TFY Draft Preview Chat Transcript

Tony Pauline, of TFY Draft Preview, sat down with San Diego Chargers for a live chat two days before he left for Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama. Tony shared his thoughts with Bolt fanatics on everything from Robert Gallery to Eli Manning, including a Charger mock draft.

timepiece33: Can you give us your top five?
TFYDraft: Right now I'd say Manning, Roethlisberger, Andrews, Gallery then either Taylor or Udeze

Boltnik: Andrews that high?
TFYDraft: Andrews is an awesome talent with great potential. He may not be a top five pick but is one of the top five prospects in the draft

timepiece33: Shawn Andrews seems a lot like Mike Williams coming out of Texas (maybe a little better).
TFYDraft: I think Andrews is more dominant and tougher

nyislelover: How does Eli grade out relative to Carr, Harrington and Palmer?
TFYDraft: Eli is a lot more accurate and has better pass placement. But the other guys have the intangibles and I'd rate Manning slightly below those two.

timepiece33: Palmer had better intangibles?
TFYDraft: err...sorry, stopped at Carr and Harrington
TFYDraft: Palmer had a lot of good qualities and I'd also rate him a hair above Eli. Remember, Palmer really did it last year at the Senior Bowl, which separated him from the pack. Manning is not gonna be there next week.

timepiece33: I thought (Byron) Leftwich was superior to Harrington and Palmer
TFYDraft: He was, but you have to remember last impressions are most important. When one guy (Palmer) is throwing lights out at the Senior Bowl and then has a decent combine, while the other guy (Leftwich) does nothing but a single workout just prior to the draft ... red flags go up.

timepiece33: I still think that people overrate The Senior Bowl. Give me the consistent production over his career (Leftwich). I know it was at a lower level, but still.
TFYDraft: The Senior Bowl is where the scouts come together as a collective group with coaches and see the top talent. While guys can overrate prospects a bit, it is still the most important week. Look at Palmer last year and Carr the previous year.

Boltnik: If we trade down, it seems Gallery will be gone at pick number 4. Andrews might last longer and maybe better value. Do you agree?
TFYDraft: I think Andrews is good value at four, but it also depends on what you get in return for trading down.

nyislelover: How much SHOULD a Senior Bowl performance really effect where a player goes in the draft?
TFYDraft: It has huge impact either way. A good Senior Bowl will almost erase a mediocre senior season. A great senior bowl will send a guy soaring up charts (Kevin Williams and Marcus Trufant last January)

timepiece33: I felt Kevin Williams was top 15 before the Senior Bowl. People just didn't know it, because they didn't watch him.
TFYDraft: Williams was not a top 12 pick prior to the Senior Bowl. I was high on him after watching him play DE as a sophomore and scouting him for three years. When he had his monster Senior Bowl, especially the Wednesday practice, that solidified it for him.

nyislelover: Are Vince Wilfork's weight issues a concern? Or is that part of what makes him so effective tackling up the middle?
TFYDraft: There are a lot of concerns about Wilfork: here's a guy that should've been a lock to be a top five choice but as someone said to me when I was in Miami for the Miami-WVU game "he looks like he's playing not to get hurt". Many feel there are parallels to Wilfork this year and Jimmy Kennedy from 2002.

Boltnik: If the Chargers get Wade Phillips and go to a 3-4 defense, is Udeze a priority?
TFYDraft: Could be...Udeze should be a good two-gap lineman. You could also trade down for Tommie Harris.

Boltnik: Where is Harris rated now? 8 through12?
TFYDraft: Depends on how he works out, but I'd put him in that exact area

nyislelover: I also like the LSU DT Chad Lavalais and I imagine he would be available at the top of round 2.
TFYDraft: Lavalais had a monster senior season and is playing next week in Mobile, so he could sneak into the first round with a good performance. Right now, I'd rank him in the first half of round two.

