Could J-Stew Fall To The Bolts?

The Chargers need to draft a running back this year not only to offset the loss of Michael Turner but also to prepare for an eventual future without Ladainian Tomlinson. Because they are in the position to take the best available player, drafting a running back at pick #27 is a real possibility. As a reader of this blog, you've seen many posts on this topic but there is a name I haven't mentioned much because of his lofty draft grade; Jonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart is a guy who is probably the most NFL-ready running back in this draft. Stewart is a complete back who can catch the ball and return kicks, and is actually a very good blocker. After a stellar Junior season in the PAC-10 he went down to the combine and absolutely lit it up. Easily one of the top prospects period, Stewart's stock has taken a hit because of recent surgery on his big toe. He is expected to rehab for 4-6 months but NFL people are optimistic he'll be ready for camp. Its difficult to gauge where Stewart will fall, but if teams are scared away because of the injury, there is a chance (albeit a slight one) that J-Stew would be available for the Chargers at the bottom of round one.

The nice thing going for Stewart is that the running back position has traditionally been one that doesn't necessarily need an extensive acclimation period to the NFL. Rooking running backs often come to the pros and make immediate impact. And in Stewart's case, many view him as a prototypical feature back and he is expected to garner a lot of attention by every team.

The NFL Network has a nice video piece on Stewart here:

http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d8072ce5c

It'll be interesting to see what happens come draft day if both J-Stew and Felix Jones are available for the Chargers...do they take the home-run-hitter or the between-the-tackles pounder?

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March 23, 2008

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