The NFL draft is tonight.

This really is designed from a Chargers fan's point of view, but it does give my quick thoughts on the top dozen players in the NFL draft tonight.

This isn't trying to predict what the Chargers will do or how the draft will play out.  But a pre-draft reference point of my emotions and expectations.
1) Ideally, we stay at 11 and get one of the three top LT (Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson).  I originally specified Lane Johnson, but McShay did his last mock draft today and Fisher went #1 to the Chiefs, Lane Johnson went #4 to the Eagles, the Lions took Ezekiel Ansah, the Cardinals took Jonathan Cooper and the Chargers ended up with Luke Joeckel at 11.  I say there's a 10% chance of this actually happening. But a 40-50% chance of staying at 11 and getting a LT.
2) The next three options are good, but not ideal.  I would say these meet or slightly exceed expectations based on what I have read from a ton of mock drafts (which aren't reliable in the least).
a) Trading up to draft a LT.  This only meets expectations, instead of exceeding expectations, because more research is pretty convincing that trying to pick individual players in the nfl draft is incredibly difficult, if not impossible.  There is a lot of skill in determining tiers of players and relative value within the draft (1st rounders have better careers than 2nd rounders, etc.), but trying to determine which of the three LT will have the best career is random.  One of the strategies seems to be to acquire as many high picks as you can so that a 50% success rate still gives you more good players.  So I would want to keep the 2nd or 3rd round pick it would take to trade up.
-Also, I have heard a good analysis that none of these three LTs are Jonathan Ogden or Orlando Pace.  These are guys who can be good starters, but trading up into the top of the draft, you would like to think you can get a potential HOFer.
b) Staying at 11 and taking a guard.  If the three LTs are off the board, I would be happy with Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper.  I would prefer Chance Warmack as he seems to be the guy in this draft most likely to have a HOF a guard.
c) Stay at 11 and draft Star Lotulelei.  If doctors have really cleared his heart thing, then this guy could be a dominant nose tackle.  I still miss Jamal Williams.  A dominant NT helps the rest of a 3-4 defense possibly more than any other defensive position.  I wanted Haloti Ngata back in his draft.
3) The next option comes in barely below expectations.  Trading down from 11 to acquire more picks.  I don't know who we would end up with later in the first round and there isn't really anything else that would fit a huge need.  Maybe a cornerback? The safety out of Texas, but I don't know if he would be a strong safety next to Weddle? The other DTs don't look like NTs and we don't need a 3-4 DE.
*Caveat - trading down and still getting Star Lotulelei would exceed expectations.  That might even be a 1.5 on this email's scale, but might be too risky.  He could go anywhere between 4 and 16.
4) Staying at 11 and taking Sharif Floyd, Dion Jordan, Ezekiel Ansah, or Barkevious Mingo.  Probably getting slight value on talent vs. draft spot, but aren't as big of needs or fit on a 3-4 defense.

5) Disappointing.  Taking DJ Fluker at 11.  This guy projects to be a RT which isn't as important and isn't as big a need for us.  If we trade down and end up with him, I'm ok with that.
6) Woah, what the hell is Tom Telesco doing? He better be the smartest guy in the room or I'm ready to fire him after year 1...maybe year 2.  Drafting a WR, RB, TE, or QB.  RBs are fungible and I don't think you should use a first round pick on one, AND there aren't any good ones for the first round.  I really like Danario Alexander and I'm glad he's back, Malcolm Floyd is good enough, and there's always a chance that Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal show that last year was the fluke.  There is no QB good enough to draft in the first round AND we don't need a QB.  As for TE, I would like to see Ladarius Green emerge or Antonio Gates to look younger, but we don't need to draft a TE in the first round.


  1. So it looks like the Chargers first round draft board consisted entirely of offensive linemen. I mean, I guess I'm ok with that strategy as the Chargers offensive line needs a lot of help.

  2. I thought this was a fascinating draft, both for the Chargers and other teams.

    I can't remember a draft in recent memory with so few impact skill position players. I mean there wasn't a single name brand QB, RB, or WR taken in the first few picks. Or even in the first round at all really.

    Seems like steady building around solid linemen was the way to go. All of the big names were notable mostly for dropping - Geno Smith, Manti Te'o, Matt Barkley.