55Bolts: Will Lavalais be there with San Diego's 2nd pick?
TFYDraft: Right now, yes. But if he plays lights out next week I doubt it.

nyislelover: Does Philip Rivers have to change his mechanics to do well in the NFL?
TFYDraft: If you change his mechanics, you could change his game and ruin him. I am sure there will be a major attempt to adjust everything he does from setting in the pocket to releasing the ball. If it doesn't work, then they will let him be. It really is going to be a trial and error sort of thing.

captaindenegri: What about the Steelers trading up?
TFYDraft: The Steelers like Rivers right now and are pinning him for round two.

timepiece33: Do you think Miami will like Rivers? There is a lot of Marino in that kid.
TFYDraft: Except the arm. Miami is in a huge quandary right now and a lot of people are not happy. They were supposed to make "changes" and did nothing but bring Marino in as a figurehead

Boltnik: Who wants (Eli) Manning enough to trade up to the #1 pick?
TFYDraft: Maybe the Giants. I can't see the Raiders making the move to assure they get Manning, but you never know.

captaindenegri: Tony....if you had the #1 pick, do you pick the best player regardless, even if he's not addressing your primary needs as a team?
TFYDraft: If I had the first pick of this draft, I'd initially try and trade down as it is not a top-heavy draft rather very deep. Were that not to happen, I'd go Best Player Available with certain limitations

nyislelover: Tony, would you rank what you think the Chargers top 5 priorities should be going into this draft?
TFYDraft: Any position but RB or DB. No seriously: OT/DT/QB/LB

timepiece33: Give us a Charger mock draft through round 4 based on needs.
TFYDraft: Assuming no trades: Eli Manning (QB, Ole Miss), Rashaun Woods (WR, Oklahoma State), Max Starks (OT, Florida), and Dwan Edwards (DT, Oregon State)

DenisSavage: What are the three main attributes that you look as a scout?
TFYDraft: First, you make sure they guy is not wanted by the feds (seriously). Then you want someone who is athletic, durable and has been relatively productive in college (or at least shown some skills). Mental is equally as important … smarts, attention disorders, etc are all looked into

timepiece33: What players do you project could have an immediate impact at the Left Tackle position?
TFYDraft: Robert Gallery, Jacob Rogers by mid-season and a sleeper of sorts, Travelle Wharton of South Carolina if someone doesn't mind he's barely 6-4

BOLTENSEN: You mentioned Jacob Rogers, I think he can play the left side and play it well in the NFL, could this guy sneak into the 1st round? What are his weaknesses (besides health)?
TFYDraft: I am not huge on Rogers; he's efficient not spectacular. That said there is a huge market and need for LT's and if he does well next week he could move into the first round ala Jeff Backus

BOLTENSEN: Is Gallery a bit over-rated because he is the only elite LT prospect? He is pretty slim to dominate in the NFL?
TFYDraft: I think scouts see a big man with great feet and a top athlete, hence they think the skies the limit. That said, I don't think he's the player Jon Ogden or Pace were when they entered the draft.

timepiece33: Can you give a pro comparable to Robert Gallery? Tony Boselli?
TFYDraft: Boselli is twice the run blocker Gallery is.
TFYDraft: I hate comparisons, but I would say Willie Roaf.

Oldroo: How good is Andrews? Can he move to LT?
TFYDraft: Andrews has decent feet but is strictly a RT.

BOLTENSEN: In the eyes of the Chargers and the type of offense they run-who do you see them rating higher, Gallery or Andrews?
TFYDraft: Gallery

timepiece33: If Eli Manning's last name was Smith, would he be rated ahead of Roethlisberger? Is he overrated or underrated because of his name?
TFYDraft: Manning is a good QB and has been one for two seasons. The talent around him is not that exceptional. I was at the game in Gainesville and the guy can lead a team.

timepiece33: Is Manning worthy of a number 1 pick overall? You said earlier you rated him behind Carr, Palmer, and Harrington? Joey Harrington?
TFYDraft: You have to go with the hand you are dealt and there is no one better then him in this draft...not Gallery, no impact defensive player, etc

55Bolts: If the Chargers trade down and have an opportunity to draft Sean Taylor or Robert Gallery, what would you think would be the wisest choice?
TFYDraft: I think SD has expended enough picks in the secondary for some time to come.

timepiece33: How long before Manning adjusts to be a decent NFL QB behind this OL?
TFYDraft: I think Manning will be a solid QB quite early in his career. He already has the running back to hand the ball off to which makes his job a lot easier if he's selected by San Diego.

