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Draft needs: San Diego Chargers

Dwight Freeney AP

The Chargers’ first three draft picks of 2013 — offensive tackle D.J. Fluker (Round One), inside linebacker Manti Te’o (Round Two) and wide receiver Keenan Allen (Round Three) — all started for a San Diego team that won a playoff game last season. 

Fluker, Te’o and Allen are key parts of the Chargers’ changing core. As detailed below, the Chargers enter the 2014 draft with some positions in need of youth. Cornerback especially looks to be a spot where a rookie could come in and start right off the bat.

Longer-term, an offensive lineman or outside linebacker selected next week could perhaps vie for a starting role in 2015. 

Here are the Chargers’ biggest needs entering the draft:

Cornerback: After sitting out the cornerback market in free agency, the club seems likely to bolster the position in the draft, especially after parting ways with Derek Cox and Johnny Patrick, who combined to play more than 1,000 snaps a season ago, according to Pro Football Focus statistics. Also, starting cornerback Shareece Wright can test unrestricted free agency after the season. The Chargers need more depth and talent here.

Offensive line: The Chargers did well to add Fluker with the No. 11 overall pick last April. One year later, the Chargers again may have to consider adding O-line help early in the draft. The club has three starters (center Nick Hardwick, right guard Jeromey Clary, left tackle King Dunlap) entering the final year of their deals.

Outside linebacker: The Chargers figure to have some significant turnover at this position in the years ahead. Dwight Freeney, 34, is in the final year of his contract. Jarret Johnson, 33 in August, had his deal restructured in the offseason. The Chargers have one potential building block at outside linebacker in 2012 first-round pick Melvin Ingram, who will be more than a year removed from an ACL injury at the start of the season.

Wide receiver:  Last year, the Chargers found a top-caliber wideout on the second day of the draft in Allen, who hauled in 71 passes for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. And in this draft, the Chargers probably need to bring in at least one more pass catcher, especially with Malcom Floyd’s playing future murky because of a neck injury suffered a season ago. Also, key receivers Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown are both in the final year of their contracts.

Nose tackle: After Cam Thomas’ departure in free agency, the Chargers could look to add some more bulk in the middle to compete with Sean Lissemore and Kwame Geathers. Thomas played 547 snaps last season, per PFF, so bringing another lineman capable of taking some reps would help.

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13 Responses to “Draft needs: San Diego Chargers”
  1. chargerdillon says: May 2, 2014 4:01 PM

    Malcolm Floyd is made of glass. If he’s on your starting lineup, you will be spending close to half your season missing a player on that starting lineup.

    The Chargers could save TONS of money by cutting Antonio Gates.

    Gates is AT BEST a decoy who most teams no isn’t even worth covering. Every time you see a big tight end play on the Chargers it’s coming from a guy with “Green” on the back of his jersey note “Gates”

    The Chargers have not had the right type of NT for the 3-4 defense since Jamal Williams left. It cannot be understates how much these has affected the entire defense.

    CB, NT, Guard are MUST HAVES for the Chargers both in improvement of quality and depth.

  2. chargerdillon says: May 2, 2014 4:02 PM

    most teams “know”

  3. chargerdillon says: May 2, 2014 4:03 PM

    bleh I type too fast GO CHARGERS!

  4. vaughnjoe says: May 2, 2014 4:03 PM

    Go Chargers! More defense!! More O-line!!

  5. ontboltfan says: May 2, 2014 4:08 PM

    Telesco made his picks last year on value. T’eo was a 1st rounder who fell to the 2nd so moving up in the 2nd at a cost of the 4th rnd pick was good value.

    Ditto for taking Keenan Allen who fell to the 3rd even though WR was a lesser need.

    So it will likely be bpa of DT, OT, CB and maybe OLB through the early rounds.

    They have Ohrnberger as a possible replacement for C Hardwick, but look for them to add maybe another C and an OG (for Clary) in the mid/later rnds.

  6. richmondbolt says: May 2, 2014 4:15 PM

    I agree with about 25% of what you said, dillon.

  7. facetooth says: May 2, 2014 4:26 PM

    Talk all you want about what San Diego needs to succeed in the draft. What the really need is a winning team! LOL

  8. chargrz says: May 2, 2014 5:32 PM

    Name it, The Chargers need it, except QB. A pass rush would help greatly. Funny how a pass rush makes a secondary look better. The OL also needs help as does WR later in draft. I think the Chargers are gonna trade their 1st rd. pick to a team like the Texans or Jax that want a QB and gather a cuople extra picks as they pick just before Cleveland and we all know they need a QB bad. Lets hope for a good draft as we have had our share of bad ones.

  9. carlsbadboltfan says: May 2, 2014 7:47 PM

    facetooth says: May 2, 2014 4:26 PM

    Talk all you want about what San Diego needs to succeed in the draft. What the really need is a winning team! LOL
    ———————————————————————————-
    Made the playoffs and won one playoff game when they weren’t expected to do either.

    Your point is….?

  10. sdboltaction says: May 2, 2014 9:58 PM

    I’m excited to see what Telesco does in the draft and how those players will affect the team this year!!

  11. doubledee88 says: May 3, 2014 8:06 AM

    They should make a move to go and get one of the big three O-linemen in this years first round. Taylor Lewan would do nicely. Robinson would be even better, but by the looks of things right now it ain’t going down like that.

  12. juniobolt says: May 3, 2014 11:47 AM

    Telesco did well in last years draft, his top three picks were all contributers especially Keenan Allen. The need is a pass rusher to bolster the defense, a speed rusher that can take pressure off secondary. The rules of coverages has changed the game, corners are not a premium, there are no Reivas or Darrel Greens in this draft. Look at the last four teams that made it to NFC AFC finals, all were superior defenses that can get to qb. Trade up get Anthony Barr or stay and pick Dee Ford of Auburn.

  13. dawnpatrol111 says: May 5, 2014 4:20 PM

    I agree with about 80% of what you said, dillon.

    Gates: has a bunch of dead money through 2015
    4,725,000 (2014) 2,362,500 (2015) + accelerated (bonus + option bonus)…
    on top of Gaither, Meacham, and Cox dead money…. yikes…

    What to do with 3 mil and free agency scraps? Gates may be worth the few key hitch routes he still has to offer.

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