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LBC's Chargers Mock Draft (will update)

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by The LBC, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    So the plan is to just keep one constant thread and update it as time progresses (I'm a fan of less clutter; I know how that's hard to imagine given how long-winded I am, but it's true).

    Just because the combine hasn't happened yet doesn't mean that I won't be projecting some expectations of what I figure will happen at the combine into how things pan out. After the combine I'll adjust according to what actually occurred at the event and take my lumps where deserved.

    1st Round, Pick 18: OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
    This is me trying to give AJ credit for taking the high-floor player in a year when he needs to get the most he can early out of his draft prospects. There's just as good a chance that the combine now has him enamored with someone like Andre Branch, Chandler Jones, or Vinny Curry (my money would be on Curry) who would all be fair options if we could trade back to the mid 20's and still stay ahead of teams like New England, Green Bay, and Baltimore (possibly even ahead of Detroit if they lose Avril). I'm of the opinion that Upshaw's lackluster combine came at not surprise to most scouts, he's always been a better-on-tape type player who doesn't have the massively freak athlete ceiling that most would have expected someone being projected by draftnik's to be a Top 10 pick should have.

    The LaMarr Woodley comparison is very accurate. He'll be good to above average but probably never great as a stand-alone pass-rusher, but he's versatile enough to cover, be effective versus the run, and contribute as a 8-sack/yr rusher so long as there's a equal or better caliber rusher playing on the opposite side from him. Rome wasn't built in a day though and he's the exact type of player that can give you the flexibility down the road to take a shot on a guy like an Aldon Smith or JPP who doesn't necessarily project to be much in a 3-4 other than a constant rusher (i.e. a guy who won't often be asked to drop into coverage like Tamba Hali, Cam Wake, or Terrell Suggs) and allow that player to see more snaps earlier thus reaping ROI much sooner. I have Upshaw rated as my #22 prospect right now, so this is a reach, but one that's a smart one to make because of value filling a need and him being pro-ready, especially if he's working in a rotation with Barnes for the first third/half of the season.


    Rd. 2, Pick 17: WR AJ Jenkins, Illinois
    If Hardwick retires, I'd lay money on this pick being Ben Jones out of Georgia. That withstanding, as is always the case in the NFL draft and particularly this year, you pay a premium for speed. If we do allow VJ to walk, I can see AJ feeling the need to invest in a WR early - particularly with how weak this TE class has looked (I still think Dwayne Allen can flat out play, but his poor combine may have well moved him down to low 2nd, early 3rd stock guy now. Ironically, the guy I figured who would lower his stock if he ran is now at the top of the class... because he elected NOT to run). I went back and watched more tape on Jenkins after he turned in the 40 he did. There is a raw version of Greg Jennings there and Joiner's got the tools to get it out of him if given the time. He has some rough edges that need to be refined out of his release off the line to keep from getting easily jammed, and despite his speed he doesn't do a ton after the catch, but he's a legit deep threat, fearless over the middle, and the kind of polished route-runner that Joiner loves and that Rivers flourishes with.

    BTW, Ant, you still questioning that Mike Martin call on my part. He's a Burroughs-Phillips NT in the mold of Kelly Gregg or Tim Goad. He's not the massive, wide-load that has become popular, but he's roughly the same size that Casey Hampton was coming into the league, he's a wrestler with a tremendous motor that knows how to work the leverage game against much larger linemen and double-teams, and he'll be a guy that can collapse the pocket form within if not ever actually being the guy cleaning up with the sack (see Kelly Gregg).

    Rd. 3, Pick 16: C/G Phillip Blake, Baylor
    You could realistically interchange my Round 3 and 4 projections as both are more late 3rd, early 4th value guys who could fall as low late 4th but I wouldn't expect that. Either way, these are the more necessitated mid-round "need-based" picks that AJ is notorious for. Given my choice of pure centers that would likely be available I'd actually prefer the slightly more undersized Garth Gerhart from ASU. However, I' ma firm believer in trends and AJ just constantly drafts our OL from the Big 10 and Big 12 with incredible regularity. Blake has a solid floor and not a stellar ceiling, but a good one none the less. He's capable of contributing at guard while also backing up at center. This is one of those instances where I'm willing to bet that AJ will reach for comfort level.

