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

Should AJ draft OL depth on day one?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Thumper, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,615
    Ratings:
    +1,467
    Stacked on line, Chargers seek maintenance men

    By: MIKE SULLIVAN - Staff Writer - North County Times

    SAN DIEGO -- Scan the credentials of the Chargers' offensive line and you'll find two Pro Bowlers and three players with contracts that stretch through at least the 2011 season. Only one of the team's five starters is older than 26 years old.

    The impression is that the Chargers are in great shape in the trenches. Particularly after retaining left guard Kris Dielman last month with a six-year, $39 million deal.

    But that doesn't mean general manager A.J. Smith won't be tempted to use one of his four first-day picks in the April 28-29 NFL draft on an offensive lineman.

    Smith covets big, physical linemen and is always on the lookout to further fortify the line.

    "It's always very, very important to try and maintain (the line)," Smith said recently. "Once you build your line up front, what's behind it?"

    Smith scored big in the 2006 NFL draft by snagging left tackle Marcus McNeill of Auburn in the second round with the 50th overall selection. Some teams were skeptical of McNeill's back troubles, leaving him available for the Chargers.

    The plan was for McNeill to be a backup as a rookie, but injuries to Leander Jordan and Roman Oben opened the door for him to become a starter. McNeill performed so well that he was one of the 10 Chargers who played in the 2007 Pro Bowl.

    "Marcus was brought in here to be in the wings," Smith said. "We thought he would be a terrific player, maybe at the end of the year or certainly the following year."

    Any nervousness Smith felt about having a rookie left tackle quickly dissipated as McNeill exceeded all expectations while protecting quarterback Philip Rivers' blind side.

    "When he got thrown in there, we were like, 'Uh oh, good luck rookie,' " Smith said. "So we were pleasantly surprised that the talent just emerged immediately."

    There's certainly some future Pro Bowl-caliber tackles in this year draft who will be selected long before the Chargers pick for the first time at No. 30.

    Wisconsin's Joe Thomas is a ready-made starter who is expected to be one of the first five players selected. Thomas dominated in the physical Big Ten and won the Outland Trophy as college football's top lineman.

    Penn State's Levi Brown will be another early selection, and many draft experts forecast him to be among the top 10 picks. Brown isn't as polished as Thomas but could eventually be just as productive.

    Another intriguing tackle is Central Michigan's Joe Staley, who has seen his stock continually rise since impressing NFL talent evaluators at the Senior Bowl.

    Staley could be a late first-round selection.

    Auburn's Ben Grubbs and Texas' Justin Blalock are the top two available guards. Grubbs, who played college football with McNeill, is considered the most refined guard in the draft. Blalock started 51 consecutive games for the Longhorns and his durability and work ethic have impressed pro scouts.

    Tennessee's Arron Sears played left tackle last season for the Volunteers, but pro scouts feel his skills are more suited to playing guard. He displayed versatility over his college career by starting games at both guard spots and both tackle positions.

    USC's Ryan Kalil is the top center after dominating in the Pacific-10 Conference. Hawaii's Samson Satele is an aggressive player who could be picked in the second round.

    Other highly coveted offensive linemen include Northern Illinois tackle Doug Free, Arkansas tackle Tony Ugoh, Iowa guard/tackle Marshal Yanda and Texas Tech guard Manuel Ramirez.

    Fresno State center Kyle Young, an alumnus of Fallbrook High, has an outside shot of being a late-round pick but appears more likely to be signed as a free agent following the draft.

    Who they have

    LT Marcus McNeill
    LG Kris Dielman
    C Nick Hardwick
    RG Mike Goff
    RT Shane Olivea
    T Roman Oben
    G Scott Mruczkowski
    C Cory Withrow
    T Cory Lekkerkerker
    T Leander Jordan

    Who's available

    T Joe Thomas, Wisconsin 1
    T Levi Brown, Penn State 1
    T Joe Staley, Central Michigan 1-2
    G Ben Grubbs, Auburn 1
    G Justin Blalock, Texas 1-2
    G Arron Sears, Tennessee 2
    C Ryan Kalil, USC 1-2
    C Samson Satele, Hawaii 2-3

    Thomas and Brown have Pro Bowl talent and should be immediate starting tackles. Grubbs and Blalock are the only guards that could go in the opening round. Kalil is a standout center prospect. Lots of serviceable linemen will be picked on the draft's second day.

    -- Mike Sullivan

    LINK
     
  2. Ride The Lightning

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

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,928
    Ratings:
    +1,746
    HELL YES.

    :yes:
     
  3. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,615
    Ratings:
    +1,467
    If there's value in the pick, I love to stack up on oline. :tup:
     
  4. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    8,559
    Ratings:
    +579
    Another mauler would make Papa veeeeerrrrry happy. :yes:
     
  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    17,097
    Ratings:
    +3,551
    NO!
    The only position we're worried about on O-line is RT, and maybe some depth questions. But its nothing to get panicked about.
    Waste of a pick if you ask me.
     
  6. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,615
    Ratings:
    +1,467
    Depth on the oline is huge. I think we're in very good shape now, but hanestly, I'd love to see AJ draft a late round OL guy or two. Maybe take a look if any good OL left as undrafted free agents also. Let them compete. If we get someone wth a great upside that ends up on the practice squad, cool. If we find someone that can add some quality depth, even better.
     
