The Chargers Don't Need Any Supplements

Tomorrow is a big day if you are a fan of the NFL's Supplemental Draft. Its the day where prospects who were academically unable to play college football (and therefore were not allowed to declare for the 2007 NFL Draft) get a chance to be drafted by NFL teams.

Jamal Williams, one of the best defensive players in the NFL, was himself a player taken in the 1998 Supplemental Draft. In fact, he is considered to be one of the best players ever taken in this draft format.

According to Hashmarks, the 2007 Supplemental Draft will feature a slightly different way of drafting than in years past:

In a Hashmarks exclusive, we have determined that the NFL's supplemental draft begins at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow. Radio City Music Hall was already booked by several French tour groups, so the draft will be held on league-approved laptops. Teams have been asked to notify Commissioner Goodell's office if they don't plan to select one of the 11 participants in order to expedite the process.

So who is exactly is available in the 2007 version? Will the Chargers be logging-on to their laptops to place a bid, or will they take a pass on the whole thing entirely?

A quick look at the list of players has me saying "Pass, pass, pass...":

Robert Armstrong, DT, Morgan State
Brian Soi, DT, Utah State
Clifton Dickson, DT, Florida State
Jared Gaither, OT, Maryland
Chris Patrick, OT, Nebraska
Aaron Turner, OT, East Central Oklahoma
RoShawn Marshall, DB, Central Missouri
Donta' Moore, DB, Connecticut
Paul Oliver, DB, Georgia
Eric McCain, WR, Glendale CC, AZ.
Mark Washington, LB, Texas State-San Marcos

None of these prospects are better than the players already on the Chargers extremely deep and talented roster, and I don't see AJ Smith giving up a draft pick(s) to get someone tomorrow.

Even in areas where upgrades would be nice, such as in the secondary, and along the offensive and defensive lines, the available players would simply not make the team.

One might argue that Cornerback Paul Oliver and Tackle Jared Gaither would have a legit shot of making the Chargers. The team will need to replace Drayton Florence when he departs via free agency, and depth along the line is always important to have. But Oliver would have been a third or fourth rounder (had he come out in the 07 draft), depending on what position he will play. He is more of a Cover 2 cornerback; and as a Safety prospect, Eric Weddle is lightyears better than him.

As for Offensive Tackle Jared Gaither , there is no denying he has impressive physical tools (6'8" 320lbs). But I watched a ton of ACC games the past two years and there really wasn't an Offensive Lineman at Maryland who I coveted. Gaither would have to play Right Tackle if he was on the Chargers; there is no way he is anything but a third stringer at Left Tackle with Marcus McNeil and Roman Oben holding it down as the one and two. And at Right Tackle, he would have to back-up Shane Olivea and Cory Lekkerkerker. In fact, Cory Lekkerkerker (6'7" 320lbs) has similar size and is far more polished than the extremely raw Gaither.

Here is the scouting report on Oliver and Gaither, courtesy NFL Draftcountdown:

So don't expect the Chargers to take anyone in this supplemental process. 2008 is shaping up to be a great draft for defensive backs (assuming a bunch of underclassmen declare), and the Chargers like their starters on the offensive line. You might read that the Chargers are showing interest in certain prospects, but that interest is either a smokescreen, or its mild interest at best.

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July 11, 2007

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Ivan Abrahim said... Jul 11, 2007, 5:16:00 PM

If AJ doesnt plan to bring back Florence next year (BIG mistake!), i think Oliver would make a great choice and could sit and learn for a year then become the nickel next year behind Jam/Cro.

Anonymous said... Jul 12, 2007, 12:07:00 PM

Guess you were way off on this report since they just picked him up with next years fourth. Ouch! I like the Pick.

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