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View Full Version : Why does everyone think safety is such a need?


SDSupaChargers
03-04-2008, 11:52 PM
I really don't see safety being as big of a need as people are making it out to be. Here's why: we have our two starters in Weddle and Hart, and both have proven themselves. Most people seem to think that Hart is the problem but he had a good season last year (85 tackles, 5 ints) and he is only 30 years old. Depth at safety is definitely an issue, especially if we don't move Oliver, but I don't think it's our biggest need. I can see CB as a need, even though I think that Cletis Gordon is more than capable of taking over the nickel position, but I don't understand people wanting Reggie Smith so badly in the first. Some will say that Smith can play nickel and then get moved to safety later in his career, but with that in mind why don't we just draft a corner this year (very strong corner class) and then draft a safety when that actually is a prominent need. I think that OL is a much bigger need for depth reasons and more importantly because I don't think that Clary is an adequate starter. There is a reason LT is so much better when running to the left. Wouldn't it be great if we had just as strong of a right side of the line. For LT's and PR's sake. The OL class is very strong and there should be a very good player available to us at 27 (Albert, Cherilus, Williams, Baker). I could see us taking Kenny Phillips if he drops, just because of the value, but I do not see the obsession over Reggie Smith. I'd love to hear what other peoples' thoughts and rational are because I think that we have much bigger needs than safety, but a lot seem to disagree.

JK17
03-05-2008, 12:23 AM
I really don't see safety being as big of a need as people are making it out to be. Here's why: we have our two starters in Weddle and Hart, and both have proven themselves. Most people seem to think that Hart is the problem but he had a good season last year (85 tackles, 5 ints) and he is only 30 years old. Depth at safety is definitely an issue, especially if we don't move Oliver, but I don't think it's our biggest need. I can see CB as a need, even though I think that Cletis Gordon is more than capable of taking over the nickel position, but I don't understand people wanting Reggie Smith so badly in the first. Some will say that Smith can play nickel and then get moved to safety later in his career, but with that in mind why don't we just draft a corner this year (very strong corner class) and then draft a safety when that actually is a prominent need. I think that OL is a much bigger need for depth reasons and more importantly because I don't think that Clary is an adequate starter. There is a reason LT is so much better when running to the left. Wouldn't it be great if we had just as strong of a right side of the line. For LT's and PR's sake. The OL class is very strong and there should be a very good player available to us at 27 (Albert, Cherilus, Williams, Baker). I could see us taking Kenny Phillips if he drops, just because of the value, but I do not see the obsession over Reggie Smith. I'd love to hear what other peoples' thoughts and rational are because I think that we have much bigger needs than safety, but a lot seem to disagree.

I don't mind if we go safety or OT or even cornerback, but safety is certainly a higher need for us then other positions. Saying Clinton Hart is the answer is a weak copout. There's a lot of players who started, even some who put up good numbers, that shouldn't necesarily be starting. The stats don't show that Hart got beat a lot and was out of position. In the postseason, teams were picking on him and Florence all game long.

That being said, we have few positions of need. RT, S, and Nickelback. I'm not terribly concerned about either. Clary played well enough for us to make a run, as did Hart. So I'm not saying I'm going to be overly concerned if Hart does start, but he's on of the prime positions for an upgrade. I like the idea of getting Reggie Smith, or even Phillips if he falls. We certianly need a nickelback this year, and I do like the idea of them taking over in the long run. But like I said, I don't mean to say Hart isn't a player who can start, but right now I think thats a prime position for upgrade. We also have to see if they are trying Oliver at Safety, and if they are, how well he preforms.

Overall, I'd like to see the BPA at one of those positions, no matter which one it is.

defensiveback23
03-05-2008, 12:29 AM
I personally like Hart but the guy has his limitations. For one thing, he misses way too many tackles. Pretty much every time he is one on one in the open field he whiffs. He is pretty good in coverage but nothing special, and while 5 picks look good none of them were real game changers. Virtually all came off of tips or in garbage time. At 30 he isn't too old yet but it won't be good for him once he starts slowing down since he isn't a great athlete to begin with. AJ Smith is always looking 2-3 years down the line and always states he wants to "line em' up 3 deep" for competition. Since the secondary has no depth and we need a NB Reggie Smith makes perfect sense. He is the ultimate insurance policy because of his ability to play every position in the secondary. He not only fills multiple needs but projects well to us because of AJ's philosophy.

