My Sleepers to Make the Chargers Already

Go ahead and Laugh, cry or do whatever you want, I know the season has not started yet. I know the San Diego Chargers have not even held their first Mini-Camp and there has not even been the Rookie orientation, I know we are only 3 days removed from the draft, so how can I have a sleeper already, I don't have "A" sleeper, I have 2, Kassim Osgood and Antonio Gates.

Anyone who has read my columns, talked to me in chat or read my posts in the various Forums knows I have been singing this kids praise since the second week of the Aztecs season last year. He is a big receiver at 6'5 210 pounds, he was clocked by the Chargers at running a 4.37 40 (a lot better then the combines), and was part of the best passing duo in College football last year. Before Transferring from Cal-Poly to SDSU Osgood was well on his way to being a great receiver and now he has the chance to do it.

I especially am proud of this pick because this is where I wanted Osgood to go. The Chargers need big receivers with soft hands and YAC ability and Osgood has it and coming in as a free agent early gives him a bigger chance to get the playbook, learn it and take reps with likes of Doug Flutie and Rob Adamson (Brees is still recovering from surgery) and work with wide receivers Coach James Lofton. Osgood is my #1 sleeper, I said he could be another TO, now all he has to do is go out and prove it.

My second sleeper is a little known football player out of Kent State named Antonio Gates, you might have heard of his basketball abilities but the Chargers have him targeted at TE. Coming in at 6'5 he is considered short for basketball but just right for football. The Chargers personnel say he has some of the best hands they have seen on a kid in some time, he is raw, and is still coachable.

He has some speed to him, and has the ability to break tackles and move the ball down field. If used properly I could see a TE catching Duo of Josh Norman and Gates being the best tight ends in the NFL.

"We're excited that Antonio has this kind of opportunity," Kent State basketball coach Jim Christian said. "He will work hard and make the most of it."

So go ahead and laugh or call me names I am use to it by now (hence remember my mock draft), but I am calling it now before the first mini camp, Osgood and Gates are my sleepers to make this team. I am 1-1 on sleepers last year I had Eric Parker and Poli-Dixon, Parker played for the Chargers Poli-Dixon did not but is still on the reserved-retired list with the team. So let's see come kick off time in September if I am right or if I am wrong. I just know these two kids are my sleepers to make the Chargers already.

Tom Criswell can be reached at: or via the following link: Tom Criswell

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