Ah, the Chargers. So many needs, so few picks. At least they have a new GM and a new head coach. That counts for something, right?
Let’s start by throwing some stats out, since we here at BRB love us some stats. San Diego needs help in a lot of places, but none is more glaring than on offense. The Chargers were 31st in the league in yards/game (297.3), 24th in the league in passing yards/game (205.9), and 27th in the league in rushing yards/game (91.3). Their offense is, in a word, terrible.
Think Houston has a problem at receiver? San Diego’s number 1 receiver is Malcom Floyd, who registered 56 catches for 814 yards and 5 TDs last year. In terms of yards, their #2 WR Danario Alexander had 658, but only 37 catches. Antonio Gates and Ronnie Brown both had 49 catches, but Gates had far more yards, putting up a whopping 538 yards receiving and 7 TDs. In the rushing department, Ryan Mathews had only 707 yards, 1 TD, and a dismal 3.8 YPC average; even Cam Newton had more rushing yards! The O-Line was awful last year as well, surrendering 49 sacks and tiring out late in the year by continually having to pick up Philip Rivers off the grass. Combine that many sacks with terrible run blocking, a sorely lacking receiving corps, and an ageing TE and you get a terrible offense struggling to keep their QB alive.
This team needs an infusion of talent on offense, BADLY. For a team that only a few years ago had a feared offense that could almost score at will, they have taken a pretty hard fall from where they were. The Chargers could go a number of different ways here. They could really use an infusion of talent at WR, so Cordarrelle Patterson or Tavon Austin would make sense here, though both could be considered slight reaches at the 11 spot. Both provide speed and play making ability that the Chargers are sorely lacking, but with Alexander making an impact, they may choose to hold off and draft WR depth rather than a starter. They could also use a TE, as Antonio Gates is getting up there in age (32) and, although he had a respectable season last year, is not playing at the level he once did. San Diego could benefit from using 2 TE sets if they can’t find any more quality receivers. However, 11 is far too high to take a TE, even if it is a game changer like Zach Ertz or Tyler Eifert. So don’t expect the Chargers to tackle TE until the middle or late rounds. They could also trade down in the 1st and pick up some additional picks to help fill holes on offense (WR, TE) and defense (DT, OLB, MLB). In the end, I expect the Chargers to stand pat and fill their biggest need--OL.
With the 11th pick of the 2013 BRB Mock Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Lane Johnson (OT- Oklahoma).
I was very tempted to take Jonathan Cooper; I really didn’t want to succumb to groupthink and take the obvious choice in Lane Johnson, but in the end, the Chargers just don’t have a starting caliber OT on their roster right now. Jared Gaither was released, and their starting tackles are King Dunlap at RT and Michael Harris (an UDFA) at LT. As I mentioned above, the Chargers could also go with Jonathan Cooper to help with the laughable run blocking here, but with Mike McCoy and Ken Wisenhunt leading the offense, they really need to worry about keeping Philip Rivers upright and giving him time to throw. McCoy is going to live and die by the performance of Rivers, and one of the keys to helping him up his play is to give him more time to throw and keeping him standing up, not lying face down in the grass.
As a side note, although Miami is in talks with our favorite caveman Eric Winston, I think it would be very beneficial for the Chargers to go after Winston and draft Johnson. This would go a long ways in helping to solidify their line and help their offense.
A logical, well reasoned pick for San Diego. Hard to think of this as anything but a great move for the Chargers. Except that Lane Johnson went to Oklahoma, which would make him completely undraftable on my board. Big HD and the Dolphins are now on the clock.
1. Kansas City Chiefs--Luke Joeckel (OT--Texas A&M)
2. Jacksonville Jaguars--Eric Fisher (OT--Central Michigan)
3. Oakland Raiders--Sharrif Floyd (DT--Florida)
4. Philadelphia Eagles--Dee Milliner (CB--Alabama)
5. Detroit Lions--Jarvis Jones (LB--Georgia)
6. Cleveland Browns--Keenan Allen (WR--Cal)
7. Arizona Cardinals--Chance Warmack (OG--Alabama)
8. Buffalo Bills--Geno Smith (QB--West Virginia)
9. New York Jets--Dion Jordan (DE/OLB--Oregon)
10. Tennessee Titans--Ezekial Ansah (DE--BYU)
11. San Diego Chargers--Lane Johnson (OT--Oklahoma)
12. Miami Dolphins--BigHD
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Sweech
14. Carolina Panthers--UTBawse23
15. New Orleans Saints--FreeRange
16. St. Louis Rams--gm.in.waiting
17. Pittsburgh Steelers--clornelas
18. Dallas Cowboys--astrosbro95
19. New York Giants--UprootedTexan
20. Chicago Bears--RedWhitePaws
21. Cincinnati Bengals--McKnight299
22. St. Louis Rams--gm.in.waiting
23. Minnesota Vikings--The Night Owl
24. Indianapolis Colts--ckone
25. Minnesota Vikings--The Night Owl
26. Green Bay Packers--krkenney
27. Houston Texans--BRB Staff
28. Denver Broncos--Capt Ron
29. New England Patriots--MaloneyPony
30. Atlanta Falcons--riversmccown
31. San Francisco 49ers--TexansDC
32. Baltimore Ravens--Cougfan