Potential First Round Targets For The Chargers

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I've done some studying on how the best teams draft and one of the most important factors the really good teams consider is "How does the player fit our team?"

You'll hear guys like Scott Pioli and Bill Polian talk about their approach is one which focuses on their club. Can the player be effective in our scheme? Do they fit the profile of our team from a character and work ethic standpoint? Can they help us win now, or are they part of the long-term future? How much value do they bring the team? Can they play multiple positions? Are they versatile? Are they smart?

These are questions that the good teams ask, so when you compare draft boards of say, the Houston Texans versus the San Diego Chargers, you'll probably see some very different rankings. The type of defensive linemen that fits a 4-3 wont always be good fits in a 3-4. A cornerback who wont be a good fit in 3-4 man defense might be great playing more zone or cover 2.

Specifically speaking on the San Diego Chargers and their needs on defense, offense, and special teams, these are the players I have identified as potential first round picks for the Bolts:

Defensive Backs
The Bolts need versatile guys who are tough and physical. In a cornerback, they would like to find a guy who can play the slot and who can support the run. In a safety, they would look for guys who are versatile and can play both safety spots. They're looking for a bigger defensive back who can tackle and can play in different packages.

1. DB Leodis McKelvin
2. DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
3. DB Reggie Smith
4. FS Kenny Phillips
5. DB Patrick Lee
6. SS DaJuan Morgan

Defensive Linemen
Nose tackle is a position that needs depth and there is also a need for a defensive end who can play the five technique. They like big, strong, athletic ends who have long arms and can dominate their gap. Guys who can pass rush as well as stop the run are highly coveted by this team.

1. DT Glenn Dorsey
2. DT Sedrick Ellis
3. DE Phillip Merling
4. DT Kentwan Balmer
5. DE Calais Campbell
6. DT Dre Moore

Offensive Linemen
Depth is a concern at tackle and guard so finding a player who can play both spots is very valuable. The Chargers employ a power run game and like guys who are physical and dominant. A finesse blocker wouldn't be a great fit here and the Chargers already have a Pro Bowl left tackle so they would like to find a guy who can play on the right side, but also has the ability to play on the left if need be.

1. OT Jake Long
2. OG Branden Albert
3. OT Jeff Otah
4. OT Gosder Cherilus

Running Back
Ladainian Tomlinson is still in his prime but he has had a ton of carries so far in his NFL career and broke down towards the end of last season. While he is still the catalyst for the offense, depth is certainly a concern with the loss of Michael Turner so the team needs to find a guy who can help Tomlinson carry the load. Turner averaged about 75+ carries a season for the past two years and also helped as a returner. The Chargers need to find someone who can get 5-10 touches a game and be a security blanket if anything catastrophic were to happen to #21.

1. Darren McFadden
2. Jonathan Stewart
3. Rashard Mendenhall
4. Felix Jones

Wide Receiver
The team is very deep at wide receiver and wont likely draft one. However, Desean Jackson is a possibility because of his incredible return skills. The team took Buster Davis last year in the first round but the third receiver spot won't be handed to Davis without him earning it.

1. WR DeSean Jackson

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April 2, 2008

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Victor said... Apr 2, 2008, 4:24:00 PM

Never thought you'd pick anyone over Dre Moore ;) I'm surprised that you say that Dorsey would be good Nose, because all the other articles state that he wouldn't, because he's not big enough to 2-gap.

I really like the break down of the different types of each position we would use

Rob Zepeda said... Apr 4, 2008, 9:19:00 PM

Its impossible to project how well Dorsey will fit a particular scheme because he'll either be good in one scheme or really good in another. Dorsey is the top defensive lineman in the draft and he can flat out play. Every team should have him #1 on their D-line rankings and I don't think the Chargers disagree... haha!

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