    Rd. 4, Pick 15: CB Omar Bolden, Arizona State
    Out of left-field, huh? This has standard fare AJ Smith "boom or bust" pick written all over it. However, I think this one could boom big is Bolden's knee recovers as I expect it to. I equate him to the cornerback version of Bruce Carter from last year's draft; he may not contribute heavily in the first 1/3 of games his rookie year, but he'll make the active roster and contribute on ST in the mean time, and will be pushing for legit playing time by season's end and starting by Year 2. Where he's limited is that he's much, much more comfortable as a boundary corner than a sub-package guy. That said, he plays bigger than he is, is tough as nails with clean technique, and had he not suffered the knee injury he did his floor would have been the 2nd round. He's honest to God, future #1 CB potential if he's healthy.

    Rd. 5, Pick 14: TE Ladarius Green, UL Lafayette
    I think it's only about a 50:50 chance he actually falls this far considering he has certain physical tools that will likely cause teams to overlook how raw he is (i.e. BIG hands, good height and arm length, good speed for a TE) and he has the built-in excuse of having played with a truly bad QB at ULL for most of the past season. I'd be elated to get him here as at minimum he'd contribute as much if not more right out the gate than Sperry would as a receiver. He needs to add bulk so that he can become a more effective blocker, but once he adds strength he has the tools to be effective (long arms and quick feet to wall off defenders). If Green's gone, I'd be watching for Beau Reliford from Florida State sometime between the 6th round and UDFA.

    Rd. 6, Pick 13: S Christian Thompson, South Carolina State
    I know there will be some that look at this and scoff at him being a small school prospect. What's your point? DeMarcus Ware was a small school prospect. Jerry Rice was a small school prospect. I'm not saying Thompson is on their level at his position, but quality players come out of small schools with some decent regularity. Fact is, this year is a horrid safety class. I'd be open to rolling the dice on someone with upside, but ultimately I feel as though our long-term solution at a backfield mate for Weddle lies in the 2013 draft. Thompson at the very least has the athleticism and size to hang in coverage with the larger, athletic TE's and he can bring the wood as well. He's not a guy that's going to net you a ton of INT's, his hands are good enough to work in and swat away balls, but they aren't natural (or large) enough that he's going to pluck many out of the air (think another guy similar to what we had in Kevin Ellison). To be honest I'm not even sure he makes it this far, as he's the kind of guy someone could easily fall in love with his potential and select him as early as the 3rd or 4th round. For those watching the combine, he was the one they talked about being nicknamed "CT-Scan" by his teammates because that's what guys needed after getting hit by him.

    Rd. 7, Pick 18: WR/KR Chris Owusu, Stanford
    Risk/reward type pick. His greatest value is as a returner and given his history with concussion (which is what's going to set his ceiling no higher than the 5th round at best, particularly given Jahvid Best's continued concussions causing him to miss time and the league rules involving concussion analysis) it would likely be best to limit his touches as an actual receiver to ensure keeping him available as a returner. That said, the kid can one-cut and flat out fly! I wanted to put Devon Wylie here, but something in my gut just tells me someone's going to drop a 5th or 6th round pick on him and I'm not sure we have that luxury.
  2. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Branch in the first round seems like an incredible reach unless he goes out and blows people away at the combine. Even if such happens 1) I don't know if another team like Buffalo or the Jets wouldn't grab him and 2) I'm still not sure he's worthy of a first round selection. Second round I definitely could see it and I agree about his ability but don't think he's worthy based on production and game tape of a first rounder. Ironically I could see Fleener being selected by the Giants at the end of the first (or Allen), either way very much doubt he'd be available at that position.

    Why would you select Martin in the second if he was there? Where/how would he fit in this scheme?
  3. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Martin is one of the most underrated DT's in this class. Don't be shocked when he's among the leaders in bench reps and broad jump for the class of DT's at the combine - he's just flat out STRONG. His shorter height gives him natural leverage, he's got the kind of work ethic and motor that coaches covet. And he's got great handwork (I keep hitting this point but it's one of the things scouts actually watch the closest among DL prospects because it's one of the traits that leads to the quickest success). Martin had a great Senior Bowl week. He's got great tape; his biggest concerns will be whether he can stay healthy, but given everything else there are plenty of teams willing to look past the later if the like the former enough. He's going to go A LOT higher than most people expect him to, 3rd round's his floor at this point, like I said 2nd round wouldn't shock me in the slightest. And he's got one of the better long-term prospects as an NT in this class (Poe and Ta'amu are horribly overrated in their ability to actually project to and play the 0-Tech). Martin would offer rotational detail at the 3-, 5-(in certain situations), and 0-techs as a rookie and I think gives Baby Zilla a run for his money by Year 2. We need playmakers - Martin at the Senior Bowl and when healthy at Michigan was darn near unblockable - so I don't consider a guy selected with a 4th round selection who has shown "some" promise but not yet turned a corner to have any job security, if we're in a position to select a playmaker.
  4. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I can't say anything about your player evaluations, but the positions all make sense at this point. One thing I worry about when you write "needs to add actual moves to his pass rush arsenal" is the Larry English factor. Merriman wasn't a godly pass-rusher based on his moves, but he was so strong and fast that it was silly.

