Updated 2008 Chargers Draft Needs

Some key offseason moves went down at the end of February, including the release of OT Shane Olivea, FS Marlon McCree, and FB Lorenzo Neal. The team also re-signed QB Billy Volek, and added free agent LB Dereck Smith. While these changes are only mildly surprising, they do shift some of the priorities around a bit in terms of needs heading into the draft this April.

The updated Chargers 2008 Draft Needs are as follows:

1. Defensive Tackle:

Depth is needed along the defensive line. Jamal Williams is nearing the end of his career so a potential nose guard should begin the grooming process. Also, Igor Olshansky and Luis Castillo have been hampered by injuries in the past, so some insurance behind them would be great.

2. Offensive Tackle:

Shane Olivea and Roman Oben are no longer with the team, and as a result there are no backups behind LT Marcus McNeil and RT Jeromey Clary. The team needs at least one tackle who can play on both the right and left side. Someone to push Clary at Right Tackle would be the preference.

3. Running Back:

The Chargers are much thinner in the backfield with the loss of Michael Turner and the release of Lorenzo Neal and Tyrone Gross. They need to protect themselves in case of serious injury to Ladainian Tomlinson and would like to get a guy who can offer versatility in Norv Turner's advanced schemes. They will look for a running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield, and finding someone with great return skills would be amazing.

4. Strong Safety

Starting strong safety Clinton Hart is adequate at best and with the team's loss in Drayton Florence, finding a defensive back who can tackle is going to be extremely important in the upcoming season. The Chargers would be willing to accept the fact Antonio Cromartie is not the best tackler because he makes up for those deficiencies with excellent coverage and ball skills. But the team needs to get a DB who can help Weddle and Jammer with clean-up duties in the defensive backfield and I am not confidant Clinton Hart is that guy.

Keep in mind these needs do not necessarily reflect the order in which the Chargers will draft players, but it should help serve as a guideline to those wondering where the holes are in the Chargers roster.

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March 8, 2008

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