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Crystal Ball; A look at the popular predications for the Chargers 2009 first rounder

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. robdog
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    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <a href="http://philbaucom.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/nfl_draft_065121.jpg"><img class="alignright" title="NFL Draft" src="http://philbaucom.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/nfl_draft_065121.jpg" alt="" width="199" height="187" /></a>There are a plethora and a half of mock drafts out there. The popularity of blogging has increased the number of them over the last few years. Some if not many are just guesses (as any mock is) that are heavily tainted by the bloggers team affiliation and like or dislike for the individual college players.

    I am admittedly ‘college football retarded', and the unscientific science of the draft in most ways is beyond me. Based on my lack of knowledge of the college players and the draft, I have looked at many mock drafts in the past week. This is a vain attempt to try and educate myself on the nuances of the draft and maybe form an informed opinion on what the Chargers will do with the 16th pick in the upcoming 2009 draft, which will occur on April 25th and 26th this year.

    True to form I digress a bit, as aforementioned I have looked at a large number of mock drafts, and there are many people who pick this player or that as the Chargers top pick. I made notes from 20 of those mock drafts to figure out which college player was most ‘en vogue' to be the Chargers 1st round pick. Below are the players, the number in the parenthesis indicate the number of different mock drafts in which the player was selected to be taken by the Chargers at number 16. Below the name are the sites names that picked the indicated player.

    While this is far from a scientific survey, it fits with the ‘science' of the draft which is one part voodoo, one part crystal ball gazing and a heady sprinkling of luck.

    Enjoy.

    <strong>Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia (6)</strong>
    FFtoolbox.com, sportscity.com, mynfldraft.com, newnfldraft.com, sports.espn.go.com (Mel Kiper), nfldraft101.com

    <strong>Scouting Report:</strong>
    Knowshon makes excellent cuts, has good vision behind the line and has speed through the hole even after making the cut. He has above average receiving abilities and seems to be a player who would fit well in the current Charger scheme that calls for the running back to be an outlet receiver in the flat. He is very competitive and does not give up on plays.

    in 2007 he earned the SEC Freshman of the Year after running for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns. Moreno followed that up with gaining 1,400 yards on 250 carries with 16 touchdowns. He also caught 33 passes for 392 yards and 2 TDs.

    He is on the smaller side of running backs (5'11, 208) and lacks the second gear speed of many top running backs.

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    I think the chances of the Chargers taking a running back in the first round are remote, however this hinges on how the team's talks with LT go. These talks are expected to happen the week of the combine. That said, the prospect of Darren Sproles signing with another team could also affect the teams disicion on who they draft first. The loss of Sproles, combined with the retention of LT could lead to a RB being selected first overall.

    <strong>Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB, Oho State (4)</strong>
    draftking.com, walterfootball.com, nflmockdraftaces.com, saturdays2sundays.com

    Chris Wells whose nickname is ‘Beanie' is reported to be the RB who will compete with Knowshon Moreno to be the first RB taken in the 2009 draft. Of course these along with all the current mock drafts are based upon pre-combine information and could change dramatically after the combine.

    Chris Wells has been referred to the modern day Jim Brown. Those are big shoes to fill and I wonder if he is capable of living up to that. He is a large, bruising runner at 6'1" and 237 pounds, his 40 yard dash time is reported to be 4.4 seconds. He has excellent acceleration and hits the holes quickly. He is good at reading the gaps and choosing the right holes to hit. He has the size and power to break tackles.

    Chris has a reputation for ‘taking plays off' and this may have a negative impact on where he is actually drafted. Chris has played through injuries, but has missed several games during his career at Ohio State. He needs to develop his skills as a pass catcher out of the backfield.

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    <strong>Rey Mualuga, ILB, USC (3)</strong>
    nfldraftsite.com, thefootballexpert.com

    Rey is said to remind many of a previous Charger Great, Junior Seau. Rey has good size and exceptional hitting power, and a burst that gives him a very good short distance speed. He has ball instincts and takes great angles to the ball. He is said to have an aggressive, nasty streak which Linebacker coaches love. He excels in zone coverage schemes.

