It’s almost that time of year, when owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the “War Room” for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don’t believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and go over the picks we believe teams need to make when they’re on the clock. We’ll cover all 32 teams, but today’s segment is dedicated to the: San Diego Chargers.
What do you do when you have the top offense and top defense, statistically, in the league and don’t make the playoffs? It’s a question the Chargers front offense and coaching staff must address in late April with free agency on hold until the lockout ends. Offensively, the talent is there. Phillip Rivers is the undisputed quarterback on this team, Ryan Mathews is the running back of the future and Vincent Jackson—who was franchised earlier this year—is the number one receiver. The offensive line is in pretty good shape, although some patchwork is possible. Offensively, the Chargers could look for a tackle early in the draft, or could target a legitimate number two receiver at some point.
This is likely to be a defense-heavy draft for the Chargers, who despite the top defense in the league have several holes that could use an upgrade or more depth. A defensive end or rush linebacker could get serious consideration in the first and second rounds, while an inside linebacker could also be an option considering so many of the Chargers’ linebackers are free agents this offseason. We could also see San Diego add some depth to the secondary, although the signing of Bob Sanders is a good get for this team.
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San Diego Chargers Mock Draft
Round 1 (#18): Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple Owls: This could be a good fit for San Diego, as Wilkerson’s stock is rising quickly and he could fall somewhere in the middle of the first. Wilkerson would play opposite Luis Castillo on the San Diego D-line.
Round 2 (#50): Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State Spartans: Inside linebacker is a position the Chargers will have to address in this draft. Jones was very productive at Michigan State and has the talent to make a big impact at the next level.
Round 2 (#61) from New York Jets: Titus Young, WR, Boise State Broncos: Could be a good fit at slot for the Chargers and San Diego needs to add to its receivers corps. Troy’s Jerrel Jernigan has been mentioned as an option in a similar capacity as well.
Round 3 (#82): Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU Tigers: The offensive line isn’t in dire need of an upgrade, but I expect the Chargers to address the line of scrimmage nonetheless.
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Round 3 (#89) from Seattle: Chris Carter, OLB, Fresno State Bulldogs: This is the Chargers’ last pick until the sixth round and if they haven’t yet addressed their need in the pass rush, they’ll likely do that here.
Round 6 (#183): Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky Wildcats: Darren Sproles, anyone? If Sproles is leaving, Locke could be a good option to step in and make a difference as a change-of-pace back. Locke even racked up 318 yards receiving as a senior.
Round 6 (#201) compensatory: Greg Lloyd, ILB, Connecticut Huskies: Call it an overreaction to stock up on inside linebackers with several free agents, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Chargers take a couple to compete on the inside.
Round 7 (#236) compensatory: Steven Friday, OLB, Virginia Tech Hokies: If he’s available late in the seventh round, Friday is a steal. He could develop into a fantastic rush linebacker at the next level. Nine sacks as a senior in 2010.
That’s how it played out in our Mock of the San Diego Chargers “War Room”.