in person.

Eddie:  Unfortunately, the chances lie somewhere between San Diego erecting a statue of Norv Turner outside of the Chargers new stadium, and the Padres outspending the Dodgers in free agency. Maybe if the my Mock Draft continues being the No. 1 post on our website, eventually, they’ll wear down J However, someday, we will have to do this in person. Until then, it’s always a pleasure!

 

There you have it.  I’d like to thank Eddie for taking the time to do this interview.  He is a great friend of BoltBLitz and his insight is always appreciated.  Be sure to keep an eye out for all of his work on the UT San Diego.  You can also follow him on Twitter @UTEddieBrown.

 

 

Booga Peters

As some of you may recall, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eddie Brown III of UT San Diego prior to this year’s NFL draft.  Now that the draft has come and gone, I decided to ask if we could do a post-draft interview.  Eddie agreed and I can’t wait to share his insight with all of the #BoltFam.

Below is the full interview.  Eddie answered every question I submitted and I am very thankful for that.

Let’s do this!  Enjoy.

 

 

The Chargers were desperately in need of help on the offensive line.  That being said, were you at all surprised with the selection of DJ Fluker at 11?

 

I wouldn’t use the word surprised. Fluker is someone the U-T’s Kevin Acee had them taking when I presented him with the possibility the Top 5 offensive lineman (Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson, Warmack and Cooper) could conceivably be off the board. I had Fluker going in the 18-21 range, so the Chargers taking him at No. 11 didn’t sit well with me.

 

Do you feel they would have been better served to trade down in the first and, in your opinion,  could they still have landed Fluker?

 

I do. I can’t imagine the pick lacked suitors with someone like Star Lotulelei still available. The heart issue was settled, and he’s probably the top overall pick if it never happens. I wrote going into the draft the Chargers needed help at several positions, not just left tackle. The fact they didn’t even draft a left tackle with their first pick, a potential reach, still baffles me, especially with someone of Lotulelei’s caliber still available.

 

Trading down was the best call, especially with the Dolphins having already traded up. The next team who had offensive line as a top priority were the Cowboys at No. 18, who coincidently ended up trading their pick to the 49ers. The Chargers could have certainly bluffed the Panthers (Lotulelei) or the Saints (Kenny Vaccaro) into believing they would take their player if they didn’t make a move. I have a hard time believing GM Tom Telesco had Fluker ahead of Lotulelei on his draft board – as he said – regardless of need. That would call the Chargers’ draft board into serious question.

 

During the draft, the biggest roar in Radio City Music Hall was when Manti Te’o was selected.  What were your initial thoughts about the Chargers trading up for him?

 

I believe, psychologically, it will play a big role in helping Te’o overcome his recent issues. The idea, that after all he’d been through, an NFL team wanted him enough to trade up and get him could prove very powerful. The one issue I had was they needed more picks, not fewer. They simply weren’t in a position to sacrifice a pick for someone like Te’o, considering there were other inside linebackers who graded about the same, available where they originally drafted, i.e. Kevin Minter, Kiko Alonso and Jon Bostic. Not to mention, two left tackles – Menelik Watson and Terron Armstead – were available as well.

 

Not having a fourth round pick in this draft could come back to haunt them. The best values in this draft were had in the third and fourth rounds. Grabbing a Shamarko Thomas (a future star in my opinion) to play next to Eric Weddle would have been a boon. Thomas went one selection after the Chargers would have picked. Or what about Barrett Jones, who could play all five positions on the offensive line? Johnathan Franklin would have been the perfect tailback to challenge Ryan Mathews, and John Simon could have replaced Shaun Phillips. All of these players were absolute steals in the fourth round.

 

Speaking of Te’o, despite numerous awards and accolades throughout college, there are still concerns about him only being a two-down linebacker and his inability to shed blocks.  Are these things being discussed around Chargers Park?  Or are they higher on him in these areas than some other teams?

