Just as Ryan Leaf's name is trotted out every year at draft time, the story of Mike Mamula will be used as a cautionary tale while trying to make sense of NFL combine scores. The combine has become yet another made-for-television event that ensures pro football truly is a year-round sport.
Of course, the myth of Mamula as a "workout warrior turned bust" is a gross oversimplification. But new GM Tom Telesco has his work cut out for him. The Chargers, especially on the offensive line, need a quick remodel.
Obviously, Telesco wants to build a winner for the long term. But he was hired after three seasons that ended without a postseason berth. Fans will not be satisfied with a fourth. Here's a quick mock after the conclusion of the combine.
All combine stats courtesy of NFL.com unless stated otherwise.
It is almost a foregone conclusion that the Chargers will spend their first pick, No. 11 overall, on an offensive lineman. Johnson ran a 4.72 in his 40-yard dash and scored a vertical leap of 34 inches.
Ricky Henne, on Chargers.com, was most impressed by Alabama's Chance Warmack. However, I don't think he'll be available with the Bolts' pick. Johnson seems to be about as safe a bet as there is for their slot.
Trufant would fill an immediate need since Antoine Cason may not be re-signed. Trufant appears to be very good in coverage, unlike Cason. Trufant wasn't cited in the Chargers' official combine write-up, but was also coming off a strong Senior Bowl.
Unofficially, he ran a 4.31 in his 40-yard dash and is already making teams take notice with his performance. He may not be there for the Bolts to take with their second pick, but it would be great if he was.
UCLA's Jonathan Franklin is very popular in many mocks. However, Ford scored tops in the broad jump and looks like he would give the Chargers the ability to spell Ryan Mathews and get some of the excitement from the backfield that has been missing since Darren Sproles left.
Ronnie Brown was a nice stopgap last season, but watching him creep to the line of scrimmage was painful.
As Kevin Acee wrote this week in the Union-Tribune, the Chargers need to protect Philip Rivers or trade him out of San Diego. Tom Telesco seemed shocked by the latter possibility, so we'll have to assume that he plans to protect him.
As Acee also wrote, the Chargers can't afford any slow-developing reclamation projects. That was part of what got AJ Smith and Norv Turner fired. Quessenberry scored 112" in the broad jump and seems ready to make the jump to the pros.
I know the Chargers picked Melvin Ingram last year, and I'm not expecting them to pick a linebacker early.
Even after returning from injury, Jonas Mouton showed very little last season. The only thing that really scares me here is McCray's injury history. But this would be a fifth round pick, as opposed to Mouton's second round (No. 61-overall) status.
Here's a guy that wasn't even expecting to be invited to the combine.
However, Nick Hardwick was close to retiring before last season. He wont be a Charger forever and David Molk is still largely an unknown. I don't see a problem with taking a flier on Lonergran with this spot.
Philip Rivers is another player who is in the second half of his career.
Renfree has been already targeted as a sleeper in this year's draft. The Chargers will need to think about who their quarterback of the future is sooner rather than later. It would hardly be a waste to grab Renfree in the seventh round.