Chargers 2016 NFL Draft Rumors: Latest Buzz, Speculation Surrounding No. 3 Pick

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent III

San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The San Diego Chargers hold the third overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft and are reportedly open to trading it.  

Continue for updates.

Chargers GM Comments on Status of No. 3 Pick

Thursday, April 28 

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said there have been calls about trading the No. 3 pick, but "nothing of significant interest" right now, according to ESPN's Britt McHenry

Chargers Reportedly Linked to Buckner 

Thursday, April 28 

The "buzz from at least one NFL team" is that DeForest Buckner will be drafted by the Chargers with the No. 3 pick, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports. 

Chargers Reportedly Not Interested in Stanley

Thursday, April 28 

Marvez reported, via a source, that the Chargers aren't interested in former Notre Dame offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley at No. 3.  

Chargers Unlikely to Move Back

Wednesday, April 27

Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported the Chargers are unlikely to trade the No. 3 selection:

Eagles Trade Affects Interest in Chargers' Pick

Sunday, April 24

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported "trade inquiries into the No. 3 and the No. 4 pick have cooled considerably" since the Philadelphia Eagles traded up into the No. 2 spot previously held by the Cleveland Browns on April 20. The Chargers hold the No. 3 pick in the draft, and the Dallas Cowboys hold the No. 4 pick in the draft.

On April 19, Rapoport reported the Chargers were receiving as much interest in the third pick as the Browns were receiving for their No. 2 overall pick.

Telesco Comments on Trade Discussions

Tuesday, March 22

Telesco said the team had been approached by multiple teams about the third overall pick, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

They usually ask if I’m interested, and I say, ‘Yes. I’ve had multiple teams ask. That’s where it starts. … It’s certainly an option. We’ll just follow it through and see where it goes. The cost to go into the top five from anywhere in the first round, there’s usually a pretty big premium for that, which is why there haven’t been as many trades up that high.

But we’ll see. Certainly, there has been some action as far as talking. We’ll see if it actually closes out on that.

Gehlken reported on Feb 28 that the team isn't determined to make a deal but will listen to offers.

Telesco also spoke on Feb. 28 about what he looks for in an open-market target and what characteristics translate to the team's draft strategy, per Ricky Henne of the team's official website:

Number one is fit. Football is not like baseball where players can go from team to team, and there is no real scheme you have to fit into. In football, we have offensive and defensive schemes in place. They have to be able to fit into what we do, otherwise it probably isn't going to work out for a free agent. That is number one, and then after that, it is everything you look for in a player you draft. We want guys who are durable, smart and tough.

Chargers Could Fill Multiple Needs with Trade 

Without a need at quarterback because of star signal-caller Philip Rivers, San Diego may have been hoping a team wanting to land a quarterback would be willing to trade up.

However, since the Los Angeles Rams and Eagles will likely select the top two quarterbacks in the draft, the Chargers likely need a team to fall in love with a prospect who won't be under center if they're to trade their pick. 

As Gehlken pointed out, this is the highest draft choice the Chargers have held since 2004 and is only the third time since 2001 the team has drafted so high.

On those prior occasions, San Diego traded down for packages involving Michael Vick and Eli Manning, netting several core players, most notably legendary running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Rivers.

But Eric Weddle's move to the Baltimore Ravens this offseason has left an enormous void in their secondary. They have a great opportunity to find his successor in versatile Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, who figures to still be on the board at No. 3.

The Chargers are in a tricky spot. Despite playing in a tough AFC West division and coming off a 4-12 record, they are expected to make a big leap in 2016.

Telesco could help meet that objective by stretching the third pick into something more. With a star in Rivers to lead the way at the most important position, San Diego has reason to believe a bounce-back 2016 campaign is a realistic possibility.

Even a nearly 4,800-yard passing season from Rivers in 2015 didn't do much to improve the win-loss column, though. It's up to Telesco and co. to upgrade personnel overall, and nailing the third overall pick or securing a fair trade for it is critical.