    He has the prototypical size for an NFL linebacker, 6-3, 250 pounds.

    He lacks true sideline to sideline speed, and may struggle in covering the edges in the NFL. To many times Rey has shown the desire to go for the big hit, rather than wrapping up the ball carrier. He has over perused plays which takes him out of the play.

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    <strong>BJ Raji, DT Boston College (3)</strong>
    Scouts.com, nepatriotsdraft.com, football.about.com

    Raji has seen his draft stock rise after returning to the Eagles for a stellar 2008 season, after sitting out the entire 2007 season after being ruled academically ineligible.

    For a big guy, 6-1, 334 pounds, Raji is nimble and has very quick feet. He has an explosive step off of the ball and can occupy multiple blockers at the line of scrimmage. His first step off of the ball has given him the opportunity to pressure the quarterback in college. However it remains to be seen if his speed will allow him to do that at the next level. His technique is good, and can be improved upon by a good line coach.

    Raji fits right into the mold of a prototypical NFL nose tackle. Something the Chargers need, or will need in the near future with Jamal Williams getting longer in the tooth. There is speculation that Raji could also move to a DE in the 3-4 scheme with his speed and size.

    Raji's work ethic has been questioned in the past, something that he will have to work on. He will have to work on his conditioning to make it through a full NFL season.

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    <strong>Tyson Jackson, DL, LSU (1)</strong>
    footballsfuture.com

    Jackson at 6-5 292 pounds mixes strength with good technique to keep the pads low. He is reputed to be an every down player with a constant motor, and a great work ethic. He has good speed and agility for a near 300 pound lineman. He takes good angles on the pursuit. He is a hard hitting lineman who can punish runners. He has a large wingspan and wraps up the ball carrier effectively. He can plug gaps well.

    He has a good stance for a lineman of 6-5. He plays with his rear down and arms at an upward angle. This equates to good power at the point of attack. Jackson specializes in stopping the run. He could fit in well in the 3-4 defense.

    His explosion off the ball limits his ability to be an edge rusher. He has a good initial push in pass coverage, but needs to develop his secondary pass rushing moves to improve at the next level.

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    <strong>James Laurinaitis, ILB, Ohio State (1)</strong>
    Bleacherreport.com

    Laurinaitis is a monster on the field with great sideline to sideline speed. In college he was one of the most decorated defenders. He has received the Nagurski Award (2006), the Butkus Award (2007), Bedinark Trophy (2007) and the Lott Trophy, in 2008. He has the speed to close on ball carries and the power to deliver a good hit once he gets there. He is known for having a good motor and not giving up on plays. He is good against the run and pass, and had multiple interceptions in college.

    At 6-5 240 pounds he has excellent size for a linebacker. He has great instincts and is always around the ball. He has great tackling techniques and will often wrap a player up rather than just rely on a big hit.

    Laurinaitis could play more physically. He sometimes struggles with one on one blocking schemes.

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    <strong>Brian Cushing, LB, USC (1)</strong>
    sportprojections.com

    Cushing has good size for a linebacker, 6-3, 255 pounds. He has great ball instincts and takes good angles to the carrier. He does a good job of covering tight ends and makes good open field tackles.

    Cushing can shed blocks and fight through traffic to make a tackle. He has the ability to change direction with minimal loss of speed.

    Cushing's durability is an issue as he has had many injuries in college which affected his productivity.

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    <strong>Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri (1)</strong>
    NFL Draft Dog.com,

    Maclin has shown the ability to rush and receive the ball in his one full year as a college receiver. He is a dangerous return man who can change direction on a dime with minimal loss of speed. He has good size at 6-1, 200 pounds with a decent mixture of speed.

    He has the ability to break tackles. He runs good routes and has shown the ability to come back for the ball. He has excellent, soft hands.

    He can get bumped off of his routes, and needs to work on running crisper routs. Maclin will need more experience to become a top tier receiver.

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