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The Anteater's Charger Draft 2008

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By Loren Casuto - <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <img class="alignright" style="float: right;" src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b396/ChargerRay/Podcast/loren.jpg" alt="Loren Casuto - BoltTalk Writer and Show Host" width="171" height="219" />For the third straight year, I give you my thoughts and predictions as to who the Chargers will pick. As the Chargers have been picking late since I started predicting, there is a great deal of uncertainty because the 26 teams picking in front of the Chargers' first selection can change the draft in any number of ways. This isn't taking into account possible trades, though I do discuss such, but is simply if the Chargers stand pat, who do I have them picking. So here goes:

    <em><strong>With the 27th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Gosider Cherilus, offensive tackle from Boston College.</strong></em>

    Much like last year when the Chargers had the 30th overall selection, so much of this depends on what the other teams are going to do. The Chargers have two advantages though that they didn't have last year. First is that the Chargers, outside of right tackle which is important but not desperate, do not have any really pressing needs. Second is that the 27th spot is a great place for trade talk. The rumors are flying about the Chargers wanting to trade down to pick up second, third and/or fourth round selections. In addition, baring a real draft surprise, the three second tier quarterbacks and possibly RB Jonathan Stewart could be available at the 27th overall spot. If such or both are the case, expect AJ Smith's phone to be ringing off the hook and the Chargers to likely trade out for more picks. This selection is a culmination of both the Chargers drafting towards their need and a player that's likely going fall to the pick. Cherilus, a native of Haiti, is a mountain of a man at 6'6, 314lbs and was a starter at right tackle for three years before moving to left last year. A lot of criticism of him and his weaknesses come from playing left tackle last year; he has trouble with speedy rushers, made mental mistakes, was called for more penalties then normal and didn't play with good leverage. However he remains an outstanding run blocker with solid pass blocking ability for a right tackle and outstanding intangibles and work ethic. For all his faults at left tackle, his coaches praised him for working hard and not giving up or feeling dejected when he was moved from his natural position. Scouts say he needs work at left tackle but at right tackle, where the Chargers have need, he could start immediately and be outstanding. Mcneil and Cherilus will give the Chargers pro-bowl caliber bookends for years to come and make the Chargers line feared throughout the league.

    <em>Other possible picks:</em> Kenny Phillips S Miami, Carl Nicks OT Nebraska, Brandon Flowers CB Virginia Tech, Jonathan Stewart RB Oregon

    <em>Dream Picks:</em> Jeff Otah OT Pitt, Branden Alpert OL Virginia, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB Tennessee State

    <em>Not going to happen:</em> Aqib Talib CB Kansas, Kentwan Balmer DT North Carolina, Any wide receivers

    <em><strong>With the 160th pick (5th round) in the 2008 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Xavier Omon, running back from Northwest Missouri State.</strong></em>

    While some people might see this and think that I'm channeling Bobby Beathard, there's more to Omon then his odd university. Considered to be the best small-school running back prospect, Omon was an absolute workhorse with over seven thousand rushing yards in four years (including 2,337 in 2007). He has great size and loves to go right into a pile and run people over. Outside the pile he has great instincts, good hands and is even a very good blocker for a running back. He does have issues with fumbling, doesn't have great speed (so he isn't exactly like Michael Turner) and there are concerns how much tread is left on his tires. If the Chargers are looking at a change of pace back and don't think that's Andrew Pinnock, Omon would be a perfect thunder compliment to LT's lightning. I'm still not sure the Chargers will draft a running back because of the shift to a vertical offense but still this is a very good pick up.

    <em><strong>With the 166th pick (5th round) in the 2008 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Caleb Campbell, safety from Army.</strong></em>

    As opposed to picking a cornerback, of which we have two backups, a safety is the likely pick because we only have two guaranteed to stay (Weddle and Hart) and one question mark (Steve Gregory). Depth is definitely an issue here, so the Chargers draft a safety from the Black Knights of West Point. At 6'1, 229lbs he's got great size, is a fantastic tackler and run stopper with good intangibles and character (he's from West Point for heaven's sake!). He is something of a tweener and scouts are not sure where he would best fit in, but AJ has embraced the idea of using tweeners on his team to create mis-matches (see Legedu Naane, Vincent Jackson and Eric Weddle). Campbell has other concerns including average speed and coverage ability and health concerns, which explains his being available in the late 5th round. He is considered to be the best prospect from Army in a long time and with his intangibles, the absolute worst case scenario is he'd be another special teams dynamo.

    <em><strong>With the 192nd pick (6th round) in the 2008 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Frank Okam, nose tackle from Texas.</strong></em>

    This is a very late selection for a guy that many people thought would be a first rounder at the end of the college football season. The Chargers do need a nose tackle of the future to eventually groom to take over for NT Jamal Williams, and Brandon McKinney, while solid, isn't starting or star material. Okam could be an outstanding talent, or he could be a giant bust. He has great size and strength with the ability to split the double team and is a solid run stopper, which is what you need as a 3-4 NT. The bad news is that for all his talent, Okam is inconsistent, has questionable instincts, plays undisciplined and rarely lives up to his talent. Since Casey Hampton was drafted in 2001, Texas defensive tackles that were drafted have usually been wildly talented but unmotivated and uninterested in playing. Names like Marcus Tubbs, Shaun Rogers and Rodrique Wright lead the list since the beginning of the decade, and Frank Okam sure fits the description. But as a sixth rounder with an outstanding defensive line coach, there's hope and there's not too much of a risk.

    <em><strong>With the 234th pick (7th round) in the 2008 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Garrison Sanborn, long-snapper from Florida State University.</strong></em>

    I predicted the Chargers would select a long snapper last year because David Binn has been getting older and, even though his only job is snapping on punts and field goals, eventually he's going to retire. What makes me feel a bit more assured of this prediction is that Sanborn had an interview with AJ Smith himself, one of only a few players to be granted an interview with the GM. Sanborn is basically a younger version of David Binn; outstanding velocity and accuracy on his snaps and good at covering downfield after the snap on punts and kick returns. His only negative is that he can only do one thing and that's long snap, just like David Binn. For the team that has everything, the ultimate luxury on their roster.

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