San Diego Chargers' Free Agency and Draft Wish List

Marcelo VillaCorrespondent IIFebruary 4, 2014

San Diego Chargers' Free Agency and Draft Wish List

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Cornerback, guard and outside linebacker are among the top needs for the San Diego Chargers—needs that will undoubtedly be solved via free agency or the upcoming draft.

    Like most teams this offseason, the Chargers will begin weighing their options in regards to improving the roster. Should a veteran in free agency take the top priority or does the draft hold the answer? Last offseason, first-year GM Tom Telesco had an active hand in free agency and made good use of the draft picks he acquired.

    No, not every free agent panned out (see Derek Cox), but the risks are simply a part of the offseason game. The Chargers will once again be financially limited in free agency, so bargain hunting will have to be in full effect this March. As for the draft, last year's results prove Telesco knows what he's doing.

    Here are wish lists San Diego should consider based on cap space and draft positioning. 

Cornerback

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    Free Agency Wish List

    1. Corey Graham, Baltimore Ravens

    Bleacher Report NFL analyst Aaron Nagler views Graham as a perfect fit for San Diego based on his experience and reliable tackling. The former Super Bowl champion is coming off one of his best seasons in Baltimore with 56 total tackles and four interceptions. 

    2. Josh Wilson, Washington Redskins

    The saga that unfolded in Washington may be too much for Wilson to consider staying put, and who could blame him? The Redskins have already begun contract talks with cornerback DeAngelo Hall, per Mike Jones of the Washington Post, which could make Wilson the odd man out anyways. The 28 year-old had 68 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception in 2013.

    3. Tarell Brown, San Francisco 49ers

    Brown has been a prominent starter in San Francisco the last three seasons, but his seven-year run with the team could be coming to a close. As Matt Barrow of the Sacramento Bee explains, the 49ers are set to move forward with Tramaine Brock, Chris Culliver and Carlos Rogers, leaving no real need for Brown. The 29-year-old saw a dip in his numbers in 2013, but his previous season was pretty solid and helped contribute to San Francisco's run to the Super Bowl in 2012.

    Draft Wish List

    1. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

    Gilbert is the top-ranked corner prospect in this year's draft class, making him a hot commodity to a host of teams. It's a stretch to think he'll fall to the Chargers at No. 25 overall, but he may be worth moving up in the draft.

    2. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

    Dennard is the second-ranked corner behind Gilbert in the draft and just as enticing to teams in need of secondary help. If Dennard isn't there at No. 25 then it might be time to go to plan B.

    3. Bradley Roby, Ohio State

    Roby's arrest for disorderly conduct in August, per ESPN, may be somewhat of a red flag for teams, but you can't deny his abilities on the field. Bucky Brooks of NFL.com suggests the Ohio State product might be the most gifted corner in the draft.

     

     

Offensive Guard

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    Free Agency Wish List

    1. Jon Asamoah, Kansas City Chiefs

    Asamoah had some setbacks in 2013 with injuries, but the 25-year-old has been fairly consistent the last two seasons. As part of an offensive line that helped pave the way for Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles, Asamoah has probably earned himself a bigger payday from the Chiefs, but he's still worth courting in free agency.

    2. John Jerry, Miami Dolphins

    Jerry was the only 16-game starter on a Miami offensive line that had more problems off the field than on it. What the 27-year-old needs is a change of scenery and a locker room that won't be making headlines anytime soon. 

    3. Shaun Lauvao, Cleveland Browns

    Lauvao battled injuries last season but he was a 16-game starter the previous two seasons in Cleveland. The Browns didn't feature a dominant run game in 2013, but Lauvao has played alongside Pro Bowlers Alex Mack and Joe Thomas for quite some time now. Cleveland may not be succeeding in the win column but there's plenty of talent on that roster, including the offensive line.

    Draft Wish List

    1. David Yankey, Stanford

    The top-ranked interior offensive lineman in this year's draft according to CBSSports.com, who is projected to go between Rounds 1 and 2. Assuming cornerback is the pick in Round 1, the Chargers may get lucky in the second round if Yankey becomes available.

    2. Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA

    Su'a-Filo is also a possible Day 1 prospect, but he and Yankey could easily fall if teams feel they can snatch them up on Day 2. You'd love to have one of the two be available on Day 2 if you're San Diego, but it's understandable if they go quickly.

    3. Cyril Richardson, Baylor

    Richardson is one of the heavier prospects at guard and struggled at the Senior Bowl, according to Rob Rang of CBSSports.com. Still, the Baylor product has good size at the position and is highly ranked on most draft boards. 

     

     

Outside Linebacker

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    Free Agency Wish List

    1. James Anderson, Chicago Bears

    The Bears struggled defensively in 2013, but that didn't stop Anderson from having a solid year with 85 tackles and four sacks. The 30-year-old Anderson had just a one-year deal in Chicago and the contract of veteran D.J. Williams will be up as well. It's no guarantee the team signs both in free agency.

    2. Jason Worilds, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Worilds' one demand of the Steelers in regards to signing a new deal is that he secures a starting job before pen hits paper, per Scott Brown of ESPN. The fourth-year linebacker started 11 games in 2013 and led the team with eight sacks. If Pittsburgh isn't savvy to Worilds' demand, then he could be looking for a new home.

    3. Shaun Phillips, Denver Broncos

    Think Phillips and the Chargers can make amends after parting ways in 2013? It could happen, maybe. Even at 32 years old, the former longtime Charger proved he could still be effective with 10 sacks for the Broncos. There's no way Denver doesn't at least consider bringing back Phillips, but if the two do decide to move on from one another, who's next?

    Draft Wish List

    1. Kyle Van Noy, BYU

    Van Noy may very well be a first-round prospect at this point. Dan Greenspan of College Football 24/7 writes that the BYU product was so impressive at the Senior Bowl, he could easily be considered among top-ranked prospects Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr.

    2. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech

    This is where finding value in the middle rounds comes into play. Attaochu doesn't have the range of skills Van Noy possesses, but he does have the ability to rush the passer and he's pretty good at it —31.5 career sacks at Georgia Tech.

    3. Devon Kennard, USC

    Jarret Johnson is starting to near the end of the road in his career, which is why Kennard would be a great pick-up in the later rounds. He's a formidable run-stuffer and a decent pass-rusher.