According to Chargers' beat writer Kevin Acee, who knows the team better than any other outsider, the team deems offensive line a mid-tier need behind DB and HB. They are happy with the play of Clary overall and AJ will most likely stick to recent history and draft linemen on the second day.

JK17
03-05-2008, 12:30 AM
According to Chargers' beat writer Kevin Acee, who knows the team better than any other outsider, the team deems offensive line a mid-tier need behind DB and HB. They are happy with the play of Clary overall and AJ will most likely stick to recent history and draft linemen on the second day.

I also feel like its more likely we look O-Line day 2...its been AJ's MO for a while now, to wait on o-line (even the McNeill pick ppl thought we'd go o-line round 1)...

but if we do go HB, like Acee suggests, I'd be sooo mad. That can wait, and its certainly not pressing.

defensiveback23
03-05-2008, 12:34 AM
I also feel like its more likely we look O-Line day 2...its been AJ's MO for a while now, to wait on o-line (even the McNeill pick ppl thought we'd go o-line round 1)...

but if we do go HB, like Acee suggests, I'd be sooo mad. That can wait, and its certainly not pressing.

I agree, but if somehow Mendenhall fell I wouldn't be disappointed if we took him. The HB I really like is Xavier Omon. He reminds me a lot of MT coming out based on his skills and small school, albeit way smaller than N. Illinois, rap. I think we can get him in the 4th/5th round but he may rise due to the lack of power backs. I'm hoping due to all the juniors he'll fall to us.

BTW in case somebody didn't know, the plan for Oliver is to take over the hybrid CB/S dimeback role previously held by Weddle. His future position depends on how well he does or does not do in the role.

bergo23
03-05-2008, 07:16 AM
I would be surprised if AJ doesn't go stud tackle with #27. Olivea's departure and Goff leaving next year means we need to shore up that right side long term, they may like Clary but he is far from dominant.

I think the presence of Oliver which AJ rightly saw Florence leaving means DB is not as high a priority, now if Phillips falls he may be tempting, but if Cherilus and him were available I wouldn't pass up on a stuf RT to extend the career of LT, and help protect Rivers.

DB will be a priority in 2009 when we have more picks......but Oliver's presence and Olivea's absence really signals Oline to me at #27.

Reggie Smith to me is just Oliver with a little more speed. Not as big a need as someone to come in and compete with Clary.

DonWoods33
03-05-2008, 10:55 AM
They have a lot of options, safety just being one of them. I remember Kevin Acee towards the end of the season saying they are going to draft a corner in the first round. I think the articles are still on the U-T site. Depending if this is really true and how many of the top guys are gone could they reach for Iowa's Charles Godfrey? While raw he certainly has the triangle numbers that AJ Smith has been known to take chances on.
Kenny Phillips is an intriguing prospect, prototype size, the pedigree, if Miami doesn't have it's internal issues. Couldn't he be considered a top ten pick? If he falls that far I think you have to gamble on greatness. That being said Weddle should be a big upgrade on McCree (whom I was never that high on), and Hart is at least serviceable. (is Terrance Kiel still in the league? LOL)
Gosder Cherilus is strickly a RT prospect, considering he kind of poorly handled his move to LT. I wouldn't bank on him coming in beating out Clary, who is still young and bound to get at least somewhat better the more he plays. I think Goff is more the issue on the right side, he just seems to whiff too much on the second level in space. He is in his last year of his contract, and he is one that you would think could be upgraded fairly easily, so if Albert or maybe even Carl Nicks are there, would those would be guys worth considering? Kentwan Balmer is another guy who's name get thrown around in mocks. He probably would get to play in the DE rotation a lot even as a rookie, somewhere during the season.
If it were me I would shoot for the moon and take the guy with the best upside at any position. They are most loaded team in football, and have no glaring weaknesses. So this draft should only make them that much better.

