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Bolts trade up to draft Mathews at No. 12

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-draft-chargers" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/si/2009/writers/stewart_mandel/12/18/new-mexico/ryan-mathews.jpg"><img title="Ryan Mathews" src="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/si/2009/writers/stewart_mandel/12/18/new-mexico/ryan-mathews.jpg" alt="" width="173" height="188" /></a></div>

    SAN DIEGO (AP)-Ryan Mathews was such a big fan of LaDainian Tomlinson that he wore No. 21 at Fresno State and followed the San Diego Chargers.

    Now he gets the chance to replace Tomlinson.

    The Chargers pulled off a surprising trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up in the first round to take Mathews with the No. 12 pick overall on Thursday.

    "I always loved L.T.," Mathews said during a conference call. "I've watched games here and there. They were basically my team growing up. I'm really excited."

    The Chargers moved up 16 spots in the first round and 16 spots in the fourth round, and got Miami's sixth-round pick in exchange for the Nos. 28 and 40 picks, plus inside linebacker Tim Dobbins.

    "It's mind-blowing that they did that," said Mathews, the nation's leading rusher at 150.7 yards per game. "I didn't expect that. It's awesome."

    Coach Norv Turner called Mathews a complete back.

    "I was here when we drafted L.T., and I know how excited I was that day," said Turner, who was offensive coordinator when the Chargers chose Tomlinson with the No. 5 overall pick in 2001. "I'm equally excited to get Ryan here now."

    The Chargers have become pass-happy behind Philip Rivers(notes) and his talented receivers. The pick of Mathews, though, shows they're willing to mix it up.

    "When you see this guy play, you're going to understand why we made the deal we did," Turner said. "I think he's extremely special. I'm thrilled to get him here. I know our offensive line is going to be thrilled to get him here. I think Ryan's going to be excited to be here when he gets around our guys. He knows we're a good football team. He knows were a very good offensive football team."

    Tomlinson was released in February after nine brilliant seasons in which he became one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.

    Tomlinson, who turns 31 in June, was injured early in the 2009 season and finished with 730 yards on 223 carries for an average of 3.3 yards per carry, all career lows.

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