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Anteater's 2014 Charger Mock Draft

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by AnteaterCharger, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    Chargers 2014 Mock Draft

    By: Loren S. Casuto
    Bolttalk Podcast Co-Host

    Last year Tom Telesco began his tenure at GM with a team in need of so much and only seven picks to do it in. This year the team still needs plenty but is coming off their first playoff victory in five years, thanks in part to Telesco. The Chargers will be picking at a spot where they will have little choice but to see how the board shakes out. While Telesco showed he can become “helium Tom” if needed, the team has too many needs to lose any picks. However the Chargers could also take the other approach and trade down; numerous teams might pass on quarterbacks in the top 10 only to want to jump in front of Cleveland at 26 to get their pick of second tier or falling first tier quarterbacks. Since I don’t take trades into account, here is my prediction for who the Chargers will select.

    With the 25th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Jason Verrett, cornerback from Texas Christian.


    While the Chargers were a 2014 success, their success was in spite of numerous weaknesses throughout the team. The most obvious flaw was at cornerback; a position where Tom Telesco’s only free agent flop was, as well as numerous injuries and a general lack of talent. Shareece Wright showed some improvement over the year and is ‘set’ at the #2 cornerback, Richard Marshall played decently in his time but is not starting material. Brandon Ghee and Steve Williams are talented but are coming off injuries and unproven. The team has to improve their cornerback position if they have any hopes of repeating last year’s success.

    If Verrett was two inches taller, he’d likely be the first cornerback selected. At 5’9 ½ 189lbs Verrett is smaller and thinner than the average, or the current populat trend at, cornerback. That ignores the fact he’s a 3-year starter for the Horned Frogs with elite speed in short and long distance, outstanding instincts and football intelligence and is a very good tackler. He is a complete cornerback who doesn’t back down, doesn’t stop fighting and has a stellar personality. The negatives are his ‘size’ and the injuries he suffered in 2013, leading to questions about how much he could take. He is also recovering from a torn meniscus which was surgically repaired just a few months ago.

    The Chargers definitely have shown interest in him as they’ve met with him on a number of occasions. Verrett has said publicly that he would love to play for the Bolts, and idolized Ladanian Tomlinson. The moment Verrett puts on a Chargers uniform he instantly becomes the teams’ best cornerback. He is scheme diverse, intelligent and has almost all the elements of the complete cornerback. Don’t focus on his size, smaller cornerbacks can and have succeeded in the NFL and Verrett has everything to be the next in that line.

    With the 57th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Kyle Van Noy, outside linebacker from BYU.


    Out of all the positions decimated by injuries, the worse was outside linebacker. At one point the Chargers lost their top four outside linebackers to injuries. Melvin Ingram was lost to a torn ACL in mini-camp but made an amazing comeback to be an important part of the team’s playoff run. Dwight Freeney was brought in when Ingram went down and though the 34yr old sack master led the team in QB pressure, he tore his quad in week 5 and was lost for the season. Jarrett Johnson played hard and admirably through pain, injuries and excessive playing time and while 3 sacks for him is commendable, he’s another 34 yr old linebacker who can’t rush the passer. Larry English was injured, if this surprises you then I can’t help you and you need to pay attention. The team is happy with Thomas Keiser and while both Tourek Williams & Corderro Law shows promise, the team desperately needs another starting OLB. This is especially true for next year when English, Freeney and Johnson are all free agents.

    Had Van Noy come out in 2013 he would have been an almost certain first round selection. And while he didn’t have a disappointing 2014 season, it was a step backwards from 2013. At 6’3 244lbs Van Noy doesn’t have amazing speed or overpowering strength, but all he does is make plays. He’s a rare complete linebacker that can do nearly everything well from run stopping to pass rushing to coverage. His instincts are fantastic and he never gives up on a play, sometimes wining with pure determination. He ranks as one of the safest players in the draft and is seen as someone who can be moved to any linebacker spot in any system and will win. Van Noy does need to improve not only his playing strength but also his technique in shedding blocks.

    While Van Noy might not be a dominating 3-4 OLB he is similar to Melvin Ingram in his ability to make plays and his versatility. For a creative defensive coordinator, Van Noy is a matchup nightmare and can make plays at nearly every position. The Chargers have shown great interest in him and, much like Verrett, Van Noy has repeatedly stated how he’d love to be drafted by the Chargers. Van Noy could start by being rotated in with Johnson and Freeney and by 2015 start alongside Melvin Ingram finally giving the team a respectable pass rush.

    With the 89th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Donte Moncrief, wide receiver from Mississippi.