KRS1
03-05-2008, 11:14 AM
I think Corner is our biggest need by far. With Florence (THANK YOU JAGUARS)gone and Oliver's move to Safety (I see him challenging Hart quickly) that leaves a big hole in the Nickel spot. AJ Smith is know for planning ahead and if Cromartie has another huge year what is it going to cost to sign him after 2009? I also think that at some point Jammer will become a Safety. So with all of that I think AJ looks at Corner first and foremost. If a guy like DRC or Jenkins falls I can't see him passing. I am sure as usual he will identify his guys and go BPA at the important positions from there. If the Corner he wants isn't there maybe he goes to Safety or OT. Clary does project to be the RG in 09 but he was fine at Tackle and will play there this season. They also just signed Scott Mruzcowski who is an OG-RT type just like Clary was. I personally think wish list looks something along the lines of this...

Corner (I don't see him reaching for non 1st round talent)
O. Tackle (This is the year where a top talent will almost for sure be there)
NT (but probably wouldn't reach if Balmer is gone)
Safety (If Kenny Phillips is there at 27 I can see S jumping OT and NT)

KRS1
03-05-2008, 11:16 AM
If it were me I would shoot for the moon and take the guy with the best upside at any position. They are most loaded team in football, and have no glaring weaknesses. So this draft should only make them that much better.

Totally agree!

DonWoods33
03-05-2008, 11:52 AM
Corner (I don't see him reaching for non 1st round talent)
O. Tackle (This is the year where a top talent will almost for sure be there)
NT (but probably wouldn't reach if Balmer is gone)
Safety (If Kenny Phillips is there at 27 I can see S jumping OT and NT)


Guys I am thinking of:
CB- Brandon Flowers (almost a Jammer clone), Godfrey (mainly based on his measurables), and Patrick Lee (another physical corner with bad hands)
OG-Carl Nicks huge, moves well to make blocks on the right side at the second level. Albert
DE- Balmer, maybe Campbell if they think he can play the 3-4
S-Phillips or Smith.
Not quite the drama as last year, when the Turner trade was in play, but actually this draft is more intriguing if Phillips is available, and they pull the trigger. Although I think the Nickel back is a pretty big deal, considering you're gonna face so many slot WR's these days. Those third conversions can be killers.

Every year we say they need a nose tackle, but they are OK with McKinney as a backup. Jamal Williams still has a few good years left.
Food for thought: Depending on how Craig Davis pans out they haven't blown a first round in five years. So you have to be confident they will do excellent work again.

defensiveback23
03-05-2008, 03:43 PM
Let me elaborate on my thoughts a little. We have a team full of very good starters with the two "weak links" or average players being Clary and Hart. Neither are bad players but both could be upgraded. Now when I look at our needs and project possible picks I factor in AJ's philosophy/history and outsiders' opinions with knowledge of inner-team workings, like Acee, to make the best educated guess I can. Here's what we know of AJ: he has stated he drafts based on production without major consideration of measureables unless they are terrible, is not afraid to "reach" for his player and does not let outside opinions affect his decision making. AJ also likes great depth, is constantly looking 2-3 years down the line, will not consider character concerns and likes to draft offensive linemen at the back end of the draft. Now Acee has reported the Chargers main concern is DB, with the trenches being secondary.

With all that in mind our needs in my opinion are DB, HB, OL, DL.

I'll start with our need at DL. It is for a NT not a DE; Olshansky and Castillo form a great duo and the team obviously likes Cesaire and Bingham because they have both been signed to extensions. Finding a good NT is much, much easier said than done. The last good player at the position drafted was Vince Wilfork in 04'. Balmer does not fit NT at all, not even close. The only first rounder in the draft that really fits it is Ellis, and that's a stretch.

