Here is my pick:
With the 27th overall selection in the 2008 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the San Diego Chargers have selected Miami safety Kenny Phillips. Our guest Chargers GM, Rob Zepeda of Bolt Hype, made the Phillips pick and kindly joins us to explain why Phillips is a perfect fit in San Diego:
This is a scenario that the Chargers would love to be in come draft day. Everything is available to them; Some good Defensive Backs are still on the board in Reggie Smith, Dajaun Morgan, Brandon Flowers, and Kenny Phillips. A couple of excellent tackles are there with Cherilus and Otah. And of course there's some nice D-Line help with Kentwan Balmer and Dre Moore available.
If the Chargers in this scenario were to pass on offensive tackle in round 1, then it is pretty likely that Jeff Otah and Gosder Cherilus fall to round 2. Factor in guys like Sam Baker and Carl Nicks, and all of a sudden the Chargers have a good reason to trade back into the second round and get an elite tackle with tremendous value. The Packers and Giants, picking at 30 and 31, are both considering defensive backs in the first round so you have to think that they would consider Reggie Smith, Brandon Flowers, or Kenny Phillips as legit first rounders. The Cowboys at pick number 28 are all be guaranteed to take running back Felix Jones. So in terms of value, Jones would be a great pick at 27. As for the defensive linemen, if the Chargers pass on Kentwan Balmer and Dre Moore, those two would almost certainly slip to round 2. While either player would be a good fit for the Bolts, neither is a sure-fire first rounder and both could easily slip to round 2.
If we go back to the 2006 draft, the Chargers were in dire need of a left tackle and had a couple of top prospects to choose from at pick 19. But the best player on their board was Antonio Cromartie. And by waiting to take a tackle in round 2, they allowed Marcus McNeil to fall into their laps. The SBNation 2008 Mock draft puts the Chargers in a familiar situation where the team can take the best avaialble player on their board. With Super Bowl expectations at an all-time high, the Chargers need a guy who can help the team win now. They need a guy who can be a part of the long-term, but also contribute immediately in some way. That narrows the prospects to Felix Jones, Kenny Phillips, Reggie Smith, Brandon Flowers, and Kentwan Balmer.
In this instance, based on need, value, current depth, and overall upside, I think the Chargers take Kenny Phillips, Safety - Miami. The Miami connection is one that shouldn't be underestimated considering that former first round Hurricanes who are now in the NFL have by and large been very sucessful making the transition. Also, those former 'Canes keep tabs on each other and push each other to be the best they can be. I think Phillips has tremendous upside and by pairing with Eric Weddle, those two would create one of the best safety tandems for years to come. We saw the Chargers' coaching staff use Weddle extensively in his rookie year, and although Phillips might not earn a starting job right away, he'll certainly see many snaps on defense.
Matt Miller, host of this site as well as owner of New Era Scouting, provides his analysis below:
My analysis can be summed up nicely by borrowing from Rob Zepeda's write up: "In this instance, based on need, value, current depth, and overall upside...". The Chargers badly need a safety who can make plays in the secondary, and a player who will eliminate half of the field in coverage. With their star corners Antonio Cromartie and Quentin Jammer, the Chargers are building one of the best young secondaries in football.
San Diego is without a 2nd round pick thanks to Chris Chambers, but they are a smart team and can draft for need at OT and DE later in the lottery.
:: Kenny Phillips Scouting Report - New Era Scouting :: Matt Miller's Top Five Prospects Remaining: 1. LB Dan Connor, 2. LB Jerod Mayo, 3. QB Joe Flacco, 4. RB Felix Jones, 5. Kentwan Balmer
That's all she wrote for today, folks. We've only got four more first-round picks to make, so we'll have the first round wrapped up Friday morning. For now, we'll leave you with the Dallas Cowboys on the clock for the second time this round. Blogging the Boys will once again be making the pick.
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