Draft Preview: Telesco Time

Tom Telesco is approaching his second NFL Draft as the general manager of the Chargers. He shined in his first go-around, especially in the early rounds. We look back on Telesco's debut draft and study his methodologies -- many of which he expanded upon this week -- to set the table for his encore performance.

It is tough to get a read on Tom Telesco based off his first draft in charge. Take, for example, his two most successful selections: D.J. Fluker and Keenan Allen.

Choosing Fluker with the No. 11 overall pick was a classic example of drafting for need. San Diego was desperate for offensive line help, but was dealt a tough hand when Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel and Lane Johnson came off the board in the first four picks. Instead of targeting another position in the opening stanza, the Bolts tabbed Fluker about 10 spots earlier than he was projected to go.

Allen, on the other hand, was the ultimate value pick. The Chargers did not have a need at receiver, with a depth chart featuring Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown, Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem. But Allen was "too good to pass up," in Telesco's words, and went on to be the Pepsi NEXT Rookie of the Year. He set Chargers rookie records with 71 catches and 1,046 yards.

One need pick, one value pick, two home runs. Which way will Telesco lean in this year's draft?

He offered some clues on Wednesday.

"We don't rank the needs -- one, two, three," Telesco said. "If you do that you start losing focus and may miss somebody."

He added: "We don't rank [positions] that hard. There are a lot of positions we'd like to still add to. Just because we signed somebody in free agency doesn't mean we wouldn't draft a player at that position. We are better now than we were last year, certainly, but we are not one player away either."

That means the Chargers' early-round options extend beyond cornerback, nose tackle and outside linebacker. Telesco could also target offensive linemen, wide receivers or safeties.

Expect this year's draft to follow last year's general formula. In the first round, look to Telesco to get the best player available at his team's weakest position. This year, that would be cornerback.

In rounds two and three, expect Telesco to seek the best value at any of his team's need positions, regardless of how those needs are ranked.

On the last day of the draft, Telesco will target role players for positions lacking depth, just like he did a year ago with CB Steve Williams and OLB Tourek Williams.

It is hard to pin names to these projections (a year ago, who would have thought Manti Te'o would be there in Round 2 and Allen would be there in Round 3?), but here is an example at what another Telesco draft could look like:

Round One: CB Jason Verrett, TCU
Round Two: OLB Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
Round Three: NT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech
Round Four: OT Billy Turner, North Dakota State
Round Five: C Tyler Larsen, Utah State
Round SIx: FB Jay Prosch, Auburn
Round Seven: WR Willie Snead, Ball State

Is Verrett the right cornerback for the Chargers? Discuss in the message boards.

Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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