Projecting the Impact for Each Chargers Draft Selection in 2013
Tom Telesco has made some headlines after his recent draft—his first for San Diego. The Chargers arguably had one of the best first three rounds of any team in the league.
After taking a risk and reaching for D.J. Fluker in the first round, they traded up for Manti Te'o in the second and took Keenan Allen in the third after he somehow fell that far.
Although the Chargers' last three picks aren't big names, Tom Telesco had an outstanding first draft in San Diego. It compares a lot to their 2005 draft which landed them Shawne Merriman, Vincent Jackson, Luis Castillo and Darren Sproles.
Three players, the first three drafted, should be consistent producers for many years, while another has a chance to shock some people.
Let's not look too far into the future and focus on the 2013 season.
Al Bello/Getty Images
Prediction: 16 starts, four sacks allowed.
The Chargers need major improvement on their offensive line. D.J. Fluker, who the Chargers have already said will play right tackle, will start immediately and produce throughout the season.
Fluker isn't the best in pass protection, but his run blocking will open up a new element to the Bolts' offense. Ryan Mathews will love running to the right side in 2013.
In 2012, Jeromey Clary allowed a career high 9.5 sacks in only 14 games played. The right tackle position is already Fluker's to lose. The biggest weakness of Fluker is holding and maintaining blocks for a long period of time, not just a short instance. With protecting a quarterback like Phillip Rivers, he must get better in that regard.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA
Prediction: 60 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble, 3 pass deflections.
A lot are doubting Manti Te'o's ability to become a productive player in the NFL, but he should fit perfectly in San Diego. Like Fluker, Te'o should be an instant starter for the Chargers, filling the void Takeo Spikes left.
Playing alongside up-and-coming star Donald Butler, Manti Te'o could possibly put himself in a position to win defensive rookie of the year. His athleticism is questioned and the media will make a mockery of him all year, but if he competes at a high level and posts strong stats, those critics will shut their mouths.
Let's sit back and watch Hawaii Five-O; the player, not the show.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA
Prediction: 35 catches, 525 yards, 3 TDs.
From Legedu Naanee to Patrick Crayton to Eddie Royal to Michael Spurlock, the San Diego Chargers have been looking for a productive third receiver and one that can be played in the slot. Well, they may have found that guy. And if they didn't, Keenan Allen should be a nice fit for the offense.
Confused? Well, by "that guy," I mean Vincent Brown.
Last year, a lot of pressure was on Eddie Royal to step up in the slot and the third receiver position, but he just could not put a dent in games. A healthy Vincent Brown should electrify the Chargers' receiving core. Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander should start outside, with Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen playing in the slot. The best thing about both Brown and Allen is their ability to play in and outside the slot position.
San Diego looks to have their best receiving core in years. At least on paper it looks nice. We said that about last year's receivers as well.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Prediction: 25 total tackles, 3 pass deflections.
The Chargers are very thin at the cornerback position, but I don't see Steve Williams making an immediate impact.
Derek Cox and Shareece Wright should start next season, with Marcus Gilchrist rotating in and out. Johnny Patrick and Greg Gatson should also compete for a roster position as well as playing time in 2013. Josh Johnson and Marucs Cromartie will be darkhorses in training camp as well.
Steve Williams is a smaller defender that can be used to defend the slot for the Chargers. He'll get his production from opportunities based on injuries in front of him.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Prediction: 30 total tackles, 3 sacks.
Tourek Williams is only the fourth outside linebacker on the Chargers' roster. Along with Jarret Johnson, Melvin Ingram and Larry English, Williams should have many chances to produce in San Diego next season.
Williams is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker in the NFL. He's a 6'3'', 260-pound rookie that could make some big plays in 2013.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Sorensen will compete to make the Chargers roster in training camp.Depending on where Tom Telesco would like to keep depth at, he should make the team.
Sorensen is a project in the making. He will not play one snap in 2013, but he should learn a lot from Philip Rivers and Mike McCoy.