 

They believe he can play all three downs, but they’re also realistic about him needing protection. Honestly, he wouldn’t be the first inside linebacker who was better with a mammoth nose tackle clogging up the middle. Haloti Ngata certainly made things easier for Ray Lewis.

 

I feel like they have this covered with starting nose tackle Cam Thomas and Kwame Geathers, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia. It wouldn’t surprise me if Geathers eventually replaces Thomas or at least earns more time on the field. He’s a 6-foot-6, 342-pound monster, who’s quite nimble on his feet. As far as the skills we can’t question about Te’o: his football instincts are second to none, and his effort never wanes.

 

The drafting of Keenan Allen in the third round was a great move for the Chargers.  How surprised were you that he fell that far?  What are the team’s expectations for him in year one?

 

Here I was surprised. I had Allen falling into the second round, but never conceived he would fall this far. I imagine he’ll be competing for a starting spot in year one. I’ll say this much: Adding Allen to a healthy Danario Alexander and Vincent Brown give the Chargers three young, extremely athletic playmakers at the position. That’s not even counting Malcom Floyd or Antonio Gates. Assuming Philip Rivers is upright more – not a given considering they still don’t have a left tackle – the Chargers passing game could be one of the more explosive aerial assaults in the NFL.

 

Are there any concerns about the supposed failed drug test(s) by Allen?  Additionally, was the fact that he was still injured the reason why his forty time was only 4.71?

 

Trust me, failed drug tests, especially if we’re dealing with marijuana, are not a concern to most NFL teams. Talent will win out every time. Just look at Tyrann Mathieu. I believe Allen’s injury did play a role in his forty time. Fully healthy, he’s more of a 4.5 guy. Regardless, Anquan Boldin ran a similar time and he turned out great. Allen actually reminds me of Boldin a little.

 

I like the speed and ball skills of Steve Williams.  What has the team said about him and what were your thoughts on him going into the draft?

 

For his size, Williams can leap tall buildings in a single bound. There’s no questioning the kid’s athleticism. The Chargers are likely going to give him the opportunity to be the nickel back year one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him utilized in the return game either.

 

I was high on Williams and his teammate at Cal, Marc Anthony. I feel Anthony has the higher ceiling, and it surprised me he dropped to the seventh round, although he was selected by the Ravens, which means he’ll likely be an All-Pro someday. Williams matches up well with the guys he’ll be covering in the division: Wes Welker, Dexter McCluster, etc.

 

The Chargers drafted Tourek Williams in the 6th round.  What is it about his game that will allow for a smooth transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker?

 

I’m not sure the transition will be smooth, but he certainly has certain attributes you require in a 3-4 outside linebacker. He was very athletic for a defensive end. His speed and agility should easily translate to the NFL. I know Telesco digs his motor. The fact is he’s a natural pass rusher, and with the loss of Phillips to Denver, he’ll have every opportunity to step in and fill that need.

 

What did the Chargers see in Brad Sorensen that made him the selection in the 7th?  Did you see any signs of the team taking a quarterback that late in the draft?

 

Early on in the process, I thought they might take a quarterback late. Although, Sorenson was one of the guys I imagined would be a good fit (the other was Duke’s Sean Renfree) considering he’s showcased a great command of the pocket and a very strong arm, the pick surprised me a little.

 

First off, Tyler Bray and Matt Scott were still available. Mind you, Bray apparently is ignorant when it comes to reading a playbook, but I believe Scott could easily be the starter in Jacksonville by the end of next season. Secondly, they entered this draft needing to sure up the offensive line, and they only select one (not even a left tackle). As far as Sorensen is concerned, his size and arm strength are proto-typical.

 

Was there a player on the board when the Bolts were on the clock, in any round, that you were sure the Chargers were going to take?

 

When they traded up in the second, I initially thought it was for Watson or Armstead. Locking in your two tackles for the next decade wouldn’t have been a bad way to start this draft. Everyone in the newsroom were certain they would have selected Armstead in the third if the Saints wouldn’t have snatched him right before they selected.