On the oline the right side could be upgraded. Goff's replacement is already on the team and was just signed to an extension. Clary could be upgraded but the team is content for now with him as the starter. I could see us go with Cherilus as a plan b. Nicks will be a 25 year old rookie, big red flag. I think AJ sticks to his history and waits till day 2.

Our need at HB is for a power running backup. We aren't going to get LT's replacement in this draft because frankly he does not need to be replaced any time soon. Unless Stewart/Mendenhall fall and there is nobody at DB/OL available and no trade down possibility then I think we wait until later in the draft.

That leaves us with the need at DB. Why is it number one? No depth and no NB. It's hard to count on Oliver when he was inactive for every game and the plan is to play him at dime back in the first place. Every team that wants to compete needs 3 good corners and as of now we only have 2. Hart is good, but as I previously stated has his share of weaknesses. Which ever DB we draft needs the versatility to play CB and S because we are an injury away at any of the 4 spots from putting him in the lineup. That is why Reggie Smith is ideal, but there are other players in the draft that could fit. I think Kenny Phillips could play NB, or we could play Weddle there and Phillips at S in nickel situations. Any way you look at it, it's the most pressing need on the team.

And as a side not I thought all the Jammer to safety talk was finally dead. It's not happening any time soon. Maybe once he is well into his 30s but as of now he hasn't shown any sign of slowing down.

DonWoods33
03-07-2008, 11:12 AM
Let me elaborate on my thoughts a little. We have a team full of very good starters with the two "weak links" or average players being Clary and Hart. Neither are bad players but both could be upgraded. Now when I look at our needs and project possible picks I factor in AJ's philosophy/history and outsiders' opinions with knowledge of inner-team workings, like Acee, to make the best educated guess I can. Here's what we know of AJ: he has stated he drafts based on production without major consideration of measureables unless they are terrible, is not afraid to "reach" for his player and does not let outside opinions affect his decision making. AJ also likes great depth, is constantly looking 2-3 years down the line, will not consider character concerns and likes to draft offensive linemen at the back end of the draft. Now Acee has reported the Chargers main concern is DB, with the trenches being secondary.

With all that in mind our needs in my opinion are DB, HB, OL, DL.

I'll start with our need at DL. It is for a NT not a DE; Olshansky and Castillo form a great duo and the team obviously likes Cesaire and Bingham because they have both been signed to extensions. Finding a good NT is much, much easier said than done. The last good player at the position drafted was Vince Wilfork in 04'. Balmer does not fit NT at all, not even close. The only first rounder in the draft that really fits it is Ellis, and that's a stretch.

On the oline the right side could be upgraded. Goff's replacement is already on the team and was just signed to an extension. Clary could be upgraded but the team is content for now with him as the starter. I could see us go with Cherilus as a plan b. Nicks will be a 25 year old rookie, big red flag. I think AJ sticks to his history and waits till day 2.

Our need at HB is for a power running backup. We aren't going to get LT's replacement in this draft because frankly he does not need to be replaced any time soon. Unless Stewart/Mendenhall fall and there is nobody at DB/OL available and no trade down possibility then I think we wait until later in the draft.

That leaves us with the need at DB. Why is it number one? No depth and no NB. It's hard to count on Oliver when he was inactive for every game and the plan is to play him at dime back in the first place. Every team that wants to compete needs 3 good corners and as of now we only have 2. Hart is good, but as I previously stated has his share of weaknesses. Which ever DB we draft needs the versatility to play CB and S because we are an injury away at any of the 4 spots from putting him in the lineup. That is why Reggie Smith is ideal, but there are other players in the draft that could fit. I think Kenny Phillips could play NB, or we could play Weddle there and Phillips at S in nickel situations. Any way you look at it, it's the most pressing need on the team.

