Another NFL draft is in the books, and if it did not leave you highly entertained than you were not paying attention. There were plenty of trades and enough highly questionable picks to keep draft analysts pulling their hair out.
The most talked about draft news involved an AFC West rival trading up in the first round to draft a new quarterback, the widely talked about Tim Tebow. With the "firing" of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, and the drafting of Tebow, Broncos Coach Josh McDaniels has made it known that he is putting character over talent, and will go to extreme ends to prove it. Coach McDaniels, the rest of the AFC West thanks you!
Now on to what we really care about, the Chargers 2010 draft selections. AJ Smith did a couple of things that I never thought he would do in this draft. First, he made a huge move in the first round, going from #28 to #12, and doing so for a significant price. The second thing he did was fill an obvious need position with a highly rated player, choosing RB Ryan Matthews.
The selection of Ryan Matthews, when viewed on it's own, is a phenominal pick. Matthews is a stud who can play every down and should be competing for Pro Bowl selections for the next seven years. If only we could leave it at that.
The drafting of Matthews did not come cheap, as the Chargers had to give up their valuable second round pick, along with Tim Dobbins, and some picks later in the draft. Forget about everything else, that second round pick was HUGE in this deep draft. I was hoping that with picks #28 and #40, we would get at least one game changer on defense, if not two. Instead, those picks were effectively devoted to improving the Chargers 5th ranked offense. Great offense, average defense...devoting your best picks to improving the defense seemed like a no brainer to me, but AJ must have disagreed.
If you have read anything that I have written lately, you know how defense-minded I have been leading up to the draft. In my opinion, the Chargers offense is fine, short of some consistency on the offensive line. The defense has been average at best, and you don't win a lot of championships with an average defense (last year's Super Bowl teams being the exception). I can appreciate a solid running game with the best of them, but I can also appreciate a dominating defense, and we have not had one of those since Wade Phillips left Southern California.
I will give AJ some credit, he spent the rest of the draft focusing on need positions on the defensive side of the ball. The Chargers run defense was soft up the middle, so AJ picked up up a solid inside LB (Donald Butler), a tackle machine at Safety (Darrell Stuckey), and somehow found a run stuffing nose tackle in the 5th round in Cam Thomas. I hear he is not the brightest bulb, but no one said you have to be smart to clog the middle. I truly believe that these guys can immediately help our defense, but I will never stop wondering what it could have been like if we were able to add a game changer like Linval Joseph, Brandon Spikes, or Taylor Mays in the second round.
Labels: NFL Draft 2010
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