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Anteater's Draft Grade and Review

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by AnteaterCharger, May 11, 2014.

  1. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://bolttalk.com/threads/anteaters-2014-nfl-draft-review.28746/

    Chargers 2014 Draft Review

    By: Loren Casuto

    Bolttalk Podcast Co-Host & Writer



    1st Round: Jason Verrett CB Texas Christian

    When the Chargers were on the clock, they had three of the top five cornerbacks on the board. By their pick, there were only two left. Nevertheless the possibility of a cornerback run never materialized and the team could choose from the two that were foreseen to be there. It will never be known what was said in meetings between the Chargers brass & those two cornerbacks, but the team drafted the feisty and fast smaller cornerback over the inconsistent but talented one.

    As I said in my mock draft, and numerous NFL scouts and insiders confirmed, Verrett would have been the top cornerback had he been two inches taller. He brings an impressive combination of speed, instincts, aggressiveness and versatility. He doesn’t just have to play in a zone heavy scheme but can mix it up man to man. The thing that’s the most intriguing element of his game is Verrett’s understanding of the route running tree and his ability to know where it’s going and run the route for the receiver. He must continue to improve his upper body strength and his torn labrum must be watched closely in his first camp and into the pre-season. He already knows how to play against bigger receivers but he must continue to hone his craft.

    Nevertheless he is now the best cornerback on the starting roster and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s pushing hard for a starting job immediately. Just as importantly this is a man that was born and raised in California and in numerous public opportunities stated he wanted to play for San Diego. At the very least the Chargers can feel confident that with Verrett, Steve Williams and Brandon Ghee, the team is on it’s way to rebuilding the secondary.

    Grade: A-


    2nd Round: Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Georgia Tech

    If cornerback was the biggest need of the San Diego Chargers, you could make the case that pass rush was second most. I had the team going with Kyle Van Noy but he went early in the second, which led to a number of pass rushers going very early.

    Attaochu is a great story; a Nigerian immigrant who attempted to join the Yellow Jacket soccer team only to walk into the wrong room and be recruited onto the football team. He has impressive speed combined with a fantastic burst off the edge that leaves offensive tackles in the dust throughout the game with exceptional conditioning. His repertoire of pass rush moves is growing steadily and will only get better with time and experience. He fights hard and doesn’t stop no matter what, showing incredible body control and a motor that never quits. On the negatives he isn’t polished having only played for a few years, needs to improve his instincts and has to become a better all around tackler.

    I dislike spending a fourth rounder to jump up seven spots, both this year and last year when they did it to grab Manti Te’o. The Chargers to some degree panicked and traded up for a player who might not have fallen to the team’s original spot at 57. His talent is unquestionable but at the same time he is rawer than the average second rounder with a higher bust potential if he can’t take that next step. Nevertheless this is a player that could most benefit from the Chargers’ situation; he can learn from Jarrett Johnson and Dwight Freeney and take over for them as a starter alongside Melvin Ingram in 2015. I couldn’t imagine learning from a better OLB duo and for a raw player with such potential, the sky is the limit for Attaochu. But then again, so is the bust potential.

    Grade: B


    3rd Round: Chris Watt OL Notre Dame

    The Chargers did need offensive line help, this was discussed among the different boards and forums with a few thinking the team could go offensive line in the first round. Instead the Chargers stayed at their spot and chose a lineman from a storied program that made his name at one, but whose future might be somewhere else.

    Expected to be a mid-day three prospect, Watt is the kind of unexciting but effective players that blow past his draft day expectations and projection. A fifth year senior and a three year starter at left guard, he combined with first rounder Zach Martin to solidify the Irish’s left side. He shows impressive intelligence, instincts and awareness, and has physicality to match. He has powerful hands and impressive upper body strength winning with a great combination of technique and power, and is a fantastic drive blocker. He doesn’t have long arms and isn’t great at pulling due to a lack of speed. What’s also a little concerning is that while he fight hard and is tough, he doesn’t seek to bury people along the lines of a Dielman or Fluker.

