Although we are still over 90 days out from the 2013 NFL Draft, it is time for the prospects to step up their play as the scouting and All-Star games began. The East-West Shrine Game is one of the most profiled games. It features many players that will be selected during the draft. While these players may not be household names yet, this is a great opportunity to work toward their dream of being a NFL player.
The San Diego Chargers have already had an extremely active offseason, and now that the coaching staff is almost set, it is time to shift focus to the draft. The draft will be essential for the Bolts, who have plenty of holes to fill on both sides of the ball.
Here is an updated mock draft for the Chargers following the East-West Shrine Game.
Eric Fisher OT, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher is a monster. Standing at 6'8", Fisher is exactly what the Chargers are looking for to help their offensive line. Fisher benefited by Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan deciding to stay at their respective schools. Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M will be the first offensive tackle taken off the board and well before the Chargers pick at No. 11.
However, the Chargers won’t be disappointed in Fisher. For how big he is, he moves well and is extremely durable, which is something that the Chargers need drastically on their offensive line. Fisher can come in and start right away. Not only is he an upgrade over what the Chargers currently have, but he also has all the makings to be the tackle of the future.
With the new offensive-minded coaches coming aboard for the Chargers, they will need to make sure the offensive line is in great shape come August and September. The Chargers need an offensive tackle badly, and Fisher has all the makings to be a great offensive tackle in the NFL.
Johnthan Banks CB, Mississippi State
After getting a long-term option for the offensive line, the Chargers must move their focus to the defensive side of the ball. The Chargers defense does not have many holes to be filled. But one glaring weakness was the play by the defensive backs. With Quentin Jammer likely not returning, the Bolts will needs to fill his absence with a corner.
Johnthan Banks is a big corner who fits the size model of the many of the new corners in the NFL. He pairs his size with speed that makes him a perfect cornerback for the Chargers. Banks is currently ranked as the No. 26 player on Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller’s Big Board. It would be close for Banks to fall to the Chargers in the second round, but with players like Xavier Rhodes and Will Davis, Banks just might make it there.
If Banks does fall to the Chargers, new GM Tom Telesco will be delighted to add this ball-hawk to his secondary. Strengthening the secondary will allow the great Chargers pass rushers to get after the quarterback and wreck havoc on opposing offensives. Banks would be a great option for the Chargers in the second round
Alvin Bailey OG, Arkansas
After grabbing defensive help in Round 2, it is time for the Chargers to shift their attention back to the offensive line and add depth to the offensive guard spot. Alvin Bailey, a 6’5”, 312 pound offensive guard, would be a perfect match for the Chargers.
The offensive guard class in 2013 is loaded, which helps the Chargers immensely. It allows the Bolts to be able to grab a player of Bailey’s skill in the third round as they continue to build a new improved offensive line.
Bailey started every one of his games for Arkansas, and his durability will attract the Chargers. Putting Bailey alongside Eric Fisher would give the Chargers one of the biggest offensive guard/tackle combinations in the NFL. Not only would that combination be extremely talented, but they both are very durable, something that the Chargers have been longing for on their offensive line.
With the Chargers' question marks at the offensive guard position, Bailey would be a great addition and a step in the right direction.
Kevin Reddick ILB, North Carolina
Takeo Spikes may or may not be back for the Chargers in 2013, which could leave a hole in the defense at the inside linebacker spot. With emerging star Donald Butler on the field, the Chargers will need to find another inside linebacker to play alongside him for many years to come. That is why the Chargers will select Kevin Reddick with their fourth-round selection, who is ranked as the eighth best inside linebacker in the draft by Matt Miller.
Reddick has size and speed to make it at the next level and showed in his senior year that he is great in run and pass defense. Reddick finished his senior year at North Carolina with 85 total tackles and first in the ACC in tackles for loss per game with 1.54.
The best-case scenario for the Chargers would be to bring back Spikes for one year so that he could give Reddick a year to adapt to the NFL. That extra year was huge for Butler, and it would be helpful for Reddick to learn from Butler and Spikes, too.
Rick Wagner OT- Wisconsin
While the Chargers still haven’t added a skill position on the offensive side of the ball, they need to make sure to sturdy their offensive line even more in the fifth round, when they have a great chance to add Rick Wagner from the University of Wisconsin.
The Chargers learned last year that you can never have too many offensive tackles either on your active roster or your practice roster. The addition of Wagner would be a great depth pick for the Chargers. While Wagner is not up to the talent level of Eric Fisher, he is definitely an upgrade over Mike Harris and Jeremy Clary.
Wagner is a top-10 offensive tackle in the draft, standing at 6’6” and 318 pounds. Another offensive lineman is not the most exciting pick, but the Chargers need to firm up their offensive line before they can address other areas. No matter who the head coach of the Chargers is, if the offensive line cannot block, then nothing will work offensively.
Kerwynn Williams RB, Utah State
Kerwynn Williams just might be the player that the Chargers are missing on the offensive side of the ball. Williams reminds me a lot of Darren Sproles. He stands at 5’8” and 190 pounds, but it is more than just his size.
He is extremely dynamic in the open field. When he finds himself with blockers out in front, he is a touchdown threat every time. He is also a great receiving back: He totaled 45 catches for 697 yards and five touchdowns this year for Utah State.
The Chargers need to find a back that can come in and spell Ryan Mathews, yet still be dynamic enough to be productive. Williams is also a great pass-blocker for his size and can help out in special teams as he showed in the East-West Shrine Game. He’s a do-it-all back, who will be a Day 3 selection in the draft. Look for the Chargers to jump on the chance to draft a guy that they have been looking for since the departure of Sproles.
Wes Horton OLB/DE- USC
With the Chargers last selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Chargers need to add depth to their pass rushing positions. Wes Horton is an in-between player who could play either the defensive end position or an outside linebacker in John Pagano’s struggle.
You can never have too many pass rushers and the Chargers would love to add a player of Horton’s versatility such late in the draft. He is currently ranked as the No. 33 3-4 OLB on Matt Miller’s draft board but his ability to play both defensive end or outside linebacker makes him much more valuable to the Chargers.
He has the speed and the power to make him successful at the next level but what really stands out is his size. He stands at 6’5” and 255 pounds, which makes him much larger than most of the other outside linebackers on the draft board. Horton had a decent senior year at the University of Southern California where he played mainly at defensive end.
USC has had a knack of producing great pass rushers and the Chargers will hope that Wes Horton will be the next one.