 

Which player was your favorite selection of San Diego’s draft?

 

Keenan Allen. No question. It was the one clear circumstance where I was positive they were selecting the best player available.

 

Which Charger draft pick do you believe could be the sleeper of the class?

 

Steve Williams. I know he’s small for the position, but his speed and athleticism make him a dynamic player, and it’s been a while since the Chargers had a dynamic cornerback. Both Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason were serviceable.

 

Which team do you think had the best draft class?

 

The 49ers. I believe they drafted a future starter with their first six selections. Many of them will contribute year one. Runners Up: The Vikings and Rams.

 

Were you surprised that EJ Manuel was the first quarterback taken?  Were you surprised that Geno Smith did not go in the first round?

 

I was surprised about Manuel. I believe that speaks to how poor this quarterback class was. Most of us who mocked this draft for months found it hard to place quarterbacks in the first round, because it honestly didn’t make sense for any of them to be drafted there, but were forced to because everyone knew certain teams, against better judgment, would take one anyways. If there was a QB who “deserved” to be selected in the first round, it was Smith. He had an outstanding collegiate career and aced all of the tests leading up to the draft.

 

The Chargers said that DJ Fluker was the highest rated player available on their board when they picked at 11.  Do you have any idea if Tavon Austin was on that list?

 

I wasn’t privy to their board, but I have to imagine Austin was high. Once again, I can’t imagine why they had Fluker over Lotulelei. I understand the “need” aspect, but a board should be about who’s a better player, not a team’s needs. Obviously, teams don’t always draft the best player available because of needs, but at very least the board should represent their scouting process.

 

Although it is extremely premature, if you were to grade the Chargers 2013 draft, what grade would you give it?

 

I’d give it somewhere between a C+ and B-. I thought it was lazy most of the media gave them high marks based on them landing three players who were rated as first round picks at some point in the process. Fluker will be a solid player, but I’m not positive his best position isn’t even at guard, let alone right tackle. He’s definitely not a left tackle. He’s a mauler nonetheless. As long as they have BIGS upfront protecting Te’o, he’s capable of making a few Pro Bowls, and Allen could end up being their No. 1 wideout.

 

My main issue lies with the final day. They needed more picks, and they ended up using fewer picks then what they started with. Not having a fourth rounder caused them to miss out on some of the best values this draft had to offer, and while I see promise in S. Williams, T. Williams and Sorensen, at least one of those picks needed to be an offensive lineman. Regardless, I see more promise in this regime, than I witnessed over the past few years of the previous regime.

 

Could you please tell everyone where we can find your work and what you’ll be doing with UT San Diego now that the draft has come and gone?

 

You can always find my stuff at utsandiego.com/sports. Most of my stuff is under the Fantasy Sports heading (I admit, our website isn’t the easiest to navigate), because I’m trying to build that up at the U-T. The draft kept me from attacking baseball properly, but you can expect me to start cranking fantasy content out now that I’ve had a breather. When football season starts, my draft stuff will kick back into high gear and I’ll be able to help anyone with their fantasy football needs. You can also follow me @UTEddieBrown on Twitter. I dig the interaction.

 

I’d once again like to thank BoogaP for having me. BoltBlitz.com is a righteous website. Count me as a fan. #BoltFamRocks

 

My thanks go out to Eddie for taking the time to do another interview with me for BoltBlitz.com.  Be sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his stuff on UT San Diego.

If you have any questions regarding this interview, feel free to leave them below in the comment section

 

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

BoltUp!!!

 

BoogaP

As some of you may recall, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eddie Brown III of UT San Diego prior to this year’s NFL draft.  Now that the draft has come and gone, I decided to ask if we could do a post-draft interview.  Eddie agreed and the I can’t wait to share his insight with all of the #BoltFam.

Below is the full interview.  Eddie answered every single question I submitted and I am very thankful for that.

Let’s do this!  Enjoy.

 

 

The Chargers were desperately in need of help on the offensive line.  That being said, were you at all surprised with the selection of DJ Fluker at 11?

