Final Run at Predictions

It's the day before the draft and all the signs are pointing to the Chargers drafting a defensive player in the first round. The recent trip by Solomon Page and the Wiley restructure has convinced me of this point. I certainly hope that someone reaches for a player and either Kevin Williams or Johnathan Sullivan fall to the Chargers pick.

I want Sullivan the most after film evaluation. The kid has great technique and a good nose to the ball. Despite the recent concerns about his "work ethic", I look at the field and this kid has one of the best motors of the draft.

As I look at the draft board, a scary revelation is coming up. Two guys that I view as gamble on greatness prospects appear to be the most likely selections.

William Joseph, DT, Miami (Fl) … Is this kid Darryl Gardener or is he Marcus Stroud? Like the two players mentioned above, Joseph is an angular DT with a great frame. He needs lower body development, but he has good initial quickness and pursuit. I think he can be an impact interior pass rusher. Unfortunately, he will be the ultimate tease unless he improves his work ethic. He's lazy on the football field. Productive, but he takes too much time off and he needs to improve his conditioning. He's the type of player who can make a big sack and then take a quarter off. If the Chargers select him, Marty Schottenheimer and Wayne Nunnely need to know that they can get through to him. This is the type of pick that come up in three years and be a symbol of a failed era OR show tremendous foresight. I think he is too much of a risk at 15, but he has the talent to make me wrong.

Ty Warren, DT, Texas A&M … Ty is an interesting player. So much was expected of him that he seems like a disappointment. When healthy this year, I don't think there was a more complete DT in college football. He's got an ideal frame, quickness, strength, and athleticism. He was flat out dominating against earlier in the season and was the most impressive game day DT at the Senior Bowl. The problem is that Warren doesn't have the best work ethic and I believe it has shown up in the form of a lot of nicks. The scariest thing about Ty Warren is that he isn't as effective when he's injured and he's injured more than I'd like.

OK … here are my documented draft picks. I am anticipating that Solomon Page will be a San Diego Charger within a few days.

1) William Joseph, DT, Miami (Fla) … Get out the rosary beads Charger fans. They've just made the biggest risk pick in the draft. The immensely talented Joseph will need to step up his effort. I hope AJ Smith knows what he is doing.

2) Pisa Tinoisamoa, LB, Hawaii … This fast rising LB reminds me a lot of Donnie Edwards, another former local star. I'm not sure if a LB is the best selection in the 2nd round, but the rumors that the Chargers like the former Vista standout and Junior Seau's nephew seem legitimate. Tinoisamoa is a Schottenheimer type player. If Nick Barnett, the speedy LB from Oregon State, is available; he will be the player I think is selected. He's visited San Diego and he can play SS LB for the Chargers providing them speed and coverage ability.

3) Drayton Florence, CB, Tuskegee OR a trade for Fred Smoot … Florence is another fast riser. A big, physical CB … he is fighting with Charles Tillman (Louisiana Lafayette) to be the top small college player at his position. He's a press corner with good size and speed. He's fluid for his size and shows great catch up speed coupled with leaping ability. I'd prefer a trade for Fred Smoot, because Smoot was a big time player under Marty and brings stability on the field. Also watch for Tillman and Kevin Garrett (CB, SMU).

4) Artose Pinner, RB, Kentucky … A backup RB is a need and Pinner is a nice change of pace back to Tomlinson. He's not an elusive runner, but he's a big, strong, straight-line runner with good enough speed to break a long run or two. In the fourth round, he offers tremendous value.

5) Seth Marler, K, Tulane … A little bit of a reach, but he's the best kicker in this draft and the Chargers need help.

6) Tim Provost, OT, San Jose State … Good athlete with a great frame, but he is a work in process. He'll be a backup for a while, but he has the potential to be something interesting with his combination of work ethic and pass blocking skills.

7) Rob Adamson, QB, Mount Union … A shot on a developmental QB with a good winning percentage, Adamson has nice tools to work with and is worth a shot..

Well, there is my last report before the draft. I hope I'm accurate with the exception of the first pick and Johnathan Sullivan falls to the Chargers pick. I don't want to take out the rosary beads.

Rob Curtis can be reached at the following link: Rob Curtis or at rcurtis3355@yahoo.com

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