The San Diego Chargers received some mixed reactions from analysts around the web after the completion of the 2013 draft.
Some praised new GM Tom Telesco in his first run with the team, while others referred to some of his picks as risks and overreaching.
Either way, the Chargers organization was happy to welcome the 2013 draft class to San Diego:
- OT D.J. Fluker (Alabama)
- ILB Manti Te'o (Notre Dame)
- WR Keenan Allen (California)
- CB Steve Williams (California)
- DE Tourek Williams (Florida International)
- QB Brad Sorensen (Southern Utah)
Here are some of the draft grades floating around the web courtesy of 10 media outlets.
The Analyst: Rob Rang
The Grade: B+
Analysis: In the AFC West, Rob Rang was especially fond of San Diego's draft, giving the Chargers his highest grade in the division—a B+.
Rang didn't have any negative comments for Telesco's crop of players. In fact, Rang had nothing but nice things to say about D.J. Fluker, Manti Te'o, Keenan Allen, Steve Williams and even Brad Sorensen.
Here's what Rang had to say about the Chargers' draft directly from CBSSports.com:
They continued a three-player run on Crimson Tide stars, adding the physically imposing D.J. Fluker to bring some toughness and stability to an offensive line greatly needing both. San Diego will love Fluker ... as long as they don't expect him to play on the left side. Manti Te'o is going to take his fair share of ribbing from teammates and opponents (and their fans). But once he proves himself to be a quality starter in the NFL, all of the heckling will quiet down. I love (make that LOVE) the addition of Keenan Allen in the third round for a team that has struggled with consistency at receiver. Te'o will be solid; Allen will prove a steal. Of the Chargers' third-day picks, cornerback Steve Williams is my favorite. While lacking elite size, he possesses terrific feet and good ball skills and is more physical than you might think. Quarterback Brad Sorensen impressed me at the Combine.
The Analyst: Chris Burke
The Grade: B
Analysis: Chris Burke presented San Diego with a solid B for its draft, making it clear that the Chargers' first three picks were the main reason for such an above-average grade.
Like most experts, Burke sees a lot of the focus going to Te'o but views Allen as a steal if he's able to recover from his injury.
Here's what Burke had to say directly from SportsIllustrated.com:
In OT D.J. Fluker, LB Manti Te’o and WR Keenan Allen, the Chargers added three starters. Allen, at 76, will easily outplay that draft slot if he’s 100 percent. San Diego did not cobble together much depth — CB Steve Williams and DE Tourek Williams are fringe roster guys. This Chargers’ class will live and die on the first three rounds, with most eyes focusing on Te’o.
The Analyst: Vinnie Iyer
The Grade: B
Analysis: The pick of Te'o in the second round is what really intrigues Vinnie Iyer. He views the former Notre Dame linebacker as a perfect fit in San Diego's 3-4 scheme alongside Donald Butler.
Iyer also had some positive reinforcement for the pick of Allen, specifically as to how offensive coordinator Ken Wisenhunt will utilize him.
Here's what Iyer had to say directly from SportingNews.com:
The Chargers hit on their desperation for an offensive tackle with Alabama's D.J. Fluker in the first round, but their next two picks, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and California wide receiver Keenan Allen, are good fits with what they want to do in the Mike McCoy era. Playing next to rangy, big playmaker Donald Butler in their 3-4, there's less pressure on Te'o, who can focus on his strength as an instinctual upfield tackler. Some of what Allen will do should remind offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt of his best Cardinals wideouts.
The Analyst: Evan Silva
The Grade: D
Analysis: Evan Silva had some choice words for Telesco's draft approach, slapping the first-year GM with a D grade—the lowest among online media outlets.
Silva felt as if Telesco drafted too much for value rather than need, failing to thoroughly address the O-line.
I disagreed with Silva's analysis as a whole, but I too was a little surprised that Telesco didn't go after more offensive linemen. However, San Diego may have felt that the talent available at offensive line after the first round wasn't worth dismissing value players.
Here's what Silva said directly from Rotoworld.com:
Rookie GM Tom Telesco's first draft netted just one clear-cut value pick in Allen. More disturbingly, Fluker was the only front-five addition to arguably the NFL's worst offensive line. Telesco has been praised for stealing Allen in round three, but I'm not sure that pick helps the offense whatsoever if Philip Rivers isn't protected. And pass protection was Fluker's weakness in college, surrendering 5.5 sacks and 15.5 more hurries last season. He can be made to look silly by speedy edge rushers. The Williamses bring to the table athleticism and core special teams value, but neither projects as a future NFL starter. Sorensen is coming off a disappointing senior season at a small school. Te'o can be a solid two-down inside linebacker if protected by massive defensive tackles, but wasn't worth the trade up, which cost San Diego the Nos. 45 and 110 overall picks. I just find it shocking that Telesco showed so little urgency about upgrading his offensive line.
