Fresh off his nearly universally lauded selection of Patrick Peterson for the Broncos, La Voz is back to dispense some more AFC West draft knowledge on us. This time, his canvas is the San Diego Chargers.
San Diego is blessed with more picks in the first three rounds than every other team except the New England Patriots. The Chargers have one pick in the 1st Round (18th), two picks in the 2nd Round (50th and 61st), and two picks in the 3rd Round (82nd and 89th). The Chargers were a very solid team in 2010 that was also inconsistent. San Diego ended the year with what FootballOutsiders.com judges as the 4th ranked offense and 7th ranked defense (SD runs a 3-4 defense). Looking more closely at FO's stats, we have the following:
Offense - 4th ranked offense, 2nd in pass, 18th in rush, 1st most consistent.
Defense - 7th ranked defense, 4th in pass, 10th in rush, 30th most consistent.
Offensive Line - 15th ranked run blocking, 20th ranked pass protection.
Defensive Line - 14th ranked rush defense (power rank 3, stuffed rank 21, 2nd level rank 12, open field rank 7), 2nd ranked pass defense.
What the stats above indicate is that San Diego is overall very talented but is losing more battles in the trenches than they should for a team of their caliber. With that in mind, the top pick has to be used on a lineman. For San Diego, this specifically means an OT or DE since the interior of their lines are pretty solid. Which side of the ball, though, is the better question.
Seeing J.J. Watt slip to this spot almost guarantees this has to be the pick since he's arguably the Best Player Available *AND* fits a position of need. However, this draft is loaded with elite defensive line talent. It's not nearly as deep with elite offensive line talent. A good site for looking at the top talent at each position is National Football Post.
For our purposes, we'll grade 1st round talents at a Grade of 7.0 or greater, 2nd round talents at a Grade 6.0 to 6.9, and 3rd/4th round talents at 5.5 to 5.9. For OT and DE, here's the talent pool we're looking at:
# of 1st Round Talents - DE: 7 (5 could play 3-4 DE), OT: 3.
# of 2nd Round Talents - DE: 7 (3 could play 3-4 DE), OT: 10.
# of 3rd/4th Round Talents - DE: 24, OT: 20.
Keeping in mind that the DEs listed on National Football Post are both 3-4 and 4-3 DEs, I've attempted to breakdown the potential 3-4 DEs with 1st and 2nd round grades. Even though the draft is indeed deep on elite defensive line talent, it's not very deep on 3-4 DEs once you get past the first round. Gabe Carimi and J.J. Watt will be one of the two picks, assuming the draft plays out the way it has in this mock. However, given that the offense was consistent and hamstrung by injuries to RBs, there's less of a need on that side of the ball than the defensive side of the ball.
With that in mind, and with the 18th pick in the 2011 BRB Mock Draft, the San Diego Chargers select J.J. Watt, Defensive End, from the University of Wisconsin.
With that, J.J. Watt is off the board. Your reaction?
The New York Giants, via Cassieper, are now on the clock. The pick is due to me by noon CDT for publishing at 4 p.m. CDT.