 

I wouldn’t use the word surprised. Fluker is someone the U-T’s Kevin Acee had them taking when I presented him with the possibility the Top 5 offensive lineman (Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson, Warmack and Cooper) could conceivably be off the board. I had Fluker going in the 18-21 range, so the Chargers taking him at No. 11 didn’t sit well with me.

 

Do you feel they would have been better served to trade down in the first and, in your opinion,  could they still have landed Fluker?

 

I do. I can’t imagine the pick lacked suitors with someone like Star Lotulelei still available. The heart issue was settled, and he’s probably the top overall pick if it never happens. I wrote going into the draft the Chargers needed help at several positions, not just left tackle. The fact they didn’t even draft a left tackle with their first pick, a potential reach, still baffles me, especially with someone of Lotulelei’s caliber still available.

 

Trading down was the best call, especially with the Dolphins having already traded up. The next team who had offensive line as a top priority were the Cowboys at No. 18, who coincidently ended up trading their pick to the 49ers. The Chargers could have certainly bluffed the Panthers (Lotulelei) or the Saints (Kenny Vaccaro) into believing they would take their player if they didn’t make a move. I have a hard time believing GM Tom Telesco had Fluker ahead of Lotulelei on his draft board – as he said – regardless of need. That would call the Chargers’ draft board into serious question.

 

During the draft, the biggest roar in Radio City Music Hall was when Manti Te’o was selected.  What were your initial thoughts about the Chargers trading up for him?

 

I believe, psychologically, it will play a big role in helping Te’o overcome his recent issues. The idea, that after all he’d been through, an NFL team wanted him enough to trade up and get him could prove very powerful. The one issue I had was they needed more picks, not fewer. They simply weren’t in a position to sacrifice a pick for someone like Te’o, considering there were other inside linebackers who graded about the same, available where they originally drafted, i.e. Kevin Minter, Kiko Alonso and Jon Bostic. Not to mention, two left tackles – Menelik Watson and Terron Armstead – were available as well.

 

Not having a fourth round pick in this draft could come back to haunt them. The best values in this draft were had in the third and fourth rounds. Grabbing a Shamarko Thomas (a future star in my opinion) to play next to Eric Weddle would have been a boon. Thomas went one selection after the Chargers would have picked. Or what about Barrett Jones, who could play all five positions on the offensive line? Johnathan Franklin would have been the perfect tailback to challenge Ryan Mathews, and John Simon could have replaced Shaun Phillips. All of these players were absolute steals in the fourth round.

 

Speaking of Te’o, despite numerous awards and accolades throughout college, there are still concerns about him only being a two-down linebacker and his inability to shed blocks.  Are these things being discussed around Chargers Park?  Or are they higher on him in these areas than some other teams?

 

They believe he can play all three downs, but they’re also realistic about him needing protection. Honestly, he wouldn’t be the first inside linebacker who was better with a mammoth nose tackle clogging up the middle. Haloti Ngata certainly made things easier for Ray Lewis.

 

I feel like they have this covered with starting nose tackle Cam Thomas and Kwame Geathers, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia. It wouldn’t surprise me if Geathers eventually replaces Thomas or at least earns more time on the field. He’s a 6-foot-6, 342-pound monster, who’s quite nimble on his feet. As far as the skills we can’t question about Te’o: his football instincts are second to none, and his effort never wanes.

 

The drafting of Keenan Allen in the third round was a great move for the Chargers.  How surprised were you that he fell that far?  What are the team’s expectations for him in year one?

 

Here I was surprised. I had Allen falling into the second round, but never conceived he would fall this far. I imagine he’ll be competing for a starting spot in year one. I’ll say this much: Adding Allen to a healthy Danario Alexander and Vincent Brown give the Chargers three young, extremely athletic playmakers at the position. That’s not even counting Malcom Floyd or Antonio Gates. Assuming Philip Rivers is upright more – not a given considering they still don’t have a left tackle – the Chargers passing game could be one of the more explosive aerial assaults in the NFL.

