5 Creative Moves the San Diego Chargers Can Pull on Draft Day
When draft day approaches, will the San Diego Chargers be satisfied with their positioning or is a creative move in the works?
GM Tom Telesco made such a move in the 2013 draft when he traded away the team's fourth-round pick to move up in the second and select Manti Te'o. A similar move could occur during draft week if the Chargers become interested in acquiring extra picks or moving up in a particular round.
Here are five creative moves San Diego could explore for the 2014 draft.
Trade Away the 25th Pick to a Quarterback-Needy Team
Takers for the 25th pick might include quarterback-needy teams like Houston, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Tennessee and possibly Tampa Bay. If Cleveland doesn't take a quarterback with its fourth pick, then we'll have to assume they go quarterback with the 26th pick.
Trading up with San Diego would allow another team to sneak back into the first round and bypass the Browns completely for a quarterback that might fall like a Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr.
Offer the 25th Pick to a Team Without a First-Rounder
Teams without a first-round pick in this year's draft include Washington and Indianapolis. Having been to the postseason the last two years, the Colts may not feel inclined to trade up but familiarity with former executive Tom Telesco could grease the wheels on a deal.
The Redskins, meanwhile, are in a rebuilding process under new head coach Jay Gruden. After a miserable finish in 2013, Washington needs to hit it big in the draft, and it could be hard to do that with only six picks and no first-rounder.
Trade Away Jeromey Clary for a Draft Pick
Jeromey Clary survived free agency and is still the fourth-highest paid player on San Diego's roster. Dwight Freeney, Jarret Johnson and Eddie Royal all took pay cuts to remain with the team, but Clary has yet to take a pay cut of his own.
With his contract set to expire in 2015 anyway, the Chargers could try and move Clary during draft week in exchange for a late-round pick. It may seem difficult to believe a team would be willing to take on his bloated contract, but there could be a GM out there willing to make that deal. Clary can play tackle and guard, and his experience could be valuable to a team looking to add depth to its offensive line.
Move Up in the Second Round
Trading back into the first round would cost an arm and a leg but moving up in the second round might be a more realistic move for the Chargers. Anticipating that San Diego goes corner with the 25th pick, it's possible the team could move up in the second for a pass-rusher, defensive tackle or a skilled receiver.
Dee Ford, Louis Nix III and Donte Moncrief could be some targets that drop into the second round, forcing the Chargers to move up. This is one of the deepest drafts to date, but there's only so many players at each position that look ready to contribute from day one.
Trade Up in the First Round for Top Corner
Based on the NFL trade value chart, San Diego could realistically move up maybe five spots in the first round and hand over its third-rounder in addition to the 25th pick. It's a steep asking price, but it's a necessary sacrifice if the Chargers are looking to add a top corner such as Darqueze Dennard or Bradley Roby.
Coincidentally, the 20th pick belongs to Arizona, which is the predicted spot for a quarterback, according to three well respected draft experts (Daniel Jeremiah, Mel Kiper Jr. and Matt Miller). The Cardinals could trade down with the Chargers and still get their quarterback, assuming all four of the top signal-callers don't go early. Arizona has just six picks in this year's draft, so one more would be a welcome addition.