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Bolts’ list of needs lengthy

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    It starts, obviously, at running back

    By Kevin Acee, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Thursday, February 25, 2010


    INDIANAPOLIS — As of Monday afternoon, this officially became the most anticipated Chargers draft in a half-dozen years.
    The search for the new LaDainian Tomlinson is on.
    And provided the Chargers don’t pull off a trade for DeAngelo Williams or Steven Jackson, which seems unlikely, it will be in the draft that they attempt to accomplish that mammoth task.
    There will be more anticipation for this April’s draft than any year since the Chargers had the first pick in 2004, which they famously used to draft Eli Manning and then traded him for, essentially, Philip Rivers, Nate Kaeding, Roman Oben and Shawne Merriman.
    Now, they’re looking for not only a starting tailback but possibly a backup, too, as Darren Sproles could leave in free agency.
    That said, the team has other holes to fill with what is currently a total of six picks.
    With the NFL Scouting Combine under way this week, here is a look at the Chargers’ needs and where and with whom they might fill them:

    Running back
    Whether the Chargers spend a first-round pick on a running back is not certain, in part because they might feel comfortable finding a good back in the second round.
    “Running backs can be found throughout the draft,” General Manager A.J. Smith has said many times. And he trusts his ability to identify a “steal” later, having selected Michael Turner in the fifth round and Sproles in the fourth.
    However, impact running backs are most often found in the first two rounds, and the Chargers have identified an impact running back as their top need. While this is considered a deep class of running backs, to go any deeper than the second round would be a risk.
    A half-dozen running backs are expected to go in the first two rounds, with opinions predictably varying as to where they will fall.
    There might not be a back worth taking when the Chargers pick at No. 28 unless Smith falls in love with one. He has shown in the past (Eric Weddle, Jacob Hester, Larry English) he doesn’t care what anyone else’s grade on a player is. If Smith wants him, Smith will take him.
    The consensus top running back is Clemson’s C.J. Spiller, but he is not expected to last anywhere near as long as the Chargers would need — unless they trade up.
    To ensure selecting one of the next cluster of top backs — Fresno State’s Ryan Mathews, Cal’s Jahvid Best or Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer — Smith might have to trade up in the second round.

    Defensive end
    Ryon Bingham is healthy after missing the 2009 season with a biceps tear, but he might be called on to play tackle. Jacques Cesaire has done a commendable job as a super-sub and fill-in starter the past six seasons, but the Chargers could use a true starter to complement Luis Castillo.
    This is a draft deep in 3-4 ends, so the Chargers could spend the 28th pick on someone like Penn State’s Jared Odrick, or they could wait for a half-dozen capable ends likely to be available in the second round.

    Nose tackle
    Jamal Williams might be too expensive ($6 million) to bring back, and even if he returns for 2010, he is almost certainly finished as a Charger after that. And as good as Ogemdi Nwagbuo played in his first season before getting injured, there is still much to see before saying he could be a full-time, long-term starter.
    So the Chargers need to find their next anchor on the line.
    That’s easier said than done. For all the top-shelf defensive tackles in the draft, not many of them are suited to play that position in a 3-4, and the Chargers are not drafting high enough.
    As one member of the team’s personnel department pointed out, “We’ve been searching for our next nose tackle for a couple years.”
    There are a lot of defensive tackles that the so-called experts grade in the first three rounds. Depending on how they address their running back need and which nose tackles are available — Alabama’s Terrence Cody or North Carolina’s Cam Thomas — the Chargers could finally take their first step into the post-Williams era.

    Cornerback
    There are indications the team will draft a cornerback regardless of whether they strike a deal to trade Antonio Cromartie.
    That pick likely would not come too high, as they can groom a young corner behind Antoine Cason.
    This pick is necessary, in part, because the Chargers were disappointed in 2009 fifth-round pick Brandon Hughes even before he went on injured reserve last summer.

    Right tackle
    It is likely Jeromey Clary will start again for the Chargers in 2010, but he is not so secure (nor are the Chargers so deep) that a potential replacement won’t be drafted.
    Brandyn Dombrowski played capably for Clary after the latter went on IR in ’09. Coaches have said they won’t limit Dombrowski, but his future is likely at guard.

    Inside linebacker
    This is a need for down the road, and only if there is a project available in the late rounds.
    Every one of the Chargers’ inside linebackers could be gone after 2010, so the team needs to start thinking about depth and perhaps replacement starters.
    An intriguing prospect might be Washington’s Donald Butler, a physical and heady player the Chargers could really use as they bolster their run defense.
     