  7. smelleyott

    smelleyott BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    19
    Ratings:
    +2
    i would address o-line on day 2. normally you can get good OL depth in the later rounds. for the our day one picks i would go with s, wr, dt, mlb, olb in that order.
     
  8. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    17,097
    Ratings:
    +3,551
    I agree, draft a couple O-line guys on day two. But dont waste one of our first 2 picks drafting a guy that will only play if the starter gets injured.
     
  9. Ride The Lightning

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

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,928
    Ratings:
    +1,746
    Well, if you guys enjoy eating packaged noodles every year so be it.

    For me, grade A BEEF is much much better.

    Look @ a guy like McNeill vs. Olivea. 2nd round BEEF vs. 7th round beef.
     
  10. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    17,097
    Ratings:
    +3,551
    Sure whatever. I dont think it'll happen.
     
  11. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,615
    Ratings:
    +1,467
    I agree with that, but we could use the depth. The only way I would even consider OL with either of our first two picks was if someone fell down the board a ridiculous amount for no apparent reason. Even then I'd want to know why he fell. I'm talking someone like Joe Thomas or Levi Brown fell to 30, and that's not even a remote possibility.

    So basically I agree with you.
     
  12. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,894
    Ratings:
    +347
    Unless some guy drops below where everybody thought he should and offers some particularly good value in the 3rd round, I wouln't even look at an offensive lineman in this draft on the first day. Without a trade for draft picks for MT I go BPA for receiver, safefty, OLB, MLB in whatever order the best player appears, barring those weird raids on a position that sees talent drying up faster than expected. If Rice or Meachem are on the board at 30 I take 'em. I would take a hard look at Bowe as well. He is a football player. Otherwise I take a safety first and then look for a receiver in the second. Depending on the board I would both thirds for linebackers. I would consider packaging one of the thirds and a fifth to move in up the third if there was someone I was especially fond of-if there was someone who'd bite.
     
  13. Ride The Lightning

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

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,928
    Ratings:
    +1,746
    All I'm saying is that if you want high quality of beef you need to spend extra on it, namely a day one pick. Paid off big time with Big Mac.
     
  14. loweezy

    loweezy BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Messages:
    410
    Ratings:
    +45
    O Line depth is very important. If it happens to be best player available, I'll trust AJ and the staff to make that distinction. Would you want to see a 2nd day back up come in if one of our current guys go down? The goal here is to upgrade our backups, not to sit them behind our current backups. If the opportunity is there, why not take it?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    17,097
    Ratings:
    +3,551
    According to the SDBoltReport it sounds like Mr. Meachem made a lasting impression during his last visit here. They make it sound like AJ has some interest.

    I dunno, but I hope so!
     
  16. Electric Chair

    Electric Chair Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    8,559
    Ratings:
    +579
    Making a draft plan (we need to draft a safety with the first pick, a wr with the second...) is just plain dumb. You let the draft dictate your pick. You rely on the value that your personell dept graded players out at, and you stay true to your board.

    I am looking forward to this weekend when the endless speculation is finally put to bed.
     
  17. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    53,033
    Ratings:
    +4,976
    Good Post EC. I agree. If a quality OL player is available and he is the best player, go for him. To me this draft seems weak in what I would consider first round draft talent.
     
  18. BIG WILLIE STYLE

    BIG WILLIE STYLE BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Messages:
    55
    Ratings:
    +13
    I agree with an OL pick on the first day.

    Depth is what we need and thats what AJ wants.
     
  19. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,817
    Ratings:
    +1,028
    I am a bit concerned with just how much Goff has left in the tank and it darned sure isn't too early to try to upgrade our backups. If the BPA happens to be someone like Grubbs, Blalock or a couple of others this could very well happen. I admit to being enamored with Ben Grubbs - but someone who can play tackle or guard would probably be a better "fit" to raise the level of competition...

    If Staley is still there I'm going to be yelling at my TV (again) if/when we pass on him.

    p.s. There were a lot of us that were a bit less than happy with Olivia's performance against speed guys on the edge - he simply got beaten too many times. I'm hoping against hope that he was slowed by a right knee/leg and it is now healed - but he just wasn't the same as the season wore on IMO.
     
  20. PhillyChargerFan

    PhillyChargerFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,961
    Ratings:
    +288
    Where we are picking you have to go BPA and BPA at 30 in this draft is guard or LB, I'd prefer Grubbs..

    Is there going to be that much difference in talent level between a safety we take at 30 as compared to 62? Same with WR.

    I say take Grubbs and put Goff on the bench.:yes:
     
  21. Charger Dave

    Charger Dave Dead account

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,817
    Ratings:
    +1,028
    That sound you just heard off in the distance was SanDiegoRon having another "gazem" at the thought of getting his man "Bobby" in lightning bolts. :icon_eek:
     
  22. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    11,922
    Ratings:
    +1,243
    I completely agree. Take the best player, regardless of position (except the three AJ specifically identified - QB, P, K). Canepa's column today says "draft safety first" but that ignores value for the slot. Why reach to take a guy that might be just as good as someone available in the second round? Or if a team takes the so-called next best player at safety in round one, does that player truly fit our defense and is he the right character type?


    I heard Satele interviewed on Sirius. Dude is as dumb as a lava rock.

    Staley would be an awesome addition in round one.

    I can't wait ...... :bolt:

    :helm1:
     

Share This Page