    If the guy turns out to be Merriman Mk II I'd crap my pants, but the team can't have another Sammy Davis, Merriman, Cromartie, English episode where the guy is just invisible and/or gone.
  5. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    As of right now, Branch has a very good bull rush and a fair swim move. And he's shown on occasion the ability to lockout OL, get more lateral and turn the corner, as well as the ability to come across the face of his blocker. He just hasn't done it consistently. That's not English, English didn't have the lower-body strength or the handwork to bull rush blockers, so if/once he failed to get inside leverage on a guy, he was done for. He was incapable of coming across the front of a guy and when he tried he got stonewalled, so he because really easy for OT's to just let his burst on the outside carry him around the pocket and right past the QB. English also had below-average speed turning the corner, something that definitely doesn't appear to be the case with Branch - who is taller, longer, and has been playing at a heavier weight.

    That ability to turn the corner is a necessity if you flat out aren't capable of overpowering the more athletic LT's with bull-rush because otherwise you're just blowing hot air.
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  6. Buck Melanoma
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    Not a Fleener fan. Still hoping to see Green around in the 4th.
  7. SuperCharger92
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    I think Fleener goes before the 17th in the 2nd round.. Indy will select him as Dallas Clark will be released and Jacob Tamme's production wasn't there. So what better else than to plug in Luck with one of his own..

    I like the Branch pick, But I just don't see the Chargers passing Perry up.. Also I really like Stephen Hill from Georgie Tech..
  8. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Notice on the Branch pick, I said Perry was off the board. He grades out as the best 4-3 RDE in this draft, and 9/10 times the best 4-3 RDE in every draft goes in the Top 15. I still think Upshaw is a safer 3-4 OLB option, Branch has a higher ceiling but a lower floor. AJ... even with the way things are I just can't see him taking the high floor/lower ceiling guy.
  9. SuperCharger92
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    Yeah, my apologies then..

    But, I hate how they've came out and said there gonna address the Pass Rushing. We drafted Corey Liuget last year, this year we'll defiantly be drafting a pass rushing OLB. I just hope we don't use another valuable pick on an OLB because we have other needs to address. Unless were thinking about trading away somebody like a LaBoy or Phillips.

    OLB is a must, but we also need a strong safety, tight end, wide receiver, running back, and possibly another corner..
  10. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Madness. Liuget has nothing to do with OLBer. Literally every position you addressed is a 2nd round or later need (RB is a UFA need). Safety is a 2nd round need in this draft because none of the safeties available are worth a 1st. This team has no pass rush. We need OLB help more than any other position by far. On top of that, you would take an OLB only after trading away LaBoy (who is worthless, btw) or Philips (or only 3 down OLB)?

    You'll have to excuse me. Thanks to this post causing my head to explode I have to clean brain matter off the walls of my living room.
  11. matilack
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    Just my 2 cents...

    1. I like Branch a lot, but 18 is just too early. I wouldn't mind seeing us trade back a couple times and stock up some mid-round picks and then take him. (Of course there is no way we can predict that now). I give this pick a "B" at first glance, like the player, not the value.

    2. Fleener, he's a good reciever, bad blocker, he's definitely not Gronkowski in that I don't see much upside. I see a Greg Olson clone. But he will be a solid starter, so I give this a "B"

    3. This is the first one I really don't like. Hayward is a better fit by far for a Tampa 2 team, somewhere where his lack of size and acceleration won't get him toasted as often, and where he can read the run and play to his strengths. I just don't like the fit here. "D"

    4. Moseley I like this pick so much that I think its impossible that he'll still be on the board here. Big nasty SOB who's very fluid and quick, he doesn't get jumped by good pass rushers. I think he's a 2nd round pick "A*" with an astrisk.

    5. Cunningham, worth it because of his productiveness I guess, but I see very little upside for an undersized long strider, maybe a solid #3. "C"

    6. Williams, Solid coverage ILB prospect I like this pick despite the durability issues. "B+" Maybe another Stephen Cooper who could work his way in the lineup after a while.

