Matt will be reviewing each team's pre-draft analysis by talking about the draft range of targeted players.
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San Diego Chargers (Last Year: 11-5)
The San Diego Chargers fell short again last season, but you can never count them out with the talent they possess on both sides of the football. Philip Rivers became a big leader for them at the end of the season, and to no surprise, the offense really came together with Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson stepping up as well. Big things are expected in the city that translates to "A Whale's Vagina" (Anchorman
quote was required by Walter in one of my draft analysis). Let's get right to their draft range at No. 27:
The Chargers have a many needs to fill, and A.J. Smith likes making moves on Draft Day that are well calculated. Atlanta could be moving up for a player such as Jerod Mayo or Joe Flacco, and this is a spot where it could happen. Smith might want to move back to address other needs on his team.
Carl Nicks/Gosder Cherilus/Jeff Otah:
Jeromey Clary is slated to start at right tackle... WHO!? The Lightning Bolts could bring in a mauler of a right tackle to be an immediate contributor. Otah would be the favorite here, although it's possible he is taken by No. 27.
If, for whatever reason, the Chargers aren't sold on Quentin Jammer, this could be a position they address. It's hard to pin it down on two or three players this late in the first round. Antoine Cason, Tracy Porter, Brandon Flowers, and maybe a reach in Justin King all are in their range here.
I simply don't like the idea of drafting a backup running back in the first round when you have the best one in the NFL on your football team. This position can be addressed later in the draft if need be, or in 2009 when Tomlinson is one year older.
For fun times sake, let's assume that San Diego trades down from 27 and picks up multiple picks (wherever they are) in the second to fourth rounds.
Chilo Rachal would make for a very solid second-round pick as an upgrade over Mike Goff at right guard. If they are looking later in the draft for this position, Sam Baker, Eric Young and Donald Thomas are in their third to fourth round draft range.
If they were to trade down, a right tackle would have to be drafted for the sake of Tomlinson. John Greco, Kirk Barton and Barry Richardson are solid right tackles who could come cheap in the third to fifth rounds.
I wouldn't be so opposed to them drafting a running back in the second round as opposed to the first (when they wouldn't be putting all their eggs in one basket at 27). Ray Rice, Felix Jones, and Matt Forte would be extremely great fits for this offense behind Tomlinson in the second round.
Depth on the defensive line at five-technique wouldn't be a bad investment for the future of this defense in case something happens to Igor Olshansky or Luis Castillo. Kendall Langford and Jason Jones would be in the draft range of teams looking for this position in the third or fourth rounds. Bryan Mattison, Marcus Dixon, Chris Norwell, and Ropati Pitoitua are in their sixth to seventh round draft range.
If they plan on moving Paul Oliver to safety, depth at corner is needed with the loss of Drayton Florence. Patrick Lee, Antwaun Molden, Zack Bowman, and Orlando Scandrick are in their third to fourth round range.
Because the Powder Blues are so stacked on their depth chart, they just might take a flyer on Jack Ikegwuonu. He tore his ACL in January and allegedly stole an XBOX, but because of his high upside they might take a chance on him in the fifth round.
San Diego Chargers 2008 Offseason Needs
Back to Matt's 2008 NFL Pre-Draft Analysis Page