There is much debate over when the San Diego Chargers need to take a serious approach toward finding a replacement quarterback and prepare to move on from Philip Rivers.
Some believe the time is now, while others contend that Rivers still has a few solid years left under his belt.
Whether you agree or not, one fact rings true: Rivers turns 35 at the tail end of this season.
This is not to suggest we dump him on the street right this instant, but to recognize all great things must come to an end.
There is a trend of less and less QB talent entering the draft each year. Couple that with the threat of having to start a sub-par signal caller if the front office does not act soon, and you would think Tom Telesco should be proactive rather than reactive.
This year, where a FCS QB is thought to be the first selected at his position, Cardale Jones could be the diamond in the rough that the Chargers could use.
Weight: 253 lbs
Vertical Jump: 36 inches*
*Top performer at his position at the Combine
Jones brings a championship pedigree to the table. His first three starts for Ohio State were all post-season contests that led to winning his first College Football Playoff Championship.
Many people knock his leadership, but teammates and coaches alike refute those arguments. Jon Gruden also commented on how he immediately took a leadership role in his first game against Wisconsin which resulted in a 59-0 victory.
His size is an obvious strength, as he has no problem seeing over offensive lineman. His 250+ lb frame also helps him absorb hits and bowl over defensive backs when he uses his other strength…
He may not look like it, but Jones can move. He can evade pressure in the pocket and get a throw off or leave the pocket all together and get good yardage.
His weaknesses are correctable. He has such great arm strength that he has a hard time completing short passes that require some touch. He consistently looks for the big play instead of taking what is given to him. He sometimes gets flustered with complicated defensive schemes.
Although Jones only has 11 starts at the collegiate level, he is a great talent who will only get better with reps. He is the definition of a project-QB, who can blossom into a starter in the NFL with time, proper coaching and hard work.
For more on Cardale Jones:
Jarvis Royall (@defineroyallty)
Given the fact that the Chargers are facing the 2015 season without pass rusher Dwight Freeney (un-signed after expired contract) and Jarret Johnson (retired), the Bolts have an opening on defense. Alvin “Bud” Dupree, the big defensive end out of Kentucky, is the guy to fill the void.
Weight: 269 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.56 seconds
Bud Dupree is one of those long and powerful defensive ends who can also be an outside linebacker in John Pagano’s 3-4 defense. He is agile and quick off the snap; relentless, whether he is going after the quarterback or dropping into space and playing zone. Standing 6-foot-4, he has a huge body to use in coverage. He is also capable of rushing from multiple stances. Those qualities will bring a bit more nastiness to the Charger defense.
Dupree has experience playing the linebacker position from the strong-side, the weak-side and on the inside. This is beneficial to San Diego as he fits right in with the “next man up” mentality that Mike McCoy speaks about. Bud recorded 23.5 career sacks and 247 tackles (36 for loss).
NFL comparison: Michael Bennett (Seattle Seahawks) and Jamie Collins (New England Patriots).
Several NFL draft previews are suggesting that Bud Dupree is moving up the boards because of an impressive Combine and Pro Day performance. The term “freakish athlete” could easily be used to describe him. That being said, it appears that he will certainly be a first round selection. With Dupree’s incredible abilities, Tom Telesco could make an easy choice by selecting the pass rushers at the 17th selection. What do you think about Bud Dupree wearing a blue and gold jersey?
Thanks for reading. Looking forward to your comments below!
What do you mean, Keenan Allen playing slot receiver? Just bear with me while I attempt to persuade you.
A slot receiver, by definition, is a player in the offensive formation between the offensive line and the player closest to the sideline and at least a yard off of the line of scrimmage. That space can be occupied by a wide receiver, tight end or running back. It is often used when the offense wants to confuse the defense by having more than one receiver on the same side of the field. Utilizing this tactic generally forces the opposing team to adjust their coverage scheme by making alignment changes or adding extra defensive backs to ensure that the player in that “slot” has someone on him.
While at University of California – Berkeley (UCB), Allen was used in several different formations: split wide at receiver, in the slot and in the backfield. He primarily played the slot position while at UCB, so the role would be nothing new to him. Being quick off the line of scrimmage whether the ball is coming his way or if he is being a decoy can only help Philip Rivers in the long run. Although Allen may not have top speed, he does have the ability to change speed quickly. Prior to the draft, NFL analyst Charles Davis stated “…he didn’t run very fast at his pro day, but the comparisons for him: he plays the game a lot like Anquan Boldin and has hands like Larry Fitzgerald”. Current players also known as slot receivers are: Jeremy Maclin (Kansas City Chiefs), Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos), Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys), Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers) and free agent Wes Welker.
Allen has played 29 games in his two years with the Bolts and has 148 receptions of which 95 went for first down. Other than his receiving yardage, there are only punt return statistics for him: 26 attempts for 224 yards with 24 fair catch calls and zero touchdowns. In comparison, here is what newly-signed Jacoby Jones amassed during his first two years (2007-2008 and 30 games) in the league. As a receiver, Jones recorded 18 receptions and 11 of those were for first down. His punt return numbers: 672 yards on 62 attempts, 24 fair catches made, two TDs. On kick offs, 17 attempts for 358 yards (zero touchdowns, zero fair catches made).
Perhaps the argument can be made to move Keenan Allen to the slot since he is considerably younger than Jacoby Jones and Jones has more NFL experience overall in that position. So you are aware, though he is also on the team now, Stevie Johnson was not included in this comparison because he was only used in the return game his initial season (2008).
I know what I would do if the decision was left up to me…however, where do you think Allen lines up this season?
Thanks and Bolt Up!