  2. SDDon

    SDDon BoltTalker

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    Here are my thoughts on the draft and the needs that most think the Chargers have. I am assuming that we will add a couple of picks to the 6 we have now, with an additional 2nd and 4th round choices. These would be obtained by trading Cro and possibly other back-up types in two different trades.

    First Round – With Cro traded we need a CB, Kyle Wilson from Boise St.
    is by far the best option

    Second Round – O-Line Round, OG/OT Vladimir Ducasse from UMass and then take OT Jared Veldheer from Hillsdale. This is a serious commitment to this one area but the value is here, these two guys are from smaller schools but are both First Round Talents. These guys are NOT just depth type guys, both of them should become full-time starters.

    Third Round – General Purpose RB, a guy who will run the ball between the 20’s, plus catch some passes. Monterio Hardesty from Tenn. He was the leading rusher in the SEC in 2009.

    Fourth Round – Our Jumbo Back for the Red Zone and other short yardage needs is LaGarrette Blount from Oregon. He also will be used late in games to run the clock when we take the air out of the football in games we have a big lead in. In addition we grab Micah Johnson of Kentucky an ILB. He has good size and above average speed, solid tackler and good instincts.

    Fifth Round – DE Vince Oghobasse from Duke. A real good value pick here and a player who has a very high ceiling. He is tall, big, and strong along with decent speed.

    Seventh Round – OLB Junior Galette of Stillman. This guy is an awesome talent, very quik first step, he is a sack machine. Total value pick here, with unlimited upside.

    UDFA – These two guys are a must sign, in fact if we somehow could get a couple of extra 7th round picks to select them I would be all for it. Change of Pace RB, LaMarcus Coker from Hampton has more size then Sproles and the speed of CJ2K. He would be our 3rd down back and return specialist. He also could line up in certain sets as the slot receiver. Travis Ivey from Maryland is a big body true NT sized DT with decent speed for the position, he would be a value depth pick-up, a little bit of a project type guy but he is not far off from the big 3 NT prospects of Williams, Cody or Thomas.
     
  3. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I say Trade Cro and Phillips for a 3rd each. It would allow us to address NT depth, DE depth, RB, ILB, and CB in the 1st 3 rounds. Plus go out and sign Chester Taylor to split carries with Blount (3rd round) and we could solve our RB issues and defense issues all in the 1st 3 rounds. And since we drafted English last year and still have Merriman for at least on more year, Phillips is expendable
     
  4. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I don't get how you can't even address NT depth, even if it is late? You are sold on OG and Garay as the long term solutions at NT? I sure as hell am not
     
  5. SDDon

    SDDon BoltTalker

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    Well, IMO there is only one First Round Talent that can play NT and that is Dan Williams. Next is Cam Thomas who I feel is a 3rd round talent and yes, I don't think Thomas impact on next years team only would be more tha OG, Garay, Scott and maybe Bingham. All 4 of those guys are equal to what Thomas would give us next year.

    You also missed my UDFA selection of Travis Ivey, who is a true NT at 341 lbs., his measurables are very similar to Thomas, anybody between Thomas and Ivey on the board for DT are not true NT. The key to this position in a 3-4 scheme as youn know is to demand a double team. Undersized 4-3 DT don't work well as NT period.

    IMO, Cody is a TOTAL BUIST, not worth a roster spot at all. The guy can't play 3 plays in a row, gets winded and goes to the sidelines for 60% of the plays and that is when he is healthy. Just think how he would act when it is late in the season and he is banged up from playing. Cody is a statue in a phone booth.
     
  6. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I agree with most of what you say, especially about Cody being a bust. But Even if the NT we draft doesn't have a HUGE impact this year, we need to get a guy ready to start and have an impact in 2011 after Jamal is gone.

    The later we take someone, the lower the odds are that they are ready to take the job next year. If we can get a 3rd for Cro and hopefully Phillips, that would give us 5 picks in the 1st 3 rounds and would allow us to get a NT even if we have to reach a little
     
  7. SDDon

    SDDon BoltTalker

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    Look at Travis Ivey before you say Cam Thomas is the guy you want. Ivey is bigger now, just as fast and strong and that is all you need for that position in a 3-4 alignment.

    Why does everyone think the guys we have now won't improve to be that guy for 2011. Why can't we restucture Jamal deal for two more years for a reduced workload.

