Draft review: San Diego Chargers

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After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The San Diego Chargers.  

What they needed: Offensive tackle, outside linebacker, cornerback, interior offensive line, defensive tackle.

Who they got:
Round 1: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama.
Round 2: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame.
Round 3: Keenan Allen, WR, California.
Round 5: Steve Williams, CB, California.
Round 6: Tourek Williams, OLB, Florida International.
Round 7: Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah.

Where they hit: The Chargers needed offensive line help, and the 6-foot-5, 339-pound Fluker could be a fixture at right tackle for years to come. Allen was a logical pick in Round Three — he could be a capable complementary player early and improves the Chargers’ options at wideout in 2014 and beyond. Tourek Williams, a defensive end in college, will transition to outside linebacker, and there’s a chance to earn snaps as a reserve if he can show pass-rush ability. Also, Steve Williams bolsters the Chargers’ CB depth, which was a little lacking.

Where they missed: With the draft and the serious free agent shopping concluded, the Chargers still have a real concern at left tackle, what with Fluker a right tackle in San Diego’s estimation. It will also be interesting to see how the Chargers proceed at offensive guard. Jeromey Clary, who looks likely to be replaced by Fluker at right tackle, will be tried at guard, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported. Also, the Chargers’ pass rush remains a potential problem, and their nose tackle depth is also a little shaky.

Impact rookies: It will be an upset if Fluker isn’t in the lineup in Week One; the Chargers figure to give him every chance to learn on the job. His pass protection is the area to watch in Year One as he adjusts to the pro game. Te’o, who dealt with considerable pre-draft controversy and slid out of Round One, landed in a good spot. He looks like a solid fit in San Diego’s 3-4 scheme, and he could start from the get-go.

Long-term prospects: Fluker was a necessary addition for 2013 and a pretty low-risk pick overall, given his skill and potential. Also, he plays a valuable position. Te’o was another sensible choice. At the least, both players look capable of being solid cogs. The question now is whether San Diego can start to stem the tide after three consecutive playoff misses. On paper, the Chargers still look capable of the occasional burst of impressive play, but sustaining that form could be tough. The Chargers still have some worrisome flaws.