1. Welcome to San Diego Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the San Diego Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Create an Account or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

Olshanski Best of the West

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by RM24, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,109
    Ratings:
    +264
    LINK

    Draft hits and misses have shaped AFC West hierarchy

    Robert Gallery, George Foster and Junior Siavii are among the recent draft busts for Oakland, Denver and K.C. San Diego, meanwhile, has had good luck with several picks, including DE Igor Olshansky.

    It's not a mystery how the AFC West has reached its current lopsided state.

    Good drafting and bad drafting.

    The San Diego Chargers have drafted well in recent years. They have transformed from a floundering franchise to a perennial Super Bowl contender through the draft, bringing in franchise cornerstones such as RB LaDainian Tomlinson, LB Shawne Merriman and QB Philip Rivers (via a draft-day trade with the Giants involving Eli Manning).

    While San Diego has been enjoying the fruits of a successful reconstruction process, the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders have struggled at critical points of the draft in the past half decade.

    That's how the Chargers have become the clear rulers of the AFC West, with no legitimate signs of their dominance being threatened anytime soon. The Chargers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. The other three teams are trying to find their way after a 2007 season in which the Chargers clinched the division crown with two weeks remaining and ended up with a four-game cushion in the standings.

    "San Diego, player per player, is probably as good as anybody in the National Football League and is probably one of the top-five teams," said Denver coach Mike Shanahan, whose team was outscored 64-6 in two games against the Chargers last season. "Personnel-wise, I would say they're right at the top, No. 1. That's saying a lot."

    The AFC West -- long regarded as one of the premier divisions in the game -- has crashed hard. The Broncos were 7-9 last season, only the second losing season in Shanahan's 13-season Denver reign. The Chiefs and Raiders both finished 4-12.

    "It's no secret that San Diego is the team to catch," Oakland coach Lane Kiffin said.

    This month's draft will be the first step for the three also-rans in the AFC West to try to catch up, Chargers-style. If there is a time for Denver, Kansas City and Oakland to reverse the trend, it is now. Oakland, in its usual top-10 area code, chooses fourth; Kansas City chooses fifth; and Denver rounds out the dirty dozen at No. 12.

    The Chargers? Well, they'll be enjoying lunch and perhaps a nap while their AFC West contemporaries frantically try to catch up. The Chargers don't make their first-round pick until No. 27, just eight picks before the Chiefs pick in the second round (the Raiders traded the No. 34 overall pick to Atlanta in the DeAngelo Hall trade).

    "You look how they [the Chargers] drafted," Kansas City coach Herman Edwards said. "They built their team through the draft. They are very talented."

    Indeed, Edwards knows the Chargers' approach to building a roster is the way to go. It was just five years ago that the Chargers were a laughingstock, finishing 4-12 in 2003. But they took advantage of their favorable draft positions and are an elite team, competing, on paper, with New England and Indianapolis for the best roster in the league.

    Since 2004, the Chargers connected on 14 players who are playing major roles. The 2004 draft was particularly terrific; standouts Igor Olshansky (defensive end), Nate Kaeding (place-kicker), Nick Hardwick (center) and Shaun Phillips (linebacker) were nabbed in Rounds 2 through 4 after the Rivers-Manning deal.

    The next year, after Merriman was taken at No. 12, San Diego picked up standout defensive lineman Luis Castillo, blossoming receiver Vincent Jackson and return man Darren Sproles. In 2006, the Chargers' first two picks were cornerback Antonio Cromartie and left tackle Marcus McNeill, two players scouts believe will be longtime Pro Bowlers.

    The Chargers have answered questions at every key position in the draft. The rest of the division? Not so much.

    The Raiders have been the biggest draft-choice wasters of the division. In the past four drafts, Oakland earned the No. 1, No. 7, No. 7 and No. 2 overall picks. But the Raiders has gotten little bang out of those picks, a nasty trend they must halt this year if they are going to meet owner Al Davis' expectations.

    Last year, Oakland took quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first pick. The jury is still very much out. In 2006, instead of taking quarterbacks Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler, Oakland took Texas defensive back Michael Huff, who was the subject of trade talk earlier this offseason.

    In 2005, Oakland traded its top pick to Minnesota in a package for WR Randy Moss, who took a vacation from being Randy Moss in his two years in Oakland. In 2004, the bad early-picking parade began with a bang in the form of offensive lineman Robert Gallery, who'll likely go down as the highest-paid guard never to make a Pro Bowl.

    For Denver, the poor choices have been less dramatic. Still, they have been damaging.

    The Broncos are hurting from poor draft classes in the middle of the decade. From the 2003-05 drafts, just three players remain in classes that featured 2003 first-round bust George Foster, a right tackle, and third-round reach running back Maurice Clarett. The former Ohio State star never even played in a preseason game in 2005. Denver has gotten better in the draft in the past two years but needs to replenish a roster that has suffered from weak classes.