    I also question if we can trade Cro, and then Phillips like you want and not take a hit at both of those spots. I don't think you can do all of that this year. Maybe one but not both. IMO, Cro is the bigger area of need for an upgrade.

    Not you but others want to get rid Coop also, and I know you are in favor of upgrading the O-Line in both the short term and long term.

    I am not saying you feel this way but, some folks just think that a back-up player is going to step in and do the job. I don't see any reason that is a guarenteed outcome. I am not willing to gamble next season on trying to upgrade the overall morals of this team. Take Tucker for instance, since that great game he played against the Raiders to end the year a couple of seasons ago, what has he done to make you think if he was need he could do the job.
     
  8. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    Actually, I do want to get rid of Cooper. I just know he has zero trade value because other teams knows he sucks just like most Charger fans do. That is why I mentioned ILB as a position that could be upgraded, it was his position that needs to be upgraded
     
  9. SDDon

    SDDon BoltTalker

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    DB67, this is not the year for the moral majority police to clean this team up. I also think some of our guys as far as there on field play took a hit on what they normally would produce as the LB's had to take on extra to help with run support at times.

    I think there is a distinct possibility that Coop, Philipps and Cro will still be Chargers this next season.

    I would like your opinion on some of my lower round guys for some of those spots though. Micah Johnson looks to be a good ILB prospect, he might be a 2 down type right now but with both Dobbins and Siler being RFA's next season we need depth if you want to get rid Coop at some point.

    Pat Angerger is a smaller ILB with great cover skills, he is IMO a upgrade over Burnett. Vince Oghobasse is a very solid DE prospect for a 3-4 alignment and good be a real low round find.

    Junior Galette, is a kid who was at Temple and then played his last seson at Stillman in Alabama. He is a high mortor non-stop pass rusher with a very quick first step and he has the results to show for his skill set. He has the size and the speed to excell at the NFL level.
     
  10. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I don't follow college football, and don't really pay attention to the lower round guys. So Any opinion I gave would just be me making crap up.

    I do think there is a good possibility that Cooper and Phillips are here next year despite my feelings, but I think there is as much of a chance of LT coming back as there is Cro coming back. His lack of effort and complaining about thee zone defense will have him on a quick ride out of SD
     
  11. SDDon

    SDDon BoltTalker

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    I would love to replace him with Kyle Wilson even at the expense of having to let Cam Thomas go elsewhere and getting a project player who will have very little impact next year at NT like Travis Ivey.
     
  12. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I am fine with a guy who has little impact next year, although if we can get a impact player then great, we need a guy who can replace Jamal in 2011 (or 2012 if there is a lockout in '11)
     
  13. SDDon

    SDDon BoltTalker

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    I think those guys are this team right now. OG, Scott, Garay and maybe Martin beefs it up and becomes our guy at NT. I think we will always have this new rotation going, it just makes allot of sense both for freshness and cost.

    I am telling you Cam Thomas is no better than the 4 guys I just mentioned to you. He is a shade more hyped and maybe slightly better now that this kid I think we should bring in as a UDFA project, Travis Ivey. For me the biggest thing at NT is size and strength and the stamina to stay on the field.

    That is why I am so down on Cody, he has the size and then some but it is a tire around his middle, he doesn't have the strength and his stamina is just terible. As I said earlier today just think when you add that Cody is nicked up towards the end of the seon and you will get nothing from this guy. Another year or two at the chow line and this guy is out of the league. This guy is closer to be a HOF food eater than a NT in the NFL.

    Before anybody says I slamming Fat Guys, well I am one and have been all my life, but I am not trying to get paid millions to play NT in the NFL, I know my physical limitations.
     
  14. vmax

    vmax BoltTalker

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    All the media types keep saying we will go RB in rd 1, but I just don't see it. There are a lot of backs coming out and there should be plenty available in rounds 2-4. In the past AJ has said we don't need a hall of fame RB to win we need a decent RB, and we know he feels that good RBs can be found in the mid rounds. AJ's picks of Turner and Sproles seem to back up his claims.

    I would like to see the best DL or OL player available picked in rds 1 and 2 unless someone really special drops to us.
     
  15. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I agree, especially in this system. Taking a RB in the 1st would be a waste. We need to use our top picks addressing issues where the players can have an impact.

    I still think we need to trade Cro and Phillips for the best we can get, probably no higher than a late 2nd or early 3rd. That would give us 5 picks in the 1st 3 rounds which would allow us to address NT, DE, CB, ILB, and RB in the 1st 3 rounds
     

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