San Diego Chargers Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
In year two of the Tom Telesco-Mike McCoy era, GM and coach will attempt to build another playoff-caliber squad like the one put together in 2013. The draft played an important role in the team's success a year ago, and another strong class will put the Chargers in a position to return to the playoffs.
Check back here after every pick on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for in-depth analysis and grades. When the Bolts add a player, we'll have the coverage.
Chargers Take Jason Verrett in Round 1
Size was clearly not an issue for the Chargers, who selected 5'9" corner prospect Jason Verrett with the 25th pick overall.
He'll join a secondary that ranked 29th against the pass in 2013, but where he plays at the next level is a debatable topic. Most experts have deemed Verrett a fit as a slot corner in the NFL despite matching up with the best receivers outside the numbers in college.
Verrett's height will present some problems against taller receivers, but his combination of athleticism and closing speed allows him to make big plays when the ball comes his way.
Footwork is another strength according to NFL.com draft analyst Charles Davis:
Mighty Mouse to San Diego! I'm all-in on Jason Verrett. Height challenged and all, but best feet of any CB in the #NFLDraft.— Charles Davis (@CFD22) May 9, 2014
This was the need for the Chargers coming into the draft, and they take care of it on Day 1. I think it's a good move, and Verrett will do just fine.
Chargers Move Up 7 Spots with Miami in Round 2 to Select Jeremiah Attaochu
The Chargers moved up in the second round of the draft for a second consecutive year, this time to select Georgia Tech's explosive pass-rusher Jeremiah Attaochu.
San Diego parted with its fourth-rounder (No. 125 overall) in order to move up seven spots for Attaochu. He leaves the college ranks as Georgia Tech's career sacks leader (31.5) and will attempt to fuel a pass rush that garnered just 35 sacks in 2013.
With Louis Nix III still on the board, many would have envisioned the Chargers adding the big nose tackle from Notre Dame, but Attaochu fills another dire need on the defense.
Chargers Select Chris Watt in Round 3
After going defense with their first two picks, the Chargers made their first offensive selection in the third round with Notre Dame's Chris Watt.
Watt started all 26 games during 2011-12 and added 11 more starts at left guard this past season before injuries forced him to miss two games. Watt tore his right PCL and tore the MCL in that same knee a few weeks later.
Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com on Watt:
Good-sized, physical, competitive, bump-and-steer technician with starter-caliber ability in multiple schemes. Has a desirable temperament for the position and is a projectable, low-risk prospect.
Watt's presence in San Diego could spell a changing of the guard (no pun intended) in the near future. Jeromey Clary will be a free agent after the 2014 season. Watt could also see playing time as a rookie because of the many injuries the offensive suffered last year.
Chargers Select Ryan Carrethers in Round 5
A big-bodied nose tackle was the pick for San Diego in Round 5.
Ryan Carrethers weighs 330-plus pounds and was a driving force on the Arkansas State defense. In 2013, he racked up close to 100 tackles (93) and capped off the year with a blocked field goal in the GoDaddy Bowl. The Chargers were looking to add some weight up front, and Carrethers certainly does that.
Carrethers' 32 reps on the bench press tied for third among defensive lineman at the combine, and his scouting breakdown according to NFL.com's Nolan Nawrocki reads as so:
Stoutly built, NFL-strong interior defender who was a literal and figurative anchor for the Red Wolves despite playing for four different head coaches. Could make a living occupying blocks and clogging run lanes as a two-down, rotational nose tackle in an odd front.
This was the right move for San Diego early on Day 3. Carrethers will use his physical gifts as a big man to occupy blocks and allow Donald Butler and Manti Te'o to have clear paths to ball-carriers.
Chargers Select RB Marion Grice in Round 6
San Diego's backfield just got a lot more crowded with the addition of Arizona State running back Marion Grice in Round 6.
The all-purpose back was the only player to surpass 400 yards in rushing, receiving and kickoff returns last season. He had 39 touchdowns in 24 games with the Sun Devils and didn't cough up the ball in 406 touches. Grice returned 21 kicks for 507 yards in 2013, so my guess is the Chargers will try him out as a returner.
Here is Grice's strengths according to Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com:
Good balance and body control. Has loose ankles and very good lateral agility. Explosive one-cut ability. Displays vision and elusiveness in the open field. Sees the cutback and weaves in and out of traffic. Has some wiggle to shake tacklers in space. Good receiver -- bursts into routes, adjusts to passes and has soft hands. Fumbled only once the last two seasons. Blue-collar work ethic. Solid character.
A bit of an odd choice considering the Chargers still need receiver help, but I like what Telesco did here by adding some juice to the return game. Grice could possibly develop a role on offense as well.
WR Tevin Reese Is San Diego's Final Pick in Round 7
A receiver was San Diego's final pick in the 2014 draft, but it wasn't a player most fans might have envisioned.
Tevin Reese is a 5'10", 165-pound receiver who is in desperate need of NFL weight training and nutrition according to Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com. He stretched the field in Art Briles' offense at Baylor, but his measurables make me wonder if he can handle the pounding of the NFL.
Reese does possess some speed and leaping ability, however. He ran a a 4.46 at the combine and registered a 41" inch vertical leap. He was the lightest player at the combine, but there's potential if he can add weight to his frame.
Not the type of receiver I'd picture in the final round. I though San Diego might have gone with a bigger target for Philip Rivers, but apparently speed was more Telesco's style.