First-year San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco hasn’t minced words about his willingness to trade up or down to acquire a player he deems worthy of such a move or gain additional picks in this year’s upcoming NFL draft.
According to Tom Krasovic of the U-T San Diego, it’s looking increasingly likely that the Bolts will either move their No. 11 pick to acquire a top-10 selection or trade down in order to stockpile some for later with the obvious goal of acquiring a game-changing offensive lineman at some point in the early rounds. It’s no secret that Philip Rivers desperately needs blindside protection in order for the offense to take a next step forward and contend for an AFC West division title after 2012 saw them struggle to put points on the board and move the ball through the air.
The Chargers ranked 24th in passing yards last season, largely due to the fact they struggled to keep Philip Rivers upright as he was sacked a career-high 49 times. With the loss of Jared Gaither after the veteran was released this offseason, a new left tackle should be the focus of the new regime as they build the organization from the ground up. Based on Telesco’s assertion last week that the front office doesn’t rank players based on need, there is a a chance that they don’t find their man on offense when they are on the clock Thursday and look elsewhere.
But the experts at NFL.com have the Chargers taking an offensive lineman at No. 11. It makes too much sense, no matter where they end up drafting.
If they trade up into the top-10, they could look to acquire dynamic offensive tackles like Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson, who are consensus early first-rounders. If they move down, there are plenty more tackles to choose from, Justin Pugh and Menelik Watson being two of them.
San Diego has plenty of options, and Telesco knows it. They have the ability due to the wealth of lineman available to either reach for a stud or lie in wait and draft a solid player while grabbing some additional picks that could be used to fill some of their additional holes.
At this point, smart money is on the left tackle in the first round, but in the NFL draft, anything goes.
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