There is no more imperfect "science" than that of predicting the NFL draft. The only thing that could arguably be as difficult is predicting whether the player selected will actually succeed as a professional.
Nonetheless, the analysis and prognosticating have become an annual rite of spring. The Chargers have some definite holes to be filled. Union-Tribune columnist Kevin Acee has repeatedly noted that Philip Rivers does not yet have a line that will protect him any better than last season.
Is the reason that the Chargers have not elected to restructure Rivers' contract their hesitancy to commit more years to his deal? If 2013 is indeed, as Acee speculates, Rivers' final "tryout," then where are the reinforcements up front? He has joined every other interested observer in assuming that the draft will be the answer.
But although this appears to be a draft class deep with offensive line talent, there are also more teams than usual in need of blockers. Had the Chargers not picked a quarterback in 2004, they may very well have picked Iowa's Robert Gallery. He too was a "can't-miss" blue chip prospect.
So Tom Telesco will have his hands full with the 11th pick. He may have to opt for the "best player available" strategy instead of focusing on the line. The real suspense may very well be in seeing what the previous 10 teams do.