    Of the three sub-.500 teams in the AFC West, Kansas City has had its good moments in the draft. Consider first-round picks such as Larry Johnson, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Dwayne Bowe.

    But the Chiefs have not had consistently fruitful drafts, and that has cost them depth. In 2005, they went 84 picks between Johnson and punter Dustin Colquitt. In 2004, their top pick was in the second round, and they lost big when defensive tackle Junior Siavii lasted just two seasons. The Chiefs have gotten old. The result is a team with many holes.

    It could be long road for the lacking three to catch up with the Chargers via this draft. Here's a quick look at the needs of each AFC West team:

    Denver: Defensive tackle, linebacker, safety, offensive line, receiver, kicker, punter.

    Kansas City: Quarterback, receiver, offensive line, defensive tackle, cornerback.

    Oakland: Offensive line, defensive line, receiver, safety.

    San Diego: Not much.

    "We just have to keep getting better like everyone else," said Chargers coach Norv Turner, clearly being kind to the rest of the division.

    Heading into the draft, it is clear that the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos have to reel in both impact and future talent if they have any chance of making this a balanced division again.
     
  2. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,928
    Ratings:
    +1,746
    This is a good draft for those 3 to make up some ground, if only because of our limited amount of picks.

    I see KC catching up first since they've had the better drafts of the bunch. I expect Oakland to catch up (if ever) last. When they aren't drafting ****, they are busy trading away picks for more ****.
     
  3. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,109
    Ratings:
    +264
    RTL, I expect us to destroy ALL 3 AFC West teams, win the AFC and get sized for the rings! :yes:
     
  4. Thunderstruck

    Thunderstruck BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,981
    Ratings:
    +272
    No excuses this season. We have the talent, Rivers now has sufficient regular season and post-season experience to take us as far as we need to go, there won't be a coaching-transition, we now have the receivers to go with the tight-end and running-back, and our defense is as solid as we've had.

    Time to get it done.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,109
    Ratings:
    +264
    Amen to that Thunderstruck. Amen to that! :bolt:
     
  6. AnteaterCharger

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

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,110
    Ratings:
    +2,929
    unless any of those teams have a 2004 Charger-style season, we will destroy them for two years at least. But teams like Miami, Atlanta and kc Could catch up to us/improve greatly with a good draft here.

    Teams like Oakland/KC/Denver are panicking about not f-ing up the draft, here in San Diego we might as well have a margarita stand at Charger park
     
  7. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,928
    Ratings:
    +1,746
    I was talking long term. I expect KC to catch up first. Not this season though. But this years draft (as they all do, thanks AJ!) will go along way toward that catching up to the frontrunner challenge facing the other teams in the division.
     
  8. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,109
    Ratings:
    +264
    Yeah, I hear you. Maybe our rivals and others will catch up long term if they draft like AJ and Mix do. Hell, WE were the cellar dwellers many years before A.J. took the reigns. It's our time now though. Every team wants to follow the Charger blueprint for success. We are trying to follow the Patriot blueprint with some Lombardi's BUT without the cheating and videotape action...
     
  9. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    We know, and you hate LT also... Good thing AJ runs this team and not you...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Boltomatic

    Boltomatic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Messages:
    757
    Ratings:
    +89
    Olshansky is a beast. Unquestionably one of the top DTs in the NFL!
     
  11. Stan_The_Man_12

    Stan_The_Man_12 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    472
    Ratings:
    +38

    I don't think this surprises anybody on this board. :flag:

    Stan :rivers17:
     
  12. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Ratings:
    +408
    I like Igor a lot - great strength & brings a lot of attitude with his game. He definitely takes no **** - ask Nalen!! :lol:

    If we look for a DL in later rounds, we should take a look at Kendall Langford from Hampton. He's an intriguing prospect from a small school - just AJ's type. :yes:
     
  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    I do not hate Rivers. Is this what you have fallen to? No only fabricating lies about star players to boost your internet ego, but now about me. If that is what gets you off, you go girl....
     
  14. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    Show me one post where I say I hate Rivers. When you cant, crawl back to LLV and stay. You act is old and tired.
     
  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,043
    Ratings:
    +4,979
    Your many posts saying LT pussed out, and gave up on the team shows you hate him.

    Perhaps you wait to pounce, I speak my mind. I am not some weak willed internet ego like you.
     
  16. WyomingBoltFan

    WyomingBoltFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    2,517
    Ratings:
    +312
    I was there. What a cheap shot Nalen going for Igor's knees. Cheap shots is the only way the donks can compete these days.
     
  17. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,109
    Ratings:
    +264
    "The Hate in you for Rivers is Strong Young Conc....."

    [​IMG]

    (Just kidding man....)
     

Share This Page