 

Are there any concerns about the supposed failed drug test(s) by Allen?  Additionally, was the fact that he was still injured the reason why his forty time was only 4.71?

 

Trust me, failed drug tests, especially if we’re dealing with marijuana, are not a concern to most NFL teams. Talent will win out every time. Just look at Tyrann Mathieu. I believe Allen’s injury did play a role in his forty time. Fully healthy, he’s more of a 4.5 guy. Regardless, Anquan Boldin ran a similar time and he turned out great. Allen actually reminds me of Boldin a little.

 

I like the speed and ball skills of Steve Williams.  What has the team said about him and what were your thoughts on him going into the draft?

 

For his size, Williams can leap tall buildings in a single bound. There’s no questioning the kid’s athleticism. The Chargers are likely going to give him the opportunity to be the nickel back year one, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him utilized in the return game either.

 

I was high on Williams and his teammate at Cal, Marc Anthony. I feel Anthony has the higher ceiling, and it surprised me he dropped to the seventh round, although he was selected by the Ravens, which means he’ll likely be an All-Pro someday. Williams matches up well with the guys he’ll be covering in the division: Wes Welker, Dexter McCluster, etc.

 

The Chargers drafted Tourek Williams in the 6th round.  What is it about his game that will allow for a smooth transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker?

 

I’m not sure the transition will be smooth, but he certainly has certain attributes you require in a 3-4 outside linebacker. He was very athletic for a defensive end. His speed and agility should easily translate to the NFL. I know Telesco digs his motor. The fact is he’s a natural pass rusher, and with the loss of Phillips to Denver, he’ll have every opportunity to step in and fill that need.

 

What did the Chargers see in Brad Sorensen that made him the selection in the 7th?  Did you see any signs of the team taking a quarterback that late in the draft?

 

Early on in the process, I thought they might take a quarterback late. Although, Sorenson was one of the guys I imagined would be a good fit (the other was Duke’s Sean Renfree) considering he’s showcased a great command of the pocket and a very strong arm, the pick surprised me a little.

 

First off, Tyler Bray and Matt Scott were still available. Mind you, Bray apparently is ignorant when it comes to reading a playbook, but I believe Scott could easily be the starter in Jacksonville by the end of next season. Secondly, they entered this draft needing to sure up the offensive line, and they only select one (not even a left tackle). As far as Sorensen is concerned, his size and arm strength are proto-typical.

 

Was there a player on the board when the Bolts were on the clock, in any round, that you were sure the Chargers were going to take?

 

When they traded up in the second, I initially thought it was for Watson or Armstead. Locking in your two tackles for the next decade wouldn’t have been a bad way to start this draft. Everyone in the newsroom were certain they would have selected Armstead in the third if the Saints wouldn’t have snatched him right before they selected.

 

Which player was your favorite selection of San Diego’s draft?

 

Keenan Allen. No question. It was the one clear circumstance where I was positive they were selecting the best player available.

 

Which Charger draft pick do you believe could be the sleeper of the class?

 

Steve Williams. I know he’s small for the position, but his speed and athleticism make him a dynamic player, and it’s been a while since the Chargers had a dynamic cornerback. Both Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason were serviceable.

 

Which team do you think had the best draft class?

 

The 49ers. I believe they drafted a future starter with their first six selections. Many of them will contribute year one. Runners Up: The Vikings and Rams.

 

Were you surprised that EJ Manuel was the first quarterback taken?  Were you surprised that Geno Smith did not go in the first round?

 

I was surprised about Manuel. I believe that speaks to how poor this quarterback class was. Most of us who mocked this draft for months found it hard to place quarterbacks in the first round, because it honestly didn’t make sense for any of them to be drafted there, but were forced to because everyone knew certain teams, against better judgment, would take one anyways. If there was a QB who “deserved” to be selected in the first round, it was Smith. He had an outstanding collegiate career and aced all of the tests leading up to the draft.