    The Chargers live and die by their passing game; even though their running game was crucial to the team’s late season success, the Chargers aren’t effective without the ability to throw. Last year they found a steal in Keenan Allen who blossomed into an outstanding #1 receiver. However, the rest was a mixed bag; Eddie Royal set a career best for touchdowns and was a crucial component but suffered again from numerous injuries. Vincent Brown was healthy for a full year but ineffective even with Allen and Gates drawing double teams. Seyi Ajirotutu is a great special teamer and role player but doesn’t appear to be a viable starter. Malcolm Floyd will be participating in mini camps but it’s a huge question if he ever plays again or could be relied on.

    Moncrief was a three year starter for the Rebels and their top (if at times, only) vertical threat. He combines great size (6’2 221lbs) with smooth acceleration and impressive top speed. He knows how to create separation against corners and has the body control and hands to make the easy and difficult catches. He’s also very good at creating yards after catch, blocks with enthusiasm and will be 21 this season. On the negative, he needs to sharpen his route running, play stronger and sometimes remember to catch the ball with his hands not his body.

    Moncrief has #1 receiver potential but has the floor of a good #2 receiver, something he Chargers need now. He provides a great deep threat to stretch the field and keep teams from focusing on Allen or Gates. Most importantly it gives the Chargers an effective 1-2 WR punch for years to come to compliment it’s other threats in Ladarius Green and Danny Woodhead.

    With the 121st pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Antonio Richardson, offensive tackle from Tennessee.


    The Chargers struck gold with their tackles last year; the 2013 first round selection of DJ Fluker paid immediate dividends in a future team leader, but King Dunlap was a stunning surprise. A cast off from Philadelphia, Dunlap stepped up and played magnificently at left tackle. However there are three issues with him; first that Dunlap was injured for almost half the year with numerous concussions and neck issues. Second is that he’s only signed for one more year, though he has absolutely earned the right to start in 2014. Finally 2013 was so far and away better than the normal level of play for Dunlap that you worry about a drop in performance. With those concerns, the Chargers add a falling Volunteer.

    In 2012 Richardson impressed the coaching staff enough to move their starting left tackle to guard. That year he was one of the best offensive tackles in the nation. After a microfracture surgery in 2013, one of the strikes that dropped his draft stock, he was effective but not dominant. At 6’6 336lbs he’s a mammoth tackle with impressive power. In the run game he good at locking down opposing rushers and has surprising mobility, speed and second level for his size. He’s also a powerful pass blocker who seeks out contact and controls the battle. Personality wise he’s a team leader and a fiery tough player, someone who will fight hard all game long. On the negative he doesn’t have a high football IQ and has some difficulties with the intricacies of the game. He has had trouble with speed rushers (Jadaveon Clowney was held in check most of their 2013 battle, but did give him fits and a crucial sack at the end of the game) and needs to learn to stop lunging.

    Richardson has all the physical attributed you look for in a blind side protector and has a history of success to match. His fall, like others in the draft, is more from paper cuts than real holes in his game. Richardson would likely be the second back up tackle and would essentially redshirt his freshman year. This would give him time to work fully with the Chargers conditioning and offensive line coaches to work on the little things that affect his game. In 2015 the Chargers would have the freedom to either play Richardson at left tackle, or re-sign King Dunlap and juggle three potential starters.

    With the 153rd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Zach Kerr, nose tackle from Delaware.


    While some might see this as beating the drum for my new home state, it doesn’t change the fact that Kerr is one of the hidden gems of this draft. While small school prospects can often find themselves noticed, it takes a great deal of effort for a Division I-AA player to get drafted. This draft has a number of players from not only the smaller conferences but the second tier of colleges that could make a huge impact. Few would fit the Chargers as well as the massive nose tackle from the Blue Hens.

    Originally a Terrapin, Kerr spent a year at the University of Maryland before a new coach and system pushed him into obscurity. Moving up I-95 to Newark, DE Kerr revitalized his career and showcased his immense talent. At 6’1 323lbs Kerr played all over the field for the Blue Hens from Zero to Five technique in the 3-4. He plays low consistently, has an impressive quick step and transfers speed to power better than any nose tackle in the draft. He is known for being selfless as a 3-4, taking on blocks to let the linebackers make the play, but would routinely step up and make key stops when the defense needed it. Like many nose tackles Kerr needs to work on his conditioning, his hand usage and needs to be a bit more consistent in playing low.

    Kerr is the epitome of a hidden gem; only two teams visited Delaware for its pro day and it’s questionable how many know of this find in the First State. He would make for a fantastic Day 3 picks and could immediately step in and play well. Within a year I could easily see Kerr as the starting nose tackle, if he continues to develop. The Chargers desperately need a real nose tackle and Kerr has all the makings of a star.