And as a side not I thought all the Jammer to safety talk was finally dead. It's not happening any time soon. Maybe once he is well into his 30s but as of now he hasn't shown any sign of slowing down.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFL/AFC/AFC+West/San+Diego/WWHI/2008/wwhi030708.htm
See this for more on Oliver. Of course it could be smoke similar to James Fuller BS from years ago, of how they liked him so much, but the guy never got on the field was was cut after a few years.
I think he drafted Cromartie based more on measurables then anything else. The guy only started a couple of games at FSU. That as worked out fairly well thus far. I think has the measurables, attitude, and work ethic to be a HofF player. Imagine how good is going to be when he really knows how to play? I am thinking by next November he is considered the best CB in the NFL.
I think they give Clary a real chance. He beat out a decent starter in Olivea, and he's young so he's going to get every chance to succeed. If they draft anyone on the OL it will be Goffs replacement. I am not as high on Muck as you are, my feeling is if he was that good he would already be starting by now. (He's trying to beat out and average player at best in Goff) Of course he is still a young guy with only three years in the league.
He is at least a good versatile reserve.
Being a big Jammer fan you have to agree that the AFC championship game was one of the best games he has ever played. Hart and Weddle should be a huge upgrade over Kiel and McCree or McCree and Hart. I was never a McCree fan, long before he fumbled that interception too. lol
Not worried about Nicks being 25. I think it helps if anything. The guy is married with a kid, he might be real focused to be real good. If Balmer is drafted its for the rotation, both Igor and Castillo get nicked up a lot, doesn't look like he will be there anyways at this point.
Again they have so many options, they can take chances and gamble on greatness. It's gonna be interesting.

defensiveback23
03-07-2008, 01:27 PM
http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFL/AFC/AFC+West/San+Diego/WWHI/2008/wwhi030708.htm
See this for more on Oliver. Of course it could be smoke similar to James Fuller BS from years ago, of how they liked him so much, but the guy never got on the field was was cut after a few years.
I think he drafted Cromartie based more on measurables then anything else. The guy only started a couple of games at FSU. That as worked out fairly well thus far. I think has the measurables, attitude, and work ethic to be a HofF player. Imagine how good is going to be when he really knows how to play? I am thinking by next November he is considered the best CB in the NFL.
I think they give Clary a real chance. He beat out a decent starter in Olivea, and he's young so he's going to get every chance to succeed. If they draft anyone on the OL it will be Goffs replacement. I am not as high on Muck as you are, my feeling is if he was that good he would already be starting by now. (He's trying to beat out and average player at best in Goff) Of course he is still a young guy with only three years in the league.
He is at least a good versatile reserve.
Being a big Jammer fan you have to agree that the AFC championship game was one of the best games he has ever played. Hart and Weddle should be a huge upgrade over Kiel and McCree or McCree and Hart. I was never a McCree fan, long before he fumbled that interception too. lol
Not worried about Nicks being 25. I think it helps if anything. The guy is married with a kid, he might be real focused to be real good. If Balmer is drafted its for the rotation, both Igor and Castillo get nicked up a lot, doesn't look like he will be there anyways at this point.
Again they have so many options, they can take chances and gamble on greatness. It's gonna be interesting.

I think Cromartie is pretty much the one exception AJ has made, although he did have pretty good production as a sophomore when he rotated with the starter.

It's not really that I am personally high on Mruczkowski, it's that the team is. None of us really know how he has developed since he hasn't played much but obviously the team does and the contract extension shows the faith they have in him. I like him because he plays with a nasty demeanor like Dielman and is also very heady.

The AFC Champ was definitely Jammer's shinning moment thus far in his career. Teams did not attempt to pass on him most of the time and the pats really paid when they tried. I've thought for the last 3 years he was one of the best corners in football. While a love Cro, Jammer is still a better overall player.

Nicks being 25 worries me because there are guys that have as much as 4 years experience in the league by that age. I'm a little hesitant about his longevity. The guy is already older than McNeill and it just seems like he'll have a shorter than average career for a high pick. He sounds like a great player but the age tarnishes it somewhat with me.

I've never been high on Balmer, he just has bust written all over him.

KRS1
03-07-2008, 02:11 PM
I think Cromartie is pretty much the one exception AJ has made, although he did have pretty good production as a sophomore when he rotated with the starter.