    7. Rainey, age and # of carries is a little concerning (over 1,000 on his small frame), but I like the quickness, stocky frame, and that he's a KR. Worth the 7th round pick if not a little earlier. Potential steal here. "B+"


    "B" overall. If we keep VJ, and sign a CB and SS in free agency I'd be very happy with this draft.
  12. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    I'm figuring we'll likely see "a" SS signing in FA. Whether that's a signing that blows our skirts up or someone that's a very obvious stop-gap with starting experience like Sean Jones or James Sanders (mind you, I'd actually be rather happy with James Sanders for 2 years while we either groomed another guy from this year's draft or to buy us time until next year's significantly superior safety class) is an entirely different question.

    CB... I doubt we see a starter signed unless it's a low risk, high reward vet and I don't see a ton of those on the market. Maybe someone like Eric Wright, but realistically I'm anticipating that we see one of two positions (WR1 or CB1) left out high and dry, figuring that if what we have rostered presently fails to develop that it will be the prime objective in the 2013 draft with one of our top picks (it's just something I've noticed AJ does, and it's not something I'm convinced he'll change even if he thinks his butt is on the line). The other reason I figure CB is that position left out to hang high and dry is that if the plan was to play Gilchrist at S he would have seen more action at the position to this point. Honestly, I think Wright may have more potential (in the eyes of our coaching staff) at safety than Gilchrist does.

    As to Branch at #18, I'm looking at it this way... he won't be available at our 2nd without a trade-up. And once the combine sorts certain things out, there are going to be guys who are better fits for playing the edge in a 3-4 and guys who aren't. And the value may not be terribly great on anyone not named Upshaw or Perry at #18, but I'm willing to run with a roughly 5-slot flexibility, if not a little more for a guy with the right upside (which I think Branch has, over other prospects like say Ronnell Lewis or Vinny Curry). If we're being honest, Clay Matthews was a reach. Tyson Alualu was a reach. At least in the traditional sense. But reach is subjective... a player's value is whatever someone is willing to pay for him. There have been a fairly equal amount of successful reaches in draft history as there have been "value-picks" that have floundered.
  13. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    As I'm still learning about some OLBs for our system, figured I'd ask your opinions in ranking these OLBs; Nic Perry, Melvin Ingram, Courtney Upshaw, Vince Curry, Andre Branch, Ronnell Lewish, Bruce Irvin.

    For our system way I figure it would be:

    Upshaw
    Ingram
    Perry
    Curry
    Branch
    Lewis
    Irvin
    ?
  14. charger1993
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    charger1993 bad motherfucker

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    dude Liuget has everything to do with the OLBER if you arent aware of how a 3-4 works, the 3 down lineman take up blockers clearing the lanes for the linebackers. so you should go clean your brain matter of the wall, your response was a waste to read
  15. matilack
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    My concern with Branch is his run defense, I've seen him get dominated by double teams, and I'd wonder if we'd be spending a top 20 pick on a Barnes clone. Its the one reason I have Nick Perry graded above him right now. I think at this point the 2nd round grade is deserved, but you don't have to convince me that Branch could easily end up being worth the pick with some technical coaching and some lower body strength work.
  16. The LBC
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    The thing that keeps him from being a Barnes clone (and also an English clone) is that he's got superior length (both in terms of height and arm length) on both those guys. Will he struggle when double-teamed? Of course... but most pass-rushers do unless they are flat out elite; heck, Suggs struggled when we were just chipping him with a TE prior to leaving him to be single-blocked by Gaither... and Suggs was the DPOY last season.

    Look, for most guys that are making the conversion to 3-4 OLB you're going to have to endure a bit of an adjustment period where they will either struggle defending the run or the pass; it's the nature of the beast. Branch, at least, is one I have less concerns about in that department than some of the other (smaller) guys like Ronnell Lewis or Bruce Irvin. Or you want to talk guys who disappear when double-teamed... that's trademark Melvin Ingram. Upshaw... yeah, he's more pro-ready and that's his biggest selling point: High floor. Problem is you're trading something for that which is limited ceiling. Upshaw is very much a Lamar Woodley clone, for better and for worse. Woodley's a very good LB that can do it all, but he's also a guy that isn't nearly as productive when he doesn't have another above-average or better pass-rushing OLB opposite him in the formation.
  17. Ikeman83
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    The down linemen take up blockers, however, if the players for whom the linemen take up blockers are garbage, then the 2 DEs and NT aren't a concern. The problem with our offense is that DE and OLB are completely different positions, and we haven't had any production from the OLB position in years. DE and OLB don't have anything to do with each other in terms of drafting one or the other. Drafting quality DE play (which we hope Liuget will be) doesn't let us off the hook as far as quality OLB play goes.
  18. The LBC
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    Updated. The last three rounds are a bit more fluid. I could see a RB in there, could see a DL in there. I have my doubts on ILB as I think we'll likely bolster there through a combination of vet free agent camp bodies (a la Kevin Bentley last off-season) and UDFA guys.
  19. Ikeman83
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    I like the picks, although drafting a guy based on his floor and not his ceiling kills me, especially in the first.
  20. CoronaDoug
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  21. SuperCharger92
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    Call me ballistic, but I think we don't have to go far to find a Tolbert type guy.

