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
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