The Analyst: Mel Kiper Jr.
The Grade: B+
Analysis: Unfortunately, Mel Kiper's complete draft grades are only visible to ESPN Insiders, but AFC West blogger Bill Williamson offered fans a little nugget of what Kiper had to say about San Diego's draft in his blog.
I wholeheartedly agree with Kiper's analysis of Te'o in San Diego. With his instincts and intelligence at the position, I see Te'o as the perfect complement to Donald Butler.
Here's a sample of what ESPN's draft guru had to say directly from Williamson's blog:
Manti Te'o fills an immediate need at linebacker, and I don't think San Diego could have expected to get this kind of a player at No. 38 overall. He will step in and start immediately.
The Analyst: Tom Krasovic
The Grade: B
Analysis: Even a local guy like Tom Krasovic couldn't help but nitpick about the lack of needed help on the offensive line via the draft.
He did, however, like the value of Allen where he was drafted by the Chargers.
Here is what Krasovic had to say directly from UTSanDiego.com:
Left tackles flew off the board faster than ever, and you wonder if Philip Rivers will pay for it. Still, rookie GM Tom Telesco seemed to land starters at right tackle and inside linebacker. WR Keenan Allen looked underdrafted at No. 76.
The Analyst: Thomas Emerick
The Grade: B-
Analysis: Despite not filling a gap at left tackle, according to Thomas Emerick, the Chargers received a reasonable grade.
Emerick did not like the fact that San Diego gave up a fourth-round pick to move up and select Te'o, arguing that the Chargers could have used more picks to address the O-line.
Here is sample of what Emerick had to say direct from RantSports.com:
Three rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft are in the books and the San Diego Chargers still have not filled their years-long gaping void at left tackle, and thanks to trading up in Round 2 for linebacker Manti Te’o now don’t have a fourth-round pick. Outside of brief glimpses of competence from Jared Gaither a couple seasons ago, pass protection on both sides for Philip Rivers has been a disaster since Marcus McNeill broke down.
The Analyst: Randy Covitz
The Grade: B
Analysis: Overall, Randy Covitz spoke highly of San Diego's top four picks, ranking them higher than even the hometown Kansas City Chiefs.
Covitz went on to hint at the possibility of Steve Williams replacing veteran corner Quentin Jammer on defense.
Here is what Covitz had to say directly from KansasCity.com:
Fluker rescues an offensive line that couldn’t prevent 79 sacks and 47 turnovers by Philip Rivers during the past two seasons. Te’o is a natural in San Diego, where a fellow linebacker of Samoan heritage, the late Junior Seau, was a legend. Allen, Cal’s all-time receptions leader, will be a welcome target for Rivers. Williams will get a shot at replacing Quentin Jammer.
The Analysts: Jennifer Floyd Engel, Alex Marvez, Peter Schrager
Floyd Engel's Grade: C-
Marvez's Grade: B
Shrager's Grade: B
Analysis: Fox Sports' trio of draft graders were split 2-1 as to what grade San Diego deserved for its draft.
Floyd Engel was the most critical of the two in her analysis, specifically of Te'o:
Forget the fake dead fake girlfriend, I am not sure linebacker Manti Te’o is going to be on the field enough to justify where they took him or moving up to do so.
Marvez, on the other hand, feels strongly of Te'o and Allen as San Diego's better picks:
They could have done more to address their offensive line early besides choosing Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker at No. 11 overall. They may have hit home runs with two players who fell further than expected: Te’o (second round) and California wide receiver Keenan Allen (third).
Shrager was also elated with the Te'o pick to San Diego, but he went further to explain how a fellow Charger will guide Te'o in the NFL:
It’s ironic Te’o will be lining up every day in practice against first-round pick Fluker — the same guy who ate him alive in the BCS Championship Game. San Diego is probably the best fit for Te’o. Safety Eric Weddle, a devout Mormon, will take the linebacker under his wing and serve as his veteran mentor. Keenan Allen was a first-round talent.
The Analyst: Peter Brisco
The Grade: C-
Analysis: Peter Brisco was yet another analyst who didn't like the pick of Te'o in the second round. However, he did like Allen in the third round if he can recover from his injury.
Here's what Brisco had to say directly from CBSSports.com:
I liked the pick of Fluker, but not the choice of Te'o. They might hit on third-round pick Keenan Allen, but he is coming off an injury.