    Immediately upon his drafting, Charger fans started clamoring for the end of Jeromey Clary. But while he played primarily at guard, a lot of scouts think he could be a fantastic center. Offensive Line coach Joe D’Alessandris likes his linemen to be adapt at numerous positions and the Chargers will definitely make him take reps all over the interior. What this pick does give the team is flexibility not just this year but in the future. He might very well be a threat to Johnnie Troutman who played decently at left guard, he might be a threat to Jeromey Clary who remains the highest paid offensive lineman on the roster, or he could be the heir apparent to Nick Hardwick. However this is a reach and a player that leaves some questions as to where he will fit in.

    Grade: B-


    5th Round: Ryan Carrethers NT Arkansas St

    Going into the draft the team had an obvious glaring need at nose tackle. Cam Thomas was a disaster and left for Pittsburgh, Sean Lissenmore is a smaller than average nose tackle and while good isn’t a foreseeable starter. Kwame Geathers definitely flashed potential in the preseason and camp but was a non-factor during the season and remains very raw. The Chargers definitely needed to add someone, and they did with their first pick on Day 3.

    A two year starter and former Tennessee wrestling champion, Carrethers fits the profile for a nose tackle at 6’1 337lbs, yet has only 16% body fat and incredibly put up 32 reps at the combine. For a nose tackle he has been amazingly productive with 93 tackles last year alone (by comparison, the Chargers top tackler was Eric Weddle with 88). He is very powerful, strong and anchors beautifully against the double team. He understand leverage naturally, though is still learning the finer points of technique, and plays hard through the whistle. While he has some decent lateral agility he is slow, has shorter than average arms, with below average acceleration and won’t be chasing plays far beyond the line of scrimmage. As with many nose tackles, the team will need to monitor his stamina, but unlike many nose tackles his weight won’t be a problem.

    I had predicted the Chargers to go nose tackle in the 5th but instead of Zach Kerr they went Ryan Carrethers. This is likely a matter of preference, and Carrethers was a consistent performer for two years before taking over the starting nose tackle position. The Chargers now have a talented 1-2 punch at nose tackle with a quicker penetrator in Sean Lissenmore and the heavy ‘hold the line’ tackle in Carrethers. It might be a small reach on a small school prospect but it’s a fine selection. Look for Carrethers to rotate with Lissenmore with an outside chance that he moves into the starting line up in 2015.

    Grade: B+


    6th Round: Marion Grice RB Arizona St

    While the Chargers had a number of needs, you could reasonably assume that the Chargers were set at running back. Mathews had established himself as the bell-cow that everyone thought they were getting in 2010. Donald Brown, another first round back that hadn’t lived up to his potential until 2013, was added to keep the running game going. Danny Woodhead was a revelation and instant fan favorite as a third down back and receiver. To that however the Chargers grabbed a Sun Devil who had a drastic fall since March.

    At 6’0 208lbs Grice has good size and runs hard to that effect. He doesn’t take the easy way out and will taken on tacklers to gain a few extra yards. He is a versatile player that is fundamentally sound, he is an effective receiver with 91 catches over the last two years and over 10 yards a catch on average. He’s returned kicks and punts and is the only running back in the country to have over 400yds in receiving, rushing and returning. Grice is also intelligent with a fantastic work ethic. While he is quick and has good size, he isn’t fast nor is he a bruising running back. He can and will be caught from behind and does go down easier than you’d like. He is also recovering from a broken leg.

    This is a value pick at first glance, Grice was a highly thought of running back until he started dropping after his injury and his poor showing at the combine. Grice could provide an immediate impact as a return specialist and special teamer, and that is what he will have to do to make the team with three already entrenched starters. If he doesn’t make a fine showing he could find himself cut or on the practice squad immediately. But what intrigues me is that his skill set is a combination of Brown and Woodhead, making him a useful backup if Mathews and/or Woodhead leave in free agency next year. However this is a luxury pick with better players at immediate needs still available.

    Grade: C+


    7th Round: Tevin Reese WR Baylor

    With their last pick the Chargers added the potential offensive playmaker, someone Charger fans had been expecting since the draft started. With a number of options available on the board, the Chargers didn’t go with a more polished player instead going with an amazingly fast and thin receiver who made his name in a spread system.

