Chat with Tony Pauline: Chargers Draft Part I

Tony Pauline who covers the Draft, scouts the combines, is on hand during Pro Days and all of College football sat down with me yesterday to discuss the state of the Chargers, and their plans for the upcoming NFL Draft to be held in New York, April 26-27th.

The Chargers go into every offseason with needs; it is the inevitable life of a franchise within the NFL. Even Super Bowl teams retool, get younger and take advantage of the NFL Draft.

This year is no different, and with some glaring needs along the defense, it may be offense they solidify in the first round.

Whispers are turning to clear words heard across the room. In the words of Tony Pauline, Draft expert from our very own TFY Draft Preview, the Chargers are enamored with an offensive tackle. Before we got there, I asked him about filling the other needs first.

"Why wouldn't they go defense in round one?"

"The feeling is the top defensive tackles will be off the board by then. The top cornerbacks, (Marcus) Trufant and (Terrance) Newman, will be gone, and the top four defensive tackles that interest the Chargers will also be gone,"Tony said.

"What about Kevin Williams," I asked him.

"They do like Kevin Williams a lot, but he will be gone before they pick after being so impressive in all of his workouts, "Tony retorted. "It's too bad, because Williams would be the perfect fit for the Chargers."

"I agree, it would be really nice to see both Williams' on the interior of the line. That is my wish at least," was my response.

"The feeling I got from watching the Chargers over the last few weeks is they really like Kwame Harris, offensive tackle from Stanford. He struggled a little with the bench press but otherwise was very good.

"Harris was as good an athlete as anyone on the field at the combines. One aspect of Harris' game we focused on, and he ultimately proved himself worthy, were the pass blocking drills, especially when the Stanford junior was lined up on the blind side. The history of college right tackles moving to the weak side has not been good lately but Harris seems to have the foundation to succeed," Tony added.

"More offense? Would you be happy with this pick if you were a Bolts fan," I asked.

"Without a doubt. We have him rated #15th overall out of all prospects and second to Jordan Gross among offensive tackles," says Tony.

Thanks to Tony Pauline we are able to see our Draft better with his constant updates of what is going on in Chargerland. Part II of our conversation will air in the next few days. Tony gives us insight on second day picks and some interesting tidbits he saw while at the combines that shocked him.

Denis Savage can be reached at: Denis Savage

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