Chargers Offseason Outlook and Mock
I see us retaining: Jackson (Franchise Tag): Too important to let walk, recent press indicates he'll play for the 10 mil.
Weddle: I can't see us letting him go. Vital to our defense, if unspectacular. Definitely underrated and if we put playmakers around him I think he'll make plays.
Cooper: While I wish we could keep Coop and Burnett, reality is that probably will not happen. While not the athlete Burnett is, he is the leader on D. Extremely important for making calls, alignments etc. He was missed in the games he was injured as the ground game was exploited (raiders, bengals). Burnett also likely earned himself a nice payday greater than what Coop will get. You can bet that Rivera will be going after these two, and likely Weddle if given a shot.
Floyd: Has been Rivers go to guy since they were on the scout team. Simply has a rapport with him unlike any other. Great fit for our system, has the confidence of those who matter. Health is an issue but I think he will be deemed to valuable to walk.
Clary: Not my favorite player but he played in more snaps than any other player on the offense. Solid player that AJ will value. If not retained, Dombrowski showed he could be an adequate replacement.
Volek: I don't think they will like the alternative scenarios. Knows the system, team trusts him. It will come down to if another team thinks he can start. Quarterback starved league so you never know, but I think he stays.
Mruczkowski: Valuable backup that can play multiple positions. He can start in a crutch and contribute. Fair offer I think he stays.
Sproles will have a permanent place, with me at the very least, as a Charger for what he has done for the franchise. I think other teams will offer more. Wants to stay and says if given a fair offer he'll take it. I think other teams will set the market, hopefully it won't be too high. Extremely cautiously optimistic.
Love to keep McMichael but he proved he could be a productive starter. He probably wants to start and a team will probably give him the money and the opportunity.
I think one of Johnson and Cesaire has a good chance at staying. Johnson probably has more ability and liked San Diego. Cesaire is a pure team guy who has been a valued role player. I personally like them both but I only think one stays.
Naanee never truly developed into what his potential alluded to. Has good hands, good special teamer, powerful runner and hard worker but injuries nagged. I think another team will offer a better opportunity and he'll be low priority due to others above him. I'd like him back.
Siler is a firey and valuable player who was an asset as a great special teams and run stopping force. Love him back but will another team (panthers) ante up more?
Oliver is underrated in my opinion and I like him a lot. Not great but made plays and still has potential. Hopefully we bring him back.
I see our needs as being DE, ILB, OLB, WR, S, OL. A heavily defense oriented draft would be preferable. One thing I'd like to say though: I don't know what to make of OLB. Philips is a stud. I am still a huge fan of English. If he could have stayed healthy last year I think he would have been very productive. He played in half the games and less than half the snaps but was still a more productive pass rusher. He consistently created pressure in some of his later games. I still can see a Woodley like player developing, but he needs to stay healthy. Barnes is a nice backup pass rusher, even if he only has speed for now. He has potential. Tucker needs to step up and I think his roster spot is at risk. Applewhite has been a cog, but how much potential is there? I think an upgrade is needed.
ILB: Butler had the coaches drooling. Potential is intriguing and hopefully he'll be back but that injury he suffered is tricky.
S: Stuckey is a hard worker with intangibles and athletic ability but his early injury set him back and he could not recover. He has potential and the makeup to live up to it. He is similar to Weddle in a lot of ways. I think he can recover and become a starter.
1: Considerations: Watt, Heyward, Jordan, Liuget, Smith, Ayers
Jordan would be ideal but most likely gone. I'm not entirely sold on Heyward. I like Watt and Liuget a lot as fits. There seems to be some questions about Watt's ability to play 3-4 DE though. Smith has the potential to be a force off the edge but needs to be refined. The Chargers have the players in front of him to let him develop. Ayers can fill multiple roles and be a really valuable player, even if it doesn't show up on the stat sheet necessarily. He could move around at ILB, OLB and DE providing many options for our new dc to take advantage of.
I think Smith, Jordan and Ayers will be gone. Ayers would be very intriguing and could still be there. DE is the biggest need imo and it comes down to Watt and Liuget.
Pick: JJ Watt DE
The team will love his tenacity and strength off the edge. He will add some needed attitude to the dline and his nonstop motor will cause headaches to opposing players. He'll help shore up the run defense and will be able to add some occasional pressure off the edge as a 5 technique end. His versatility is also a strength as he can move inside in passing situations to bring another edge player on the field making the defense more athletic and help create more pressure.
2A: If Phil Taylor is here I think you have to take a long look at the selection. Garay is great, but comes with injury issues. Thomas has potential but if Taylor is there in the 2nd, can you pass him? A NT is very hard to find and DL depth is a scare commodity. Alas, I think he is gone making it an easier decision. If OLB is taken first, then Ballard is a good alternative to consider.
Pick: Brooks Reed OLB
Another tenacious player that the team will love. He will offer a relentless motor of the edge that will help solidify the front seven. Athletic enough to make the move and will contribute immediately on 3rd downs. Will push the players in front of him with his unrelenting play and attitude. The Chargers may have been among the league leaders in sacks, but the position could still use an influx of talent.