 

The Chargers said that DJ Fluker was the highest rated player available on their board when they picked at 11.  Do you have any idea if Tavon Austin was on that list?

 

I wasn’t privy to their board, but I have to imagine Austin was high. Once again, I can’t imagine why they had Fluker over Lotulelei. I understand the “need” aspect, but a board should be about who’s a better player, not a team’s needs. Obviously, teams don’t always draft the best player available because of needs, but at very least the board should represent their scouting process.

 

Although it is extremely premature, if you were to grade the Chargers 2013 draft, what grade would you give it?

 

I’d give it somewhere between a C+ and B-. I thought it was lazy most of the media gave them high marks based on them landing three players who were rated as first round picks at some point in the process. Fluker will be a solid player, but I’m not positive his best position isn’t even at guard, let alone right tackle. He’s definitely not a left tackle. He’s a mauler nonetheless. As long as they have BIGS upfront protecting Te’o, he’s capable of making a few Pro Bowls, and Allen could end up being their No. 1 wideout.

 

My main issue lies with the final day. They needed more picks, and they ended up using fewer picks then what they started with. Not having a fourth rounder caused them to miss out on some of the best values this draft had to offer, and while I see promise in S. Williams, T. Williams and Sorensen, at least one of those picks needed to be an offensive lineman. Regardless, I see more promise in this regime, than I witnessed over the past few years of the previous regime.

 

Could you please tell everyone where we can find your work and what you’ll be doing with UT San Diego now that the draft has come and gone?

 

You can always find my stuff at utsandiego.com/sports. Most of my stuff is under the Fantasy Sports heading (I admit, our website isn’t the easiest to navigate), because I’m trying to build that up at the U-T. The draft kept me from attacking baseball properly, but you can expect me to start cranking fantasy content out now that I’ve had a breather. When football season starts, my draft stuff will kick back into high gear and I’ll be able to help anyone with their fantasy football needs. You can also follow me @UTEddieBrown on Twitter. I dig the interaction.

 

I’d once again like to thank BoogaP for having me. BoltBlitz.com is a righteous website. Count me as a fan. #BoltFamRocks

 

My thanks go out to Eddie for taking the time to do another interview with me for BoltBlitz.com.  Be sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his stuff on UT San Diego.

If you have any questions regarding this interview, feel free to leave them below in the comment section

 

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

 

BoltUp!!!

 

BoogaP

 

 

Draft

It is my pleasure to share with you my exclusive draft interview with Eddie Brown of UT San Diego.  I took a chance by asking him for the interview and he enthusiastically accepted.  I made sure to do my best to ask questions that I thought the majority of the BoltFam would have asked if they were in my position.

I did not take it easy on him, as you will soon find out for yourself.  He provides an inside look at the draft.  The insight he has provided, in addition to this opportunity, is something that I will not take for granted.  Eddie comes across as a cool cat that really knows his stuff.  Without further ado, here’s my interview with Eddie Brown.

BIO

Big ups, Bolt Fam! My name is Eddie Brown. I’m U-T San Diego’s resident NFL Draft/Fantasy Sports guy.  I’m in my 10th year as a journalist – five with the U-T – and sports is like air for me.  I need it to survive.  Tacos are my favorite food, and I enjoy a good scotch.  Enough about me, let’s do this BoogaP!

1)  Despite the recent free agent acquisitions on the offensive line, is there any chance of the team not taking an offensive lineman at #11?

As Lloyd said in Dumb and Dumber, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?” Sure there’s a chance, but at this point, I’d say it’s highly unlikely.

There are two lines of thought that lead them to taking a position other than tackle or guard at No. 11.  If Dee Milliner falls there (this isn’t happening) or if they become enamored with a pass rusher like Barkevious Mingo, Ezekiel Ansah, Dion Jordan (likely won’t be there), Jarvis Jones (shouldn’t be there) or Damontre Moore.