It's not really that I am personally high on Mruczkowski, it's that the team is. None of us really know how he has developed since he hasn't played much but obviously the team does and the contract extension shows the faith they have in him. I like him because he plays with a nasty demeanor like Dielman and is also very heady.

The AFC Champ was definitely Jammer's shinning moment thus far in his career. Teams did not attempt to pass on him most of the time and the pats really paid when they tried. I've thought for the last 3 years he was one of the best corners in football. While a love Cro, Jammer is still a better overall player.

Nicks being 25 worries me because there are guys that have as much as 4 years experience in the league by that age. I'm a little hesitant about his longevity. The guy is already older than McNeill and it just seems like he'll have a shorter than average career for a high pick. He sounds like a great player but the age tarnishes it somewhat with me.

I've never been high on Balmer, he just has bust written all over him.

I do think that the team likes Mruczkowski but let's not get carried away here. He did just sign an extension but with less than $900,000 in guarantees I don't think at this point you can draw anything more than they are rewarding a system guy to be a capable backup.

I hated Balmer at first but with his athleticism and size I can see him being a great insurance policy for Castillio and Olshansky (I do not see him as a NT as a lot of people seem to) in both injury and free agency. Keep in mind that AJ is going to have to lock up Olshansky after this season and he is going to cost a lot more than I think people realize and Castillio is lining up to get a big money deal in a couple of years also. They both have shown a bit of an injury history as well. If Balmer is there at 27 and some of the other top guys we all seem to be discussing at Tackle, Safety and Corner are not I could totally see the team taking him and I wouldn't be upset at all.

You can count me out of the Nicks fan club. 25 is way too old for me.

San Diego Chicken
03-08-2008, 03:40 AM
I don't understand what isn't to like about Clary. He's big and athletic, young (24) and the offensive line hit it's peak performance last year right when he was inserted into the lineup. I buy a future right guard as a need seeing as this is the last year of Goff's contract, but in the first round? I wouldn't like that at all because it doesn't help the team for 2008.

I wouldn't have a problem with any player on defense being picked because at least they will see the field. Hell, I wouldn't have a problem with them picking DeSean Jackson, it would be like having a better version of Az Hakim when the Rams were the "greatest show on turf"

defensiveback23
03-08-2008, 04:50 AM
I don't understand what isn't to like about Clary. He's big and athletic, young (24) and the offensive line hit it's peak performance last year right when he was inserted into the lineup. I buy a future right guard as a need seeing as this is the last year of Goff's contract, but in the first round? I wouldn't like that at all because it doesn't help the team for 2008.

I wouldn't have a problem with any player on defense being picked because at least they will see the field. Hell, I wouldn't have a problem with them picking DeSean Jackson, it would be like having a better version of Az Hakim when the Rams were the "greatest show on turf"

I agree with pretty much everything on Clary. He is underrated, but he'll never be special. I think the reason people see RT as a need is because he is probably the weakest starter on the team, which says volumes.

While I like DeSean Jackson immensely, I would be pissed if we drafted him. There is no reason to draft a WR because we are set at the position for a long time with Chambers, VJ, Davis and Naanee. Davis is going to be a stud because of his great speed and excellent hands and Norv Turner is constantly praising Naanee. Both have very promising futures imo. On top of that we still have Gates and LT. Sproles is going to get some touches too and I wouldn't be surprised if Chandler shows up and makes something of an impact next year. We just don't have any room for another receiver.

SDSupaChargers
03-08-2008, 09:39 AM
I agree with pretty much everything on Clary. He is underrated, but he'll never be special. I think the reason people see RT as a need is because he is probably the weakest starter on the team, which says volumes.

I agree completely with this. If we draft a RT he could come in and start day 1. I don't think that that is true about any other position on our team. MAYBE safety, but that's a big maybe. And in my opinion we should being trying to find our starters before we start looking for our backups, but depending on who falls I can see a backup at a certain position being drafted over a starting RT (Stewart, Mendenhal, Phillips).