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The Bolts’ Best Options In The First Round: Part 2
- Updated: April 17, 2014
In an earlier review, I discussed the possibility of the San Diego Chargers taking a cornerback (Jason Verrett) and a defensive tackle (Louis Nix III). The Chargers defense struggled through 2013, and so far, the secondary has been taking most of the blame. However, the answer to broken coverage may not always be solved by adding cornerbacks and safeties. A dominant nose tackle that can eat up 2 linemen every play allows your edge rushers to pressure the quarterback quicker. The most important part of the draft is finding the next component to this defense that will allow it to function on a high level.
In part 1, the corner who received all of the attention was Jason Verrett. Jason Verrett can be considered one of the top prospects at the cornerback position. Although Verrett might be considered the better ready-to-go product at the time, there are a few more corners that would make sense for the Chargers at 25. Bradley Roby has been linked to the Chargers recently, and has even expressed interest in coming to San Diego directly. Picturing Roby with the Chargers at the time seems a little risky. The Chargers will be looking for the best player that can start and make an impact consistently and immediately. Verrett had the edge over Roby. Names like Kyle Fuller may be thrown into the mix as well, but remember, this draft is deepest at the cornerback position this year. There is no need to take a huge stretch in the first round.
Option No. 3 – Kyle Van Noy (Brigham Young University)
Kyle Van Noy is probably a reach at No. 25. That’s not to say that he isn’t deserving of the pick, though. Kyle Van Noy was a standout outside linebacker for the last two years of college football. Van Noy is a very versatile outside linebacker who actually seems to excel in coverage as well as rushing the passer. Kyle Van Noy has a fearsome mix of that intangible instinctive awareness with abundant athleticism. At BYU, Van Noy showed consistency and produced game changing moments. Plus, he had the game of his life in Qualcomm stadium if that means anything to anyone out there. There is no doubting a mutual interest between the Chargers and Kyle Van Noy.
General consensus has Kyle Van Noy being selected anywhere between the late 1st round and middle of the 2nd. Tom Telesco might just fall in love with his intangibles the same way he did with Manti Te’o in 2013. Telesco was agressive in pursuing his needs last year, and I would expect nothing different in 2014. If Kyle Van Noy has impressed Telesco enough, it is easy to picture the possibility of calling his name on draft day.
The Chargers current staff at outside linebacker is deep and skilled, but not reliable or built for the impending future. Melvin Ingram has given fans reason to hope for a feared pass rush again in San Diego. Dwight Freeney is one of the best pass rushers in the history of the game and can still pressure the quarterback when healthy. Jarrett Johnson is nothing flashy, but gives the Chargers much better run defense. Both Thomas Keiser and Reggie Walker each impressed as role players last year, showing the Chargers have depth at outside linebacker. But, this group will change in 2015. Freeney and Johnson will most likely be out of the picture, and the Bolts would have a large need at outside linebacker once more. Taking Kyle Van Noy here solves future problems and gives the Chargers more depth and versatility.
By taking an outside linebacker here, cornerback immediately comes to attention in the second round. Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Keith McGill would likely be available and right in the center of the Chargers radar. McGill has seen his draft stock soar in recent weeks. At 6’3, he would match up well against the divisions taller receivers.
Option No. 4 – Marqise Lee (University of Southern California)
At this point, if the Chargers cannot grab any one of the three aforementioned players, things have gone completely awry for Tom Telesco and crew in the 2014 draft. Trading out of 25 might even look like a good idea in this picture. Nonetheless, its good to have an idea of what you’re going to do in even the gravest of scenarios.
Marqise Lee would not be the most ideal choice for the Chargers at 25, but if he does slip to the later picks in the first round, the Chargers would probably take a long hard look at the receiver from USC. It would be difficult, but not impossible for Lee to fall to the Chargers at pick 25. General managers across the league might all be turned off by lingering and repetitive injuries. Despite those issues, Lee is still billed as one of the drafts top receiver and would be a fine addition for Philip Rivers arsenal for 2014.
Marqis Lee’s best trait is his precision route running. Philip Rivers is a skilled enough quarterback create opportunities for wide receivers. Keenan Allen dropped to the Chargers in the 3rd round and was eventually considered by some the best rookie in the entire draft class. Allen would probably be the first one to attribute that success to Philip Rivers’ resurgence under Mike McCoy’s offense. Marqis Lee would be another welcomed addition in an offense that will terrorize defensive coordinators in 2014.
This draft will be highly susceptible to odd twists and turns. While part 2 discusses more unrealistic scenarios, there is no telling what can happen on draft day.
Next time, lets talk trades.