San Diego Chargers: A Closer Look at the Top 5 Draft Picks
For better or worse, Tom Telesco has already put his stamp on the San Diego Chargers. The reaction from Boltheads after the draft wrapped up has been pretty mixed. However, ESPN's John Clayton had the new-look Chargers on top of his "winners" list.
Just as fans were begin to digest the drafting of Alabama's D.J. Fluker, Telesco traded up to draft none other than Manti Te'o. Now that the weekend has passed, let's take a look at some realistic expectations for the Chargers' top five picks.
1. DJ Fluker
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Tom Telesco had to consider the possibility that all of the highly touted linemen would be gone before the 11th pick. One thing you can't accuse the Chargers' new GM of is being indecisive. The talking heads at ESPN reacted positively to the pick. The suggestion was made that Fluker's skill set is best suited to a smashmouth style.
Does this mean the Bolts will welcome the post-Norv Turner era by finally establishing a running game? The Chargers also made headlines this week when LaDainian Tomlinson revealed that the team approached him about ending his retirement and returning to the Bolts in a limited role.
The expectation for Fluker this season is to anchor the line from his right tackle position. Here's hoping there is still some help coming alongside him.
2. Manti Te'o
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Telesco deserves credit for keeping his cards close to the vest. Despite visiting San Diego before the draft, there was little belief that the Bolts would actually take Te'o, let alone trade up to draft him.
But that's exactly what they did. There will be a time when Te'o will only be judged by what he does on the field. That day hasn't arrived yet, however. But Te'o will be playing alongside Donald Butler, who will be asked to step up his game now that Shaun Phillips is in Denver.
It's hard to remember how Te'o was playing before the Alabama game. Of course, there is the fear that the national championship game represented a Brian Bosworth-like defrauding. However, Te'o's fall from grace will lessen the expectations drastically.
If he can grow into a solid starter, this pick will be deemed a success. But anytime you trade up to draft a player, there is an added stigma. It took a Pro Bowl berth to erase it. Even after getting to Honolulu, Ryan Mathews is still saddled by it.
3. Keenan Allen
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Allen, once considered a first-round talent, fell all the way to the third. There were various suggestions as to why. Allen claimed his red-flagged drug test at the combine was a "mistake."
Allen could prove an excellent weapon for Philip Rivers, assuming the line doesn't have him running for his life once again. Vincent Brown still hasn't played since last preseason. Telesco's gamble, leaving Danario Alexander for the taking, seems to have paid off in the short term.
This year's Super Bowl proved the value of a physical receiver. Hopefully, Allen can become just that.
4. Steve Williams
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The Bolts will be starting from scratch in their defensive backfield this year. Williams certainly will be a welcome addition. However, Williams won't be asked to step right in. He's undersized, but he has a knack for making plays.
Derek Cox and Marcus Gilchrist are the probable starters as of now, but if Williams can provide depth this season, his selection should be considered positively.
5. Tourek Williams
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The void left by Phillips means that the Bolts need another edge-rusher. Williams looks like a low-risk selection, as he was taken in the sixth round. However, Florida International University may not have provided the type of competition to accurately gauge Williams. Sadly, the draft ended without the Chargers addressing their biggest need, left tackle.