    Reese’s main weapon is his speed, he’s explodes off the line of scrimmage, eats up an opposing DBs cushion, changes gears and breaks with little wasted motion. He can fly pass defenders with the agility and grace of a gazelle and specializes in go & vertical routes, but has trouble winning against press coverage. Reese shows impressive awareness of gaps in zones as well as the adequate ball skills and better than average body control for catches. He also shows impressive maturity & work ethic, becoming a more vocal leader during his time at Baylor. On the negative he is incredibly thin, he was the lightest player at the combine weighing only 163lbs. In context he’s 21lbs lighter than Lance Alworth at his playing weight. Reese needs an NFL strength and weight program more than any other prospect in this draft. He also needs to expand his repertoire of routes beyond vertical routes alone.Reese doesn’t have any experience in the return game, so it’s unlikely that he will start now.

    Ideally Reese developmental strategy is for him to work on his route running and strength program so that he can develop into an effective slot receiver. Still given his speed, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him on the field this year to blow the top off of defenses. He is the kind of 7th rounder you grab because he can develop quickly into a playmaker. He has a lot of the tools you can’t teach and the rest can be developed.

    Grade: B


    Undrafted Class

    The 2014 class is made up of primarily athletes that the Chargers had previously invited for visits or spoken with prior to the Draft. There aren’t as many big names as there were in the 2013 class, but it definitely includes some promising players. CB Chris Davis of Auburn is the defensive back that ran the missed field goal back over 100 yds in the incredible Iron Bowl game. He has impressive return experience and decent zone coverage ability. DB Alden Darby is a true tweener having played all over the secondary for the Sun Devils and has great playmaking ability. DE Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, originally born in Amsterdam and has only played football for three years, is an active and hard working player with impressive raw ability. Colton Underwood was a defensive end for Illinois State but will be moving to outside linebacker to take advantage of his work ethic, speed and strong production. WR Brelan Chancellor was Special Teams player of the year with the USA conference and projects as a slot receiver and returner with his amazing agility, speed and competitive nature.


    Final Grade: B

    If this draft doesn’t have the sizzle of his 2013 class, it has plenty of steak for this year and beyond. The team walked into the draft with a number of holes and by the end had drafted quality talent at nearly every need. Looking at this draft, especially combined with the free agency class, you can see a plan for 2015 more than this year. It has players that likely won’t start in 2014 but will be starting at a high level by 2015. Even though this group will likely have fewer immediate starters than the 2013 class, by 2016 as a class this could end up with more starters than any draft class since 2005. Don’t grade this group after the draft or even after one season, let’s talk in 2016 and see just how impressive this group is.
     
  2. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    I don't want Reece in the slot, I want him out wide running past defenders, just watched some of his highlight tapes and couldn't help but smile, like a Deasean Jacksnon or T.Y. Hilton just run the "Go" or "deep post" route and I'll see you in the end zone.

    As far are Grice, I love the pick although I am not in love with it. Being 4 deep at the RB position is a nice problem to have. last year what hurt us the most was no run game in the playoffs, If he makes the 53 but is an inactive on gamedays that means the other 3 are healthy and doing their jobs. He looks like he could be used more as a pass catcher than a rusher IMO

    Watt brings some much needed youth to what was arguably our most seasoned and often injured position, I suspect Watt to get thrown into the line up really quick and he has hinted (when asked where he thinks he'll play) they want him to focus on playing at one of the 3 interior spots (LG, RG, OC) I would like him to start at LG and possibly throw him in some OC in practice for next year. At worst we have a really good LG of the future.

    Attaochu is the 1B my favorite pick as of now, He can sit back and learn his future spot this year learning from guys like Jarrett Johnson, Dwight Freeney, and Melvin Ingram. We can have him come in, pin his ears back and go get the QB. Having our DE as our sack leader with 4, just wasn't cutting it.

