Eddie Pappani from the Chargers' Countdown To Kickoff show was good enough to give us his perspective of this weekend's NFL Draft. Those who know Eddie know him as "The Sports Oracle", and those who don't need to start listening to the Mikey Show on Rock 105.3. On with the interview...
Jeff: What's up Oracle? The NFL Draft is almost here! I'm amazed out how big this thing has gotten. The NFL has really become a 365-day a year event. What are your plans for draft day?
Eddie: I have been a draft geek since I was a little kid. I read a ton of publications and stay on top of it all year. It is my favorite sporting event all year. I have been to the draft several times as a reporter and it is so awesome. This year I will be an analyst on XTRA Sports 1360. We will be on from noon to 4pm. Should be a blast!
Jeff: No 28-hour draft show (Editor: Mikey Show inside joke)? You know I'm not giving up on that idea !
Eddie: I could do it. I can talk about the draft all day. I think Mel Kiper is my soul mate.
Jeff: So last year at this time the Chargers were seen as having the most talented roster in football. Where do you think they rank going into this year's draft?
Eddie: They are still at the top. They have talent at every position. Of course they have some holes to fill, but they are still deep.
Jeff: There a few directions in which the Chargers could go in round one. Based on need, what are the areas the Chargers most need to improve upon this weekend?
Eddie: Defensive End is #1 in my book. They need to replace Igor. Which won't be that hard to do. Next, I would like to see them grab an O-lineman. We need to fix the right side. There are some guys that can step in and play right tackle from day one. After that, I would like to see them grab another safety, inside linebacker, and maybe a running back. I disagree with most people saying we need to get a running back early. I think we are fine right now. Maybe next year we can address that need.
Jeff: Time to put on the GM hat. Based on who you think will be available at #16, who would be the Chargers first round selection?
Eddie: I hope that Everette Brown is there. He is a defensive end from Florida St. He is exactly what the Bolts need. A playmaking DE. He can rush the passer, and help with the run. I think he would be perfect. If he is gone, then you can look at some other DE's on the board. Probably Tyson Jackson from LSU and Robert Ayers from Tennessee could be there. Possible options. They may like Michael Oher, a tackle from Mississippi. He could start at RT from day one and move Clary inside to guard. I know some people would want them to take Rey Maualuga, the linebacker from USC. I like him, but think we have other needs.
Jeff: In reality, do you think the Chargers will end up with a different player than one of those whom you mentioned?
Eddie: It's too hard to say. There are so many variables. It's a crap shoot. It's like trying to predict the weather. They could go in a totally different direction. Who knows.
Jeff: Any chance the Chargers trade down to pick up an extra 1st/2nd round pick?
Eddie: It's always an option. They tend to screw up their 2nd round picks, so I kinda hope they don't. Let's get a money player at 16 and then see what happens.
Jeff: Beyond the draft, what do you think about the possibility that the NFL will move to an 18-game regular season within a few years?
Eddie: I'm ok with it. I'm a bit of a traditionalist. It must be how older dudes felt when they went from 14 to 16 games. It feels weird. But if it eliminates 2 preseason games, I'm all for it.
Jeff: Yeah, I'm torn. Why change when what you are doing works so well? But an extra two-weeks of real football, not that exhibition stuff? Tough to complain about that! I'll be sure to check in with you guys on Saturday. As always, thanks for taking some time to talk Chargers football!
Eddie: My pleasure. Let's get someone good AJ! Call me...
Eddie Pappani is co-host of the Chargers pregame show on Rock 105.3, as well as the Producer and Sports Oracle of the Mikey Show from 6am-10, Monday-Friday on Rock 105.3.