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AJ ready to wheel and deal

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    A.J. Smith's key draft-day trades

    SAN DIEGO ---- A.J. Smith isn't married to the No. 18 pick in this year's NFL draft. No shock there.

    If the Chargers general manager likes a player, he's not afraid to move up and claim him, in the first round or otherwise.

    He operates in this fashion without fear, using supreme confidence in his scouting ability to muffle any impulse of spending anxiety or buyer's remorse.

    "People around the league have said that I'm a player on draft day," Smith said. "My history shows that I'm willing to listen and I'm willing to be aggressive and make phone calls. I've been willing to anything at any time, and that's still the case. We're wide open to moving up or down in this draft."

    Smith also has a largely positive track record to fall back on. Quarterback Philip Rivers, running back Ryan Mathews and free safety Eric Weddle ---- all Pro Bowlers ---- were acquired in draft-day deals. So were solid accent pieces like linebacker Donald Butler, safety Darrell Stuckey and kicker Nate Kaeding.

    Sure, there have been some questionable decisions. Giving up a future second-round pick to take fullback Jacob Hester in the third round in 2008 might have been too much. Moving down from No. 15 to select cornerback Sammy Davis at No. 30 and eventually safety Terrence Kiel at No. 62 in 2003, with safety Troy Polamalu on the board, wasn't Smith's finest hour. That's especially true considering All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was picked by rival Oakland with the next available pick.

    Smith has a long history of draft-day trades, and most of them have been positive transactions for the Chargers.

    There are pros and cons to making such moves, especially in the early rounds. Those elements are weighed as the team's slotted pick approaches.

    "You have to keep your mind open to the prospect of a trade as the draft moves along," director of player personnel Jimmy Raye said. "You only have control over what happens a few minutes each round. If your guys in the cluster get eliminated quickly, you can move up to get one or fall back and get more guys at a different level."

    Incoming offers must also be weighed quickly to determine the best value in a pivotal draft.

    "If we don't think the player we like will come down to us, there's a price to pay for moving up," Smith said. "On the other side, moving down can give you more chances and what will likely be a slightly decreased level of talent.

    "I've gone up and paid a price; I've gone down and gathered picks. But I won't move just to do so. Staying pat is never a bad option if you like players evaluated in your portion of the draft. All kinds of things take place during the draft, and you have to be ready for anything."

    The Chargers were ready to make a big move for Mathews in 2010. They jumped 16 spots to take the running back out of Fresno State, giving up the No. 28 pick, the No. 40 pick previously acquired from Seattle, a fourth-rounder and linebacker Tim Dobbins to land LaDainian Tomlinson's replacement.

    When comparing Mathews' output and potential to what Miami got from those picks, it's safe to say the Chargers won out.

    Smith paid heavily to acquire Weddle and Hester in moves that have been hotly debated for years.

    One thing is clear: If Smith values a player, he'll go up and grab him.

    That could be the case again this year, although it's harder to predict. In 2010, there was no doubt that the Chargers needed a top-tier running back. The team has several needs heading into this draft, including defensive line, safety, outside linebacker and offensive line. A need for talent at multiple positions suggests that a player at one of the spots should be available at No. 18.

    An exception could be if the Chargers have fallen in love with a particular player in a thin position group, like Alabama safety Mark Barron. Or there could be a player within their tier ---- the team won't be shooting up into the top 10 --- they want before another team selects him.

    "A.J.'s philosophy is to be aggressive on draft day, and organizationally we take the approach that if we like a player and a move is warranted, we'll make it," Raye said. "We're not timid or afraid of what might or might not happen. If we like a guy a whole lot and he fits well with what we do, we're going to go get him. If there's any apprehension, we're going to stand pat."

    Call staff writer Scott Bair at 760-739-6642. For instant coverage, go to twitter.com/nctchargers.
     
  2. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    What's it gonna be, AJ?

    513px-Wheel_of_Fortune_-_Season_26_-_Round_4.svg.png
     
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  3. ETicket

    ETicket Well-Known Member

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    LOL - a "hot debate" that Hester was worth the move.
     
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  4. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Well for a while you all (not including you) were hot on AJ about trading up for Weddle. And again a lil too hot when he became the highest paid safety in the leauge. (only to be surpased the next season to a rookie in Eric Berry) Eh. I never thought we overpaid for Edub. I also only first heard about him 2 weeks before the draft, and my impression after the introduction (USA TODAY paper article I kno who reads USA Today for football info?? A: an addict) was that he would be a great player for any team that got him and had the potential to be great right away.

    Water and Bridges. (Brian Waters?)

    Far as AJs willingness to move up and down, I think moving up in the first is more likely than a move up from the 2nd. Tho the cost for that is more picks than a 2nd round trade up, I cant see us finding a trade angle on draft day for the 18 to lure in a phone call from a trade partner.
     
  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I was pissed about the Weddle trade, and I still think it was a stupid strategy to trade up for him. We should have taken him 28th overall, AJ would have taken less heat for that. And then let Buster Davis fall to us (as he easily could have) with our late 2nd round pick.

    Heck man we should have taken Sidney Rice at 28, and then still traded up for Weddle, then I'd have been ecstatic!

    And this doesn't count as 20/20 hindsight, both Rice and Weddle were much better college prospects than Buster frickin Davis who's production at LSU was rather minimal.
     
  6. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    I couldnt tell ya on CBD. My target for WR in the first was Dwayne Bowe. And not jus cuz his name IS: D bowe. ("**** here come Debo.")

    Im no expert on the past what weres or could haves in the draft, but IMO Weddle wouldnt have survied very long in the 2nd round the same as Harrison probably wont this year. Well in comparison of how much we moved up to get Eric and how much MORE we would be having to move up for Smith in the late 1st. Also that year we had 3 roster spots that were really wide open for a new starter. Kinda like how we have 3 this year after FA signings. Course holes can be small and suddenly become gaping. I dont see the loss of draft picks in a trade up (under these circumstances) to be a major or immediate loss. Future draft picks could be another story, but for the year at hand and a roster that usualy is alreayd full of up and commers and players that are working through the system to earn their way I cant see a downside to the loss of these picks other than these players walking to FA and gettin a deal with another team anyway. OR the hindsight crap (which im guilty of with every time I think back on how we didnt get D bowe and then to top that off we also go shafted passing on Anthony Gonzalez 2 more picks later who was much more servicable than CBD ever turned out to be.
     
  7. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    I like how this article states, 'AJ moves up and down and AJ has no fear" LOL What? A Team only moves UP in FEAR when they are afraid of losing that player. Confidence keeps you 'put' AJ needs to fugure out how the Pats do it every year. And that is impressive with how they manage 2 first rounders every year.
     
  8. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    I don't ever think there has been a debate. It is pretty unanimous.
     
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  9. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Weddle in the first would've been a wildly better move. Had Smitty done that, we might have 4 good players on the roster from 07&08 instead of 2.
     
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  10. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Lol no
     
  11. ETicket

    ETicket Well-Known Member

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    That was my point. (but you got the like?) LOL
     
  12. chargersflow

    chargersflow BoltTalker

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    Hmm not sure if I want to risk trading up again...
     

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