They’d only do this if they believe they can still get a decent tackle in the second or third round (they can, the position is very deep) and they want to pair someone with Melvin Ingram for the future.  This is not outlandishly crazy considering they just lost Antwan Barnes to the Jets, and Shaun Phillips is a free agent.

2)  Considering the number of holes on this team, do you see the Chargers trading down to acquire more picks?  Or do they stay at 11?

I personally believe trading down is the way to go, if you’re not taking Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper.

I currently have them taking Lane Johnson, but remember, Johnson and Eric Fisher wouldn’t be rated this high if Michigan’s Taylor Lewan or Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews didn’t decide to return to school.  For that reason, I believe both Johnson and Fisher are being overvalued.

Warmack and Cooper are sure things, but as you mentioned, there’s plenty of holes to fill.  Why not move back into the 20s, pick up another mid-round pick or two, and select someone like Alabama’s D.J. Fluker?  He may actually have a better pedigree than both Johnson and Fisher. So far, there’s nothing indicating this is the plan.  It’s very likely we wouldn’t know anything until the week of the draft at the earliest.

3)  The 2013 running back draft class is said to be very weak.  Is there a late round sleeper worth taking a flyer on?  Or is the team content after bringing in Danny Woodhead and re-signing Ronnie Brown?

I love the Woodhead signing.  I actually believe Brown is superfluous now.  You simply can’t count on him staying healthy forever, and his best asset is shared with Woodhead – both are great receivers.

The class isn’t weak per se, it’s just the position itself doesn’t hold the same value it once did.  Since they have Woodhead and Brown, guys like Kenjon Barner and Theo Riddick don’t make sense.

I still feel they need someone to challenge Ryan Mathews.  If we’re talking late round  sleeper, then Pittsburgh’s Ray Graham can be had in the sixth or seventh round. He’s a beast with north-south explosiveness and great hands out of the backfield.  The only reason he’ll be available that late is because he tanked the 40 at the combine – he ran a miserable 4.8, but I expect him to improve that at his pro day – and he missed most of his junior season with a knee injury.  Before you start screaming at me about running backs with injury histories, understand there’s a difference between being injury prone (Mathews) and someone who suffered an injury (Graham), but has since recovered.  Graham had a solid senior season, including a dominating performance against Notre Dame, the best run defense outside of Tuscaloosa.

Besides Alabama’s Eddie Lacy, I believe the best RBs in this class are Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle and Clemson’s Andre Ellington.  Both are probably third rounders, with Randle potentially going in the late second.  Both are all-around backs, especially Ellington, who may be the best blocking RB in this draft.  Texas A&M’s Christine Michael and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell could provide some thunder in the Chargers backfield.  They will likely cost a fourth round pick.

4)  The Chargers have had a serious hole at strong safety since the days of Rodney Harrison.  Do you think the team will address that need in the draft?  And if so, what round and who do you think fits John Pagano’s scheme?

I don’t believe they will target guys like Florida’s Matt Elam or Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien.  Both will likely go in the late first round or early second round. After those two, there is a significant drop off, but there is one guy I’d take a flier on, and he’d fit Pagano’s system perfectly.

Alabama’s Robert Lester has some Ed Reed in him.  His awareness and quickness is off the charts.  He has a nose for the ball and makes plays, but he takes inconsistent angles in both run and pass defense.  Playing next to someone like Eric Weddle could help smooth out the rough edges. Lester will likely go in the fourth or fifth round, so the cost isn’t prohibitive.

5)  Although I am not a big fan of this year’s quarterback class, many fans are exclaiming that it is time to bring in the eventual replacement for Philip Rivers.  Have you heard any rumblings about making such a move at Chargers Park?  (Not necessarily any names. Just wondering if you’ve heard anything mentioned.)

Not a single peep at this point, which means they’ll take a quarterback at No. 11! (Just kidding!)

6)  Piggybacking off of the last question, which quarterbacks are you impressed with that are a bit raw but could eventually become future starters in the NFL?

