Chargers Could Spend Top Draft Pick On A Tackle

As draft day draws nearer and nearer, speculation on what position the San Diego Chargers will address with their first round pick continues to grow. Some feel the Chargers would be best suited to draft a running back with their top pick. Others feel an upgrade at safety is needed. But those who've followed the team closely know how much the Chargers want a top offensive tackle.

Last year, the Chargers were poised to select an offensive tackle with the 27th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for the Bolts, a record eight offensive tackles were selected in the first 26 picks. By the time the Chargers came on to the clock, all the tackles were gone.

Not yet content to enter the '08 regular season without depth at the position, the Chargers made a strong run at veteran free agent tackle Willie Anderson. San Diego failed to reach terms with Anderson, who instead signed a three year deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

While it should be mentioned that the Chargers were going to start the 2008 regular season with Marcus McNeill injured, they had already signed LJ Shelton but were still looking to add on.

This year, the Chargers have a higher pick in the first round. At 16, they're well position to land top talent at a number of positions. However, should a highly rated offensive tackle be available for the Chargers, I strongly anticipate the team drafting that player and upgrading their offensive line. The Chargers will certainly look to upgrade their defense across the board, and they could very well go with a linebacker with their first pick. But if the right player is there, I think the Chargers pull the trigger and select an elite lineman.

Mike Goff will leave the team as a free agent and the Chargers could draft a tackle to play on the right side, sliding Jeromey Clary inside to guard. The run game would get a boost with the addition of a physical tackle and the Chargers would now have bookends to protect their franchise QB for years to come.

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Anonymous said... Feb 19, 2009, 12:05:00 PM

I certainly like the idea of better holes opening on the right and being able to run inside the tackle on that side, but I'm still not sure this is the biggest need. We scored a ton of points last year, but still lost games because the defense couldn't stop people. More drat picks on the offense might just make us like the broncos who lost a bunch of games by scores like 43-41.

Rob Zepeda said... Feb 19, 2009, 11:22:00 PM

It's not really a matter of scoring points actually. It's about ball control and physically wearing out our opponents. We couldn't do that very well last year. We scored lots of points off of big plays down the field. We couldn't grind out drives effectively

Anonymous said... Feb 20, 2009, 1:43:00 AM

A true LT aka Oher,Jason Smith or Monroe would be ample additions to our O line. It lets us move McNeil to RT where he would thrive. Then Clary can compete with Mruczkowski for the starting OG spot and the rest of the draft is defense. Although we could just sign Vernon Carey to play RT. I don't like Andre Smith he struggles as a LT and is a good RT but we should pick him up if he is the only one left. If we trade down a guy like Britton or Beatty is always a possibility.

Anonymous said... Feb 20, 2009, 9:45:00 PM

The Bolts did score a lot of points, but there were also a lot of times when things were stagnant. The running game suffered in part because of a lack of push up front, and elite speed rushers devoured Clary. An upgraded and fully healthy line is vital. Clary has achieved a lot for his ability but he's not a high level tackle, and if the Chargers can get a a guy they feel is high level tackle they should go for it.

Anonymous said... Feb 21, 2009, 10:50:00 PM

I agree, if and only if, it is one of the top 4 OT's (A. Smith, J. Smith, Monroe, or Oher). It is possible one of these will drop and be available. Otherwise it is too big of a reach to the next best Tackle, most likely Britton of Arizona.

Anonymous said... Feb 22, 2009, 7:30:00 PM

Drafting an offensive lineman to play RT would be the best thing the Chargers could do to improve their team. I don't care about how may points we scored last year, we could not effectively control the ball and consequently the defense wore down. If we can control the ball more effectively, the defense would be better (even if no new players are added).

Anonymous said... Feb 27, 2009, 1:47:00 AM

I really hope the chargers can keep LT so they can focus the first pick on getting DL, OL, or IL fixed.

nima said... Mar 18, 2009, 3:59:00 PM

OK it all really depends on the other fifteen picks.....we need either a Pass rusher (cuz we had trouble getting to the QB last year) or someone huge/fast inside to go along Williams. If the right player is not there there is a need for a good inside linebacker.....WE SHOULD CUT WEDDLE and sign a safety but we need a samoan like paluamalu on our team and we know there are some on the draft. OUR first pic is very important and should be expected to make an immediate impact on our defense. pass rusher or ILB , we can sign a free agent like roy williams or something

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