    With the 185th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Aaron Colvin, cornerback from Oklahoma.


    Every draft season finds players that meet misfortune once the college season is over. It’s inevitable; just as players can shoot from day three to first rounders, players can also find their stock crashing. This off-season saw two Day 2 prospects tear their ACLs and become late Day 3 selections. This however is fortunate for the Chargers as a talented cornerback falls into their lap.

    A two year starter for the Sooners, at 5’11 184lbs he’s brings incredible talent to the back four of the Chargers. He specializes in man coverage, taking on all comers in the Big 12, but has the intelligence, talent, instincts and ability to play zone too. He shows impressive agility and smooth motion in his cuts and breaks, and has a high football IQ that allows him to jump routes. He is also a willing and effective run stopper and, unlike many other corners, doesn’t shy from blitzing or contact. On the negative he needs to improve his upper body strength, doesn’t have great speed (slightly above average) and has had shoulder injuries and concussions in his career.

    Colvin tore his ACL during the Senior Bowl in January and will likely be on the PUP list to start, if not finish, the season. Colvin could be a fantastic addition for the Chargers of 2015; he has the talent and flexibility to play in almost any scheme. He also doesn’t need much preparation and could easily challenge for a starting job after recovery. For a team with a below average group of corners Colvin, even if he doesn’t play until 2015, would constitute a major upgrade to the Chargers secondary.

    With the 217th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Brandon Thomas, offensive guard from Clemson.

    As noted above, injuries are a horrible tragedy to befall players trying to improve their draft stock as the off-season progresses. There were two big name players that had it happen to them this off-season, and the Chargers can grab both in the last two rounds to improve the team for 2015.

    Thomas started as a guard but spent the last two years protecting the blind side of Tajh Boyd. At 6’3 317lbs many scouts see Thomas’ future at left guard. He has incredible upper body strength combined with fantastic mobility and balance. He routinely threw opposing defenders out of the way and was effective on screens. Just as important he maintains good posture and doesn’t bend from the waist. Thomas does need to work on picking up stunts and blitzes better and has to learn to use his lower body more effectively, which is both discouraging and astonishing given the power that he plays with.

    Thomas is likely going to spend 2014 on the IR, and that’s just fine for the Chargers as the offensive line is returning nearly every player from last year. The following year though the Chargers will only have Troutman, Fluker and Rhinehart under contract. He does have some kinks to work out but under the tutelage of the Chargers staff there’s no reason to believe he can’t work them out. This is a value pick much and if Thomas develops at all this could be an absolute steal.

    Hey! Why didn’t you get a…….

    *Running Back: The Chargers are very well stocked there with Mathews, Brown and Woodhead as well as Kerwyn Williams on the practice squad. Even though two of the three will be free agents next year, the Chargers are overstocked.

    *Safety: Much like with running back, this seems set. Eric Weddle is a guaranteed starter with the re-signed Darrell Stuckey backing him up and playing occasionally. Strong Safety is likely to see a renewed competition between last year’s starter Marcus Gilchrist, the hard-hitting Jahleel Addae and the competitive Brandon Taylor. Four set safeties, one defensive back and the Chargers are overloaded.

    *Tight End: Gates is set for at least one more year, Green might be the next big thing and newly acquired David Johnson will provide competition at third Tight End/primary blocker with John Philips. They also have intriguing youngsters Ryan Otten & Jake Byrne on the practice squad. In short they have too many tight ends.

    *Quarterback: I don’t think the Chargers will go backup quarterback again unless someone impressive drops to them. The team is happy with Sorensen and signed Kellen Clemens to provide veteran back up help.

    *Defensive End: I’ve considered putting a defensive end here because the team will need at least one more to join Lawrence Guy. There are some impressive day 3 names like Ed Stinson from Alabama, Josh Mauro from Stanford and Taylor Hart from Oregon. The Bolts could very well decide they don’t need a nose tackle to focus on a backup defensive end to spell Reyes and Liuget. A lot of this will be determined by what the board looks like on day 3.

    *Center: The Chargers could look for a developmental center day 3 with Nick Hardwick ready to retire next year. Conversely the team could look for someone in day 2 to play guard the first year and move to center in 2015. Look for either Marcus Martin in the second round or possibly a Gabe Ikard late in day 3.
  2. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

    Aug 12, 2006
    Some v nice pick ups there Ant. Did you pick Verrett over any of the other 'top corners'?, who did u reckon was gone when you went to pick at #25?
  3. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    There's so much discrepancy in thought but I imagine Gilbert, Dennard and i'm 50/50 whether fuller will be there. It might come down to Roby/Verrett
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