    I think Frank Summers can be a Tolbert like back. He's a little bit more bulk and quicker I believe. He was a decent runner at UNLV and for his size he was a good receiver out of the backfield. I believe he is a better receiver out of the backfield than Tolbert was or is or will be. I think, and hopefully Mathews comes into camp in shape and ready to take a workload of 60 yards up the field and Summers can be that inside the 20 back for us.

    I don't know just my opinion. Tolbert was used as a full back I believe once, and Summers was a RB in college so..
  22. Buck Melanoma
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    If we're going to let Tolbert walk then we do need to see what Summers can do at FB. Hester? See ya.
  23. Ikeman83
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    I think Tolbert will probably get a decent contract elsewhere. I think Hester will probably hit FA, get offered nothing, and be resigned on the cheap. Hester's not blowing anyone away with his skillset, but he's better as a blocker than UDFA number 80. His receiving skills leave something to be desired, but he has basically played in every game since he was drafted (62/64). That's worth vet min to me. Frank might be a decent Fullback, he might not. If he is, then cut Hester in TC. If Frank is a better RB than FB, then by keeping Hester we haven't really screwed the offense any.

    I like Tolbert alot, when he isn't pretending he's Barry Sanders. In spite of that, there's no reason whatsoever to pay him anything, not with UDFA RBs coming into the league and competing for rushing titles.
  24. SuperCharger92
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    I think Frank can be a redzone running back similar to Tolbert. If he is able to stay healthy. For his size he has some GREAT hands, far better than Tolbert.
  25. Sydalish
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    Don't underestimate Tolbert's value on ST as well as at RB. I'd love to see us keep him.
  26. SuperCharger92
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    But we can replace a ST guy. You can't replace a dynamic receiver (jackson), solid o-linemen (Hardwick & Gaither), and a premier pass rusher (Williams).

    Either way I don't think Tolbert is back. We have other holes to fill and a back up running back isn't one. If Hardwick & Gaither are re-tained, we'll most likely re-sign Jackson or pursue Williams. There's no room for Tolbert to eat up a contract.
  27. Ikeman83
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    You want to pay 2nd contract starting RB money for a backup RB / STer?
  28. Buck Melanoma
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    I like Tolbert but you can't let that emotion get in the way of building a competitive team.

    At the risk of sounding pretty crude, the fact is that good-enough RB's are **** out by the dozens every day when you consider that most teams use a RBBC approach nowadays. They'll be another Tolbert (or better) in the UDFA pool again this year.
  29. SuperCharger92
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    Honestly think that Frank Summers will be our Tolbert..

    But if your willing to waste a draft pick on a RB.. might as well grab Terrance Ganaway from Baylor. 6 feet, 241 pounds ran for over 1,000 yards for Baylor and average 6.2 a carry and had 21 TD's. But needs to improve his receiving ability.
  30. Sydalish
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    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I'm not saying pay Tolbert a ****-ton of money or pay him before other higher priority positions are taken care of.

    I simply think he's worth keeping around and does add value to our team.

    Allow me to remind everyone of the ST debacle of 2010. Our ST is still shaky and Tolbert is a ST stud, I think it's important to remember that when discussing his value to the Chargers. As far as his role at RB, he's done some pretty solid work, he's also had his less-than-stellar moments. I appreciate that when Mathews goes down, or we need a downhill runner we can turn to him.

    Now, whether he's worth to us the kind of $$ other teams are going to throw at him remains to be seen, but I'd prefer it if he got to stick around. Plus, he's got mad dancing skillz which is clearly worth breaking the bank for. Duh :p I'd also love to see what Summers can do so maybe I'll be singing a different tune in a week or month or whatever.
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