Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios for San Diego Chargers' Top 3 Picks
The San Diego Chargers drafted D.J. Fluker, Manti Te'o and Keenan Allen with their top three picks last year—all three of whom developed into starters in their rookie seasons.
In this year's loaded draft class, San Diego is primed to add three more starters with its top three picks.
As each round plays out, there will be a number of best- and worst-case scenarios facing San Diego. If player A is gone, will they settle for player B? Can they wait for player B to fall or is he worth reaching for? It's the strategic portion of the draft that Chargers general manager Tom Telesco and his staff will have to work through as soon as the clock starts.
Here are the best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Chargers with their top three picks.
Pick 25 Best-Case Scenario
The Chargers lost Cam Thomas to free agency and waived undrafted free agent Byron Jerideau last week, per Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, trimming the depth at nose tackle to Sean Lissemore and Kwame Geathers.
True nose tackles are sparse in this year's class, which is why Notre Dame's Louis Nix III and Florida State's Timmy Jernigan are San Diego's best bets at filling a position in desperate need of some added weight. My guess is Manti Te'o wouldn't mind reuniting with a former teammate either.
Pick 25 Worst-Case Scenario
The pairing of USC's Marqise Lee and Keenan Allen is a tempting offer, but it's not the right move for San Diego so early in the draft.
The Chargers have bigger needs on defense at the moment, and this year's receiver class is deep enough that quality players can be found in the middle and late rounds. Two of the Pac-12's better receivers would make up a dangerous duo for Philip Rivers, but the team needs to think logically in the first round.
Pick 57 Best-Case Scenario
Jarret Johnson and Dwight Freeney took pay cuts to remain with the Chargers next season, but both are free agents in 2015, leaving Melvin Ingram as the future at outside linebacker.
Kyle Van Noy, the FBS All-Independent Defensive Player of the Year, has a range of skills, and his game translates well to a 3-4 defensive scheme. The BYU product is a capable pass-rusher when asked, but he's even better in pursuit and as a run stopper.
Pick 57 Worst-Case Scenario
Jeromey Clary will be a free agent after next season, and Johnnie Troutman may not be the long-term answer for San Diego. Taking a guard at some point would be a good move by the Chargers brass, but the second round isn't the place to do so.
Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson is a special talent in clearing the running lanes, but his services will be wasted on the sidelines during his rookie season if he joins San Diego. A better option would be finding a guard late whom the team can develop behind Clary.
Pick 89 Best-Case Scenario
The Chargers were smart in bringing back cornerback Richard Marshall, but the combination of he and Shareece Wright wasn't enough to prevent opposing quarterbacks from averaging well over 200 yards a game.
Loucheiz Purifoy of Florida will need some coaching at the next level, but his athleticism is a great starting point around which to build. San Diego can find pro-ready talent in the first round, but some of these corner prospects in the middle rounds have starting potential.
Pick 89: Worst Case-Scenario
Arizona State's Will Sutton compares favorably to current Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget, and he's got pass-rushing ability that could really help out San Diego. But he's not the best fit as a defensive tackle in the 3-4.
Sutton could be a really good rotational player for defensive coordinator John Pagano to utilize on passing downs, but there are questions about Sutton's weight problems and his competitiveness. San Diego would be better served finding a corner or possibly a receiver in the third round.