It's never too early to start looking ahead to the NFL Draft. As we start to wind down the 2009 Regular season, let's look at what positions the San Diego Chargers need to address in the upcoming 2010 NFL Draft.
BOLTHYPE has proudly become one of the most authoritative sources for the San Diego Chargers draft needs; According to BOLTHYPE.com, the San Diego Chargers' top draft needs in 2010 are:
1. RUNNING BACK
As much as it pains me to admit it, the future looks bleak for Ladainian Tomlinson's days as a San Diego Charger. LT will finish the 2009 season with career lows across the board. It's clear his best days are behind him, and it looks like the Chargers will part ways with the future Hall of Famer at the end of the 2009 season. Couple that with Darren Sproles' one-year, franchise-player contract and it is crystal clear that the Chargers will be looking to draft their Running Back of the future. Assuming the Chargers extend Head Coach Norv Turner, they're approach towards drafting a running back will be to identify a guy who will fit Turner's scheme; Excellent in pass protection, catches the ball well out of the backfield, and can run hard between the tackles. They'll be looking for a well-rounded, tough player with speed, and will likely spend a high draft pick on Tomlinson's replacement.
2. DEFENSIVE LINE
Losing Nose Tackle Jamal Williams to a triceps injury early in the 2009 season brought into focus just how crucial the "zero" position is to a 3-4 defense. Men of Williams' considerable size and talent are precious commodities, yet they are absolutely essential to a 3-man front. Dominating at the line of scrimmage has a ripple effect that boosts the play of the entire defense. But with twelve punishing season already under his belt, Jamal Williams does not have many more NFL years left on his body. Currently there is no public timetable for Williams' return; in fact, there is a strong possibility that Williams may decide to retire after this season. With that in mind, and without a true replacement for Jamal on the roster, it is imperative the Chargers address this position of need. Additionally, the Chargers could should also consider adding a player who fits the 5-technique with the strength to hold the line of scrimmage as well as the ability to get after the quarterback.
The Chargers have not spent any significant draft picks on Defensive Linemen aside from Luis Castillo in 2005 and Vaughn Martin in 2008, choosing instead to develop late-round and undrafted free agents. However, it has come time to secure their nose tackle of the future and the 2010 NFL Draft is the place to start.
3. WIDE RECEIVER
Probably not a position many people would think of as a need for the San Diego Chargers, Wide Receiver is nevertheless going to be a position in focus come the offseason. Vincent Jackson has clearly emerged as one of the NFL's top receivers, but he is playing the last year of his contract and has some red flags concerning some legal issues he ran into. Malcom Floyd is a nice player himself, but he too is playing on the last year of his deal. Legedu Naanee is developing into a solid contributor, but he must continue to develop and is not ready for sliding into the WR2 spot. And former first round pick Craig “Buster” Davis has again been unable to contribute to the Chargers, and will likely be cut in the offseason.
With Norv Turner installing his offense in San Diego, and allowing it to flow through Philip Rivers, the Chargers will need to provide their signal caller with targets that can get down the field. With Darren Sproles also potentially moving on, the Chargers could look to draft a player with some return ability.
4. OFFENSIVE LINE
Philip Rivers has been the San Diego Chargers' biggest investment - possibly ever - and they would be wise to provide him with adequate protection, both along the starting offensive line as well as depth. As we mentioned in our article "Centering In On The O-Line Struggles" the Chargers have had a difficult time keeping Nick Hardwick healthy. Hardwick has missed time almost every season, totaling over 20 games where he was unavailable due to one injury or another. The fact of the matter is, when Hardwick is not in the game there is a huge drop-off and at one of the most crucial positions on the line, and it's unsettling that the Chargers haven't done more to prepare for life without Hardwick.
The right side of the offensive line has also been suspect at times, and while the Chargers have found their right guard of the future, they still haven't an elite right tackle that can dominate on a consistent basis. Jeromy Clary has done an admirable job at right tackle for the past few years, but his ultimate upside is probably not very much higher than where he is now. Do the Chargers feel he is an adequate player and that the position doesn't need an upgrade, or will they look to bring in a guy who can develop into a starter at both Right Tackle and Left Tackle? In my opinion, the best move going forward would be to upgrade the position and bring in a guy who will push both Marcus McNeill and Clary, and provide much needed depth at the position.
A 10 indicates an elite player with few peers, 9's indicate Pro Bowl caliber players, 8's are productive starters, 7's are average starters, 6's are adequate backups, and 5's represent a developmental player. The plus(+) symbol indicates a player has upside:
Your trip to San Diego could be a lot more fun if it coincides with major San Diego entertainment events.
Labels: NFL Draft 2010
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