San Diego Chargers 2014 NFL Draft Primer Day 2
The pick is in, Chargers fans. TCU cornerback Jason Verrett was the 25th selection on Thursday night, and the reaction was a positive one.
Addressing the top need early in the draft process will allow a lot more freedom on Day 2. Now that the secondary has been given attention, GM Tom Telesco and his staff can begin working on other holes or positions of interest. Round 1 was clearly not lacking in surprises, and it's quite possible more could be in store for Friday.
Are you ready for Day 2? You better be.
Day 1 Recap and Analysis
Several trades in Round 1 created some fireworks on Thursday night, but the Chargers kept their cool by staying put with the 25th selection. Three corners went off the board ahead of San Diego's pick, but Telesco and his staff didn't panic. They knew Verrett would be there, and it didn't take them very long to hand in the card.
From Day 1, Verrett shouldn't have a problem getting reps in. The 29th-ranked pass defense didn't change very much in the offseason through free agency, and the competition will likely consist of Shareece Wright and Richard Marshall.
Updated Needs for Chargers
Pass-rushers are still plentiful in the second round. Jeremiah Attaochu, Kyle Van Noy and Demarcus Lawrence were passed over in Round 1, but they'll both be hot commodities on Friday. The Chargers got their man in pass coverage, but they need someone to provide the pass rush.
Louis Nix III and Timmy Jernigan, two of the better fits at nose tackle, are still on the board for San Diego. It was a bit of a surprise to see both get passed on by the Patriots, who selected Dominique Easley on Thursday. If they continue to fall, the Chargers can sit pretty in the second round and wait for a gift.
Only five receivers were taken in the first round, but some of the more talented ones won't be waiting long on Day 2. Marqise Lee is likely one of them, along with Jordan Matthews, Davante Adams and Donte Moncrief. If the Chargers are serious about adding a dynamic playmaker, then Round 2 will be the spot to do so.
The offensive line doesn't have any immediate holes, but selecting a tackle or guard in Day 2 is a decent value pick. Some names I was surprised to see fall out of the first round include Xavier Su'a Filo, Joel Bitonio, Morgan Moses and Cyrus Kouandjio.
Top Day 2 Targets
1. Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
I don't expect Van Noy to be waiting very long for his name to be called on Day 2. He's an extremely versatile guy who does a lot of things well, and the fact that he wants to be in San Diego is something the Chargers can't ignore.
2. Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
We thought this was the pick in Round 1 months ago, but Nix fell out of the good graces of draft experts, and he'll now have to wait it out on Day 2. The Chargers can find a defensive lineman later, but true nose tackles are sparse in this class. Nix and Timmy Jernigan, both big-bodied guys, still without a home.
3. Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
The buzz on Latimer fooled a lot of people. His stock had gone up so much in the last few weeks that the first round was a realistic scenario for him. His combination of size and speed is too good to pass up for San Diego.
4. Joel Bitonio, OL, Nevada
Bitonio could potentially play all five spots on the offensive line—a skill highly coveted by Chargers offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris, who worked out the Nevada product in mid-March, according to Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego. San Diego had injuries at all five spots last season—sounds like they could use a versatile guy.
5. Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Doesn't possess the same tools as Van Noy, but he's probably the more explosive pass-rusher—takes a hit and keeps coming.
What Are the Experts Saying?
Eddie Brown of U-T San Diego: (57) Kelvin Benjamin, WR (89) Walt Aikens, CB
Benjamin is obviously no longer an option for San Diego now that he's a Panther, but a receiver should be on the team's radar going forward. Another corner isn't a bad idea either. Verrett is a solid pick on Day 1, but that secondary still needs work.
Peter Schrager of Fox Sports: (57) Ed Stinson, DE (89) Chris Smith, OLB
Schrager's mock has pass rush as the focus on Day 2 for the Chargers. Stinson could work in a rotation with Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes, and Chris Smith was a team captain at Arkansas with 11.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2013. Both disruptive in the pass rush.
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports: (57) Weston Richburg, C
Not considered a top need by a lot of folks, but we have to assume this is Nick Hardwick's last season as his contract is up after 2014. Richburg could start for another team his rookie season, but he'd be that more polished watching Hardwick do his thing for a year.
Rob Rang of CBS Sports: (57) Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB
Rang was on board the Nix bandwagon in Round 1, which is why he has the Chargers going corner on Day 2. Jean-Baptiste is a lot bigger prospect, however. Maybe Verrett plays the slot and Jean-Baptiste works outside?
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report: (57) Antonio Richardson, OT (89) DaQuan Jones, DT
Miller has the Chargers addressing both sides of the line on Day 2, which makes sense since King Dunlap has been injury-prone and depth at defensive tackle is thin.
4 Predictions for Day 2
Chargers will trade up in second round for Van Noy
Waiting in Round 1 paid off just fine. Verrett fell right into Telesco's lap at 25, but the second round will be an aggressive one. These players who could easily been considered Day 1 prospects are now on a first-come, first-served basis. San Diego parts with a fourth-rounder to get their guy in Round 2.
Louis Nix III Falls to 25
I'll admit I was surprised Nix fell out of the first round. I viewed him as a top defensive tackle in this draft, but there's obviously something about him that teams don't like. Whether it's the knee injury or the lackadaisical 2013 performance, I don't know, but he could be in for a big fall on Day 2. But if he's there at 25, does San Diego bother?
An offensive lineman is the pick in Round 2
If Van Noy to San Diego doesn't happen then maybe an offensive lineman is the plan for Round 2. There are some great fits still left on the board at both guard and tackle. I like Bitonio for the Chargers if he's available.
Telesco adds another on Day 2
I have to imagine Telesco will find some way to stockpile some picks in this deep draft. For a guy who places so much emphasis on this week, I'd like to think he'd be a little greedy. I see a team making the phone call on Day 2 to move up and he gladly obliges.
Updated Chargers 7-Round Mock Draft
Round 2: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
Pass rush still an emphasis of need for this team. Van Noy can rush the quarterback, stuff the run and is decent dropping back. Give John Pagano more depth on defense.
Round 3: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
Give Philip Rivers a big target to throw to and take some pressure off Keenan Allen. Bryant has speed and a big catching radius.
Round 4: Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame
Some injuries late in his career but started a lot of games at left guard for Notre Dame. Develop him this season and plug him in the next.
Round 5: Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech
Need to add some beef up front. "Jelly Bean" goes about 6'1", 334 pounds. That should be more than enough to clog the run lanes.
Round 6: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
An ACL tear ruined Colvin's chances of being one of the top corners taken, but he'll recover eventually. If Shareece Wright isn't a long-term answer, then San Diego may want to draft his replacement. Wright is in a contract year in 2014.
Round 7: Garrett Scott, OL, Marshall
Mike McCoy can't be running out of offensive lineman during games anymore. Take another tackle/guard and build him up in practice because eventually he'll get the opportunity. San Diego's O-line was made of glass last season.
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