    Carreathers, if nothing more than he makes the 10 other guys around him better, but he himself doesn't show up on the stat sheet, I'd say he's doing his job. The NT in a 3-4 is much like an offensive linemen, odds are you're not going to get the attention, or credit you deserve, which will eventually lead to not getting the contract you deserve as well. I am hopeful he will be a nice addition to what was the most needed spot this year.

    Jason Verrett, ideally he will be attacking the opposing teams number 1 guy, but we can also throw him on an island to attack the teams fastest guys, while Wright and who ever else double up on DT, Bowe, Michael Floyd, Brandon Marshall etc.
     
  3. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I think Bolttak posters are literally the only ones who don't like the Grice pick.

    I'm constantly reading nothing but good things about that pick at other places (Reese too)

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/...l-draft-grading-each-team-within-its-division

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/writer...on-second-thought-rams-valedictorians-of-2014

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap20...draft-day-3-quicksnap-grades-for-all-32-teams

    I think a lot of us are just hung up on the fact that he's a RB, but it's the 6th round and at that point value starts to outweigh positional needs a lot more....at least IMO.
     
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  4. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    Only thing I don't like about the pick is we spent our limited cap space signing Donald Brown instead of improving more needy areas of the roster, like NT with Earl Mitchell or RG with Jon Asamoah. This would be an excellent pick if it had been our strategy to build our RB corps through the draft from the start, like the Patriots do. Maybe go Seastrunk in round 5 and Grice in round 6...and we'd have a good duo behind Mathews and Woodhead.

    I don't hate the player though, it's a good value pick.
     
  5. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    My grades on each pick, short hand version....

    25 CB Verrett - Would have been the pick in the BT mock draft had he been there. A.
    50 OLB Attaochu -
    Rotational pass rusher, future every down OLB A.
    89 OG Watt -
    This is where you find guards, not in round 1. B+
    165 NT Carrethers -
    Seems like a good rotational NT, but not an every down player. B
    201 RB Grice -
    Good value, good all around player, no need to pay Donald Brown what should be Ryan Mathews' money next year. B.
    240 WR Reese -
    Explosive speed, good fit for the offense if he gains a little weight. I really hope he can return kicks because he didn't in college. B.
     
  6. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    I think everyone agrees Grice was a value and was a nice find, and that is definitely the MO of Telesco and his front office. It was with Allen which worked out but I don't know if this will be the same; you could make a hell of a case that Antonio Richardson was an even bigger value on the board. TT hit all of the other needs very effectively and this apparently is the case where he decided the value took precedence.

    And Reese looks intriguing, very intriguing. But I don't know if you put a guy like that on the outside right now.
     
  7. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    So, you don't like the Brown FA signing then? That's a different analysis than this pick.

    I don't typically expect 6th round draft picks to have immediate impacts so I'm not sure what one thing has to do with the other.

    I'd rather not have gone into the season expecting Matthews (still nervous about injury history), Woodhead relegated to pure running, and a 6th round draft pick (no matter how much I like the pick)

    Donald Brown was practically a necessity.
     
  8. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how considering 32 GMs felt he wasn't good enough to even draft.
     
  9. tito

    tito BoltTalker

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    I really don't dislike any pick, I actually like that TT will make a trade to get someone he thinks is 1st round talent in the 2nd.

    Unfortunately, trading for Attaochu may have cost us Moncrief or Ellington. I don't which player the Bolts liked more, but knowing they didn't have a 4th rounder is most likely why they took Watt when they did.

    I like the Reese kid, but I still think the team needs a #2 with good size and decent athleticism that can handle starting duties and hold up over the course of a season. With Reese, we still have a china doll WR core. I don't hate any one player, I still don't like the mix. Moncrief would have been an awesome addition. Taking Watt over him, is still a slightly bitter pill, but one I understand.
     
  10. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    I just didn't like the offseason strategy in general, the strategy that was "fear free agents". The only real viable FAs we signed were a career backup RB and LB who Telesco already knew. Solid as Brown is as a backup, after that I didn't see RB or ILB as draft worthy positions unless the value just became rediculous. Although I do see value in Grice long term IF we don't re-sign Mathews, which I think would be a big mistake unless he just falls apart this year.