Under no circumstance, should the Chargers take a quarterback in the first two days of the draft.  I personally feel they fix the offensive line, and add a couple of playmakers to the offense and defense, they’re right back in the playoffs.  Rivers still has a 3-4 year window, if he’s able to play behind a line that doesn’t act like a turnstile.

That being said, there is some potential later.  You could draft one of these guys and wait on them for a bit, no pressure.  Arizona’s Matt Scott is the best of the bunch.  Likely a fourth or fifth rounder, he has a cannon for an arm and is extremely accurate.  He’s also very athletic (4.69 forty time).  In my mind, he’s basically a taller Russell Wilson with a stronger arm.  Hell, now that I think about it, draft him in the third!

Miami of Ohio’s Zac Dysert, Duke’s Sean Renfree and Southern Utah’s Brad Sorensen are all from the Rivers mold.  They’re all classic drop-back QBs with strong arms, and all can be had after the fifth round.

7)  Although the team has quite a few wide receivers, many experts believe that Rivers is still in need of another weapon at the receiver position.  Who jumps out at you that could provide an immediate impact on offense?

I honestly feel they are set at receiver if Vincent Brown and Danario Alexander can stay healthy.  Throw Malcom Floyd in with those two, and you have three very solid, playmaking wide receivers.  They certainly won’t use an early pick on a WR.  They could target guys like Oklahoma’s Kenny Stills – product of La Costa Canyon – in the fourth round.  Arkansas’ Cobi Hamilton and TCU’s Josh Boyce are also sleeper picks at the position, and will likely go around the fifth round.  Boyd, in particular, is explosive and has plenty of experience playing in the slot.

8)  I am of the opinion that the Chargers have to find an ILB to compliment Donald Butler.  I would have no problem with the team addressing this need early in the draft.  Will the team draft an ILB?  And who stands out in your mind?

I agree.  They definitely need to bolster the position.  The beauty of this draft, and the way it’s stacking up, is there will be really good inside linebackers in the third, fourth and possibly fifth rounds.  I will be changing my Mock to reflect this in the coming weeks.  Oregon’s Kiki Alonso, Florida’s Jon Bostic, Alabama’s Nico Johnson and North Carolina’s Kevin Reddick would all be a significant upgrade over who they currently employ.  If they don’t add one in free agency, I can’t conceive them not drafting one at some point.

9)  Is the team content with starting Melvin Ingram and Jarret Johnson at the OLB positions?  Or do you see them drafting an OLB in this year’s draft?

I believe the team would be content with Ingram and Johnson as starters going into the season, unless, as I mentioned above, they become enamored with one of the elite prospects at No. 11.  The position is seriously deep though.  There’s likely 15 prospects worthy of at least a fourth round grade.

10)  I feel like Ingram might be better suited to play inside in our 3-4 defense.  If the team does draft another OLB, do you feel like he could move to ILB?

I don’t believe so.  If you move Ingram inside, it limits him from rushing the passer.  I feel like he’s best when he’s coming from the edge, constantly in attack mode.

11)  If you had to pick one player in the entire draft, regardless of whether or not he’ll go to the Bolts, who is your favorite prospect?

Chance Warmack.  He’s a monster.  He’s an instant run game.  He’s defensive lineman quitting in the third quarter.  He’s who the Chargers should take.  If he’s there.

12)  Myself and BoltBlitz.com staff writer Greg Williams, will be attending the NFL draft in New York this year.  Are you going and if so can I buy you a beer in return for doing this interview?

Unfortunately, I won’t be attending. I have a prior engagement. But if I were there, I’d accept your beer, and raise it two of my own for you and Greg. Let it be known: I’m a fan of BoltBlitz.com. Eddie Brown out!

I’d like to take a second to thank Eddie for taking the time to do this interview.  On behalf of the entire staff of BoltBlitz.com, we really appreciate it.

Be sure to follow Eddie on Twitter @UTEddieBrown.  He just posted his newest mock draft on UT San Diego.  Here’s the link:  http://t.co/Vzjw4pdMyT .

Thanks a lot for reading.

BoltUp!!!

BoogaP

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