Pick: Kelvin Sheppard ILB
The Chargers will need another ILB after likely losing multiple players at the position. I think Sheppard is a perfect fit as he is a leader coming from the best conference in college football who will bring an aggressive attitude to the front seven in both the run and passsing game. Exactly the type AJ likes to target. Will provide a real solid presence to the defense and may not be a huge play maker but can be a key cog.
Ahmad Black S
He'll be a real asset in coverage who can backup and play special teams in the short term. Lack of size could cause him to drop, but feisty demeanor and athleticism gives him a chance to be a good player. Could also be taken higher if a team falls in love. Nice team player who will fit into the system. Jalil Brown would also be a great pick here as he is the physical and competitive type of corner the Chargers like.
3B: Tandon Doss WR
I go to IU so this is a homer pick to an extent, but still fits the team's model and system. A bigger receiver with very good athleticism who fits the mold of other Chargers receivers. He has great hand eye coordination, hands, leaping ability and deceptive speed. Can get down the field and snatch the ball away from defenders. Not a burner, but a hard worker who AJ will like. Could shoot up boards.
6: Jah Reid OL
A big olinemen who keeps the quasi-tradition of taking OL late can provide depth at OT and potentially G.
This draft will fortify the front 7 while also adding some needed depth to the WR corps and oline. High character players that fit the system will be added who will be the lifeblood of young talent the team badly needs in order to remain competitive and renew a new stretch of super bowl contention.
I think we retain: VJ (one and dun), Weddle, Burnett, Floyd, Siler, and I too think they should keep Oliver around. Eyechart as a backup (Mrczukowski).
The only other area I think we address in the first 3 rounds is RT potential starter to fight it out with Dombo.
I think we get Alex Smith on a similar 3 year 9 million dollar deal and let Volek go.
I love your ideas on the draft, we need an upgrade at 5Tech, and this draft is loaded so we will be able to get one. If we don't get one, it tells you what they think of the Canadian Vaughn Martin!!! I like your Phil Taylor idea...he looks like a monster in the making and the biggest plus would be the Chiefs or Donkees not getting him!!!
I also see a legit chance to find a start in the second round at RT.
I would love for them to find a slot guy in the draft who can return kicks, Torrey Smith should be an consideration in the second round.
Great thoughts, I definitely agree that RT and WR are areas that could be deemed as needing an upgrade. The whole labor uncertainty really hurts us more than other teams because of the potential mass exodus that could take place. If we retain say Weddle, Floyd and one of Burnett and Cooper, as I believe these are essential core players, in contrast to if we lose most or all of them, this draft would go from being extremely important in the quest to combat roster aging/replenishing talent to absolutely vital in order to remain competitive. Keeping these players would allow us to supplement our core with more talent in order to regain a team that can contend for a super bowl.
Torrey Smith would definitely be a great piece to have with his speed and big play ability. I hear there are questions about his hands as he is a body catcher though. A true slot receiver would be exactly what this offense is missing. I thought Davis, at the very least, would retain some value and become a contributor in this role. It looks like that ship has sailed though. Another guy I wouldn't mind in the second would be Titus Young as he would be a great compliment to the size we have on the outside. It does seem that we stay away from these smaller slot guys at WR and prefer bigger downfield targets. That played into why I chose Doss as a potential fit. But the upside to a speedy slot guy invariably has a high upside, especially in an offense with, at the least, Jackson and Gates to contend with down the field. A guy like that underneath could replace what Sproles meant as a safety valve, and with PR throwing the ball could go from being drawn up as a checkdown option to a huge weapon that would make the offense even more lethal. With Sproles on his way out, a returner is probably needed as well, so as these types of guys tend to fill both roles, maybe WR will be a top target.
Martin and Thomas were fun to watch at the end of the year. They both surprised me with the pressure they were able to create. Hopefully it is the beginning for those two, because their talent and upside is considerable. Another talented DLinemen is definitely something that will help ease their development and create a potentially dominant line eventually.
Well, with our state of the Franchise their are several areas we can target.
First WR, OLB, and DE are our main targets I think.
A few solid WR options could be had in Round 2-3 (Hankerson, Austin Pettis, etc.)
I like Torrey Smith, but he will most likely be gone before we pick in Rd. 2, and we do tend to like Big, Physical WR's (although he is literally Roddy White 2.0)
OLB is another are we can target in the First 3 Rounds. Players like Justin Houston, Ryan Kerrigan, Brooks Reed seem like possibilities.
I think if Cameron Jordan or J.J. Watt are available with our First pick, they could be potential locks.
A darkhorse would be a RT like Anthony Castonzo or Gabe Carimi. Carimi is the more "prototypical RT" of the two, but Castonzo has the "BC Pedigree" and should be a solid starter for YEARS at either Tackle spot. I am very high on him and think he could shore up our Line. Only thing is, AJ Smith has NEVER taken a lineman in Rd. 1, so don't look for it to happen in most cases.
That leads me to what AJ does like to do, take DB's early. Jammer, CRO, and Cason were all first rounders, and with the whole "move Jammer to Safety" coming up lately, a Solid Corner like Colorado's Jimmy Smith would be a nice selection. He is not only big, but PHYSICAL and does remind me of Jammer.
All in all we have many areas that can be targeted with no HUGE glaring needs, should be an interesting draft!
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