    I think it's more than likely (if we're lucky) Grice just takes up the 53rd roster spot and never makes a game day roster....or we risk putting him on the PS and losing him. It seems like a small dilemma I know, but wait until the end of training camp and injuries have happened and we need that roster spot. It's what happened to Gartrell Johnson and Jordan Todman, 2 wasted picks.

    All said, I do like Grice as a #3 committee back.
     
  11. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    I think it was more the "we have no money, thanks AJ" FA plan
     
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  12. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    HAHA true enough. But we did have some money/cap available, tied up in someone we've talked (okay I've talked) about way too much, and that's Jeromey Clary who's cap hit is $6M this year.

    Here are the 2014 cap hits of some of the FAs signed...
    OG Jon Asamoah; $2.8M
    OG Geoff Schwartz $2.35M
    OG Shelly Smith $2.5M
    NT Earl Mitchell $3.5M
    NT BJ Raji $4M (1 year deal, only 500k guaranteed)
    SS TJ Ward; $3.25M
    OLB Lamaar Woodley $4.8M
    WR Hakeem Nicks $3.9M (1 year deal)
    WR Steve Smith $2.16M
    WR Andre Roberts $2.2M
    CB Captain Munnerlyn $3.3M
    DT Alex Carrington $1.5M

    That's not everybody I was interested in but you get the point, and a lot of these guys don't have much money guaranteed after year 1. Seeing as we drafted a soon be 24 year old plug and play OG Clary and his contract are even more hard to swallow now than they were back when THESE players were available.
     
  13. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    I'll tell you what, Tevin Reese has to clean up his route running, gain some muscle and work on his hands before stepping onto the football field on Sundays. He won't get as open as he did in college in the NFL thats for sure.

    There's a reason guys like TY Hilton and Deasean Jackson are feared for their speed, teams don't want to get burned over the top but they also have to respect them underneath. They do more than just run vertical routes. They're dangerous in the slant, screen, endaround, etc. game. I'm hoping Reese can be half of what they are.
     
  14. tito

    tito BoltTalker

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    I don't share in your Clary hate. I think he's an average player with above average intangibles. Meaning, he's got all those qualities McCoy and Telesco talk about as far team culture and the types of players they want. I do think he's grossly overpaid though (I don't think there is any doubt there), but that's more of an issue to be had with the front office, mostly the prior one. It would been nice to have one the those WR's listed above to on this roster, so I share in your frustration on that part.
     
  15. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I don't foresee Grice as Matthews' replacement but Woodhead's...and basically insurance.

    And if he winds up being a Jordan Todman or Gatrell Johnson then so be it. That's the (minimal) risk you take with a value pick in the 6th round.

    If we made a value pick in round 1 or 2, or even 3 I'd probably feel different.

    I mean, we are talking about round 6 here. You can make similar arguments for pretty much anybody that was available at that juncture no matter how much of a positional need it may have been for us.
     
  16. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    And I'm not a big fan of big free agency splashes anyway.

    9 times out of 10 you wind up paying a guy more for what he did for the other team he made his name for and less for what he winds up doing for you.
     
  17. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    I don't think any one or two of the guys I listed would constitute a big splash, not every free agent is a big splash move. And all of them would have been affordable (key word) moves had we just released the guy we just basically replaced with a 3rd round pick.

    Now the question is does Watt start at LG or RG? From what I'm hearing most people think Watt will stay at LG and we move Rinehart to RG, and if Rinehart beats out Clary in camp (not unlikely at all) what have we gained by keeping him around all that time? A golfing buddy for Rivers and Weddle in the offseason?


    PS. That's how you know your team NEVER signs free agents, when the fans start to think any player with the remote possibility of starting is considered a "splash." I think the truth is everyone is a little gun shy after Derek Cox, front office included.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  18. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Reese addressed the lack of kick returning in college in an interview. He said it was a decision of the Baylor coaches not to use any of their offensive stars on special teams, but that he returned kicks throughout high school and is very comfortable doing it. Looking at his highlight video, it certainly looks like he has the quickness, change of direction and flat out speed to excel as both a punt and kick returner.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
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