greg2189: Is their anyone out their besides Manning to draft at # 1? Is it either Manning or trade down? Who would be the teams likely to trade up form Manning?
TFYDraft: The only way I see otherwise is if Roethlisberger has a Jeff George/Joey Harrington type of combine

nyislelover: Will the Charger's stadium issue effect how they draft at all? I know that it shouldn't, but do you think it will?
TFYDraft: Unlikely. if you are referring to putting fannies in the seats, only winning will do that.

greg2189: Gut feeling, what do you think the Chargers do with their first pick?
TFYDraft: Try like hell to trade down.

captaindenegri: There are a lot of conflicting stories about the supplemental draft. What determines the order & who is first this year?
TFYDraft: The supplemental draft is a weighted lottery. April's order has nothing to do with the supplemental draft order, except they break it up into thirds so the team with the 14th pick has no shot at getting the top spot in the supplemental draft

captaindenegri: When is the supplemental draft order determined?
TFYDraft: The draft order is done just days before the supplemental draft in July...assuming there is one.

nyislelover: Larry Fitzgerald, if you had to guess as to whether or not he'll be in this year's draft, YES or NO?
TFYDraft: You've got to visit our site. I reported on Monday that Fitzgerald was back in school and attending class, a sure sign he won't be in April's draft.

captaindenegri: What about Fitzgerald in the supplemental draft?
TFYDraft: That is a rumor.

Will Mortensen: it's a weighted lottery, but Fitzgerald won't be in it.
Will Mortensen: We put a story up on it, if Fitzgerald gets into the NFL, its April's draft or not at all
captaindenegri: OK. There were just a lot of conflicting stories out there.
Will Mortensen: Yeah I know, but I trust our source.

timepiece33: So who are your sleeper picks? Guys who you think are unheralded, but could jump in the draft.
TFYDraft: RB- Andre Raymond of Eastern Illinois, TE- Jeff Dugan of Maryland, I think Michael Clayton/WR/LSU will make a big move into the early first.
TFYDraft: Also, Chris Snee (OG) of BC declared today and he is a terrific guard

55Bolts: Are the Chargers looking at Nate Kaeding?
TFYDraft: Don't have any idea as of yet. I will have a better grip next week.

55Bolts: Where will Kaeding go? What round?
TFYDraft: Could slide into the late part of day one.

55Bolts: Who are some sleepers at ILB?
TFYDraft: Rod Royal (McNeese State), Grant Wiley (WVU), and Jeff Mack (Wisconsin)

timepiece33: Who are your top 3 OLB's and your top sleepers at that position?
TFYDraft: Karlos Dansby (Auburn), DJ Williams (Miami), and Michael Boulware (Florida State). Sleepers include Keyaron Fox (Georgia Tech) and DD Acholonu (Washington State).

55bolts: Do you think the Chargers pick up a TE, like a Sean Ryan?
TFYDraft: A guy like Ryan in the 5th or 6th round area would be a tremendous pick-up

jetranger: What about DE's? Any late round pass rush specialists?
TFYDraft: Shaun Phillips of Purdue though he may be on the way up boards.
TFYDraft: Jared Allen of Idaho State is a good late round/pass rusher/developmental prospect

timepiece33: Any thoughts on Jason Babin (Western Michigan), Junior Siavii (Oregon), and Bo Schoebel (TCU)
TFYDraft: Babin reminds me of a lesser version of Dewayne White, formerly of Louisville now with Tampa. Schoebel is the least talented of his cousins and will need time; not as explosive or quick.

TFYDraft: Siavii was one of the most improved D-linemen on the OU defense this year. In fact, I think he was as good, if not better, than Igor Olhanhoweveryouspellhisname (Igor Olshansky)

jetranger: With two picks in round five, whom would you select?
TFYDraft: WR Huey Whittaker of South Florida and DE Howard Hodges of Iowa

BOLTENSEN: Based off of game tape- is Udeze a top 10 talent?
TFYDraft: Yes. I was shocked as (expletive) after breaking down the USC film.

jetranger: Hey Tony, SD Bolt Report broke the story of him leaving school early
TFYDraft: Yes. They sent it to me and told me not to tell anyone ?

NorCalBolt: Sorry to ask if it has been answered, but who do you believe will be the first & second round pick?
nyislelover: Manning and Rashaun Woods were mentioned earlier
TFYDraft: Rashaun Woods...Rashaun is kicking butt in Jacksonville

DenisSavage: What about strictly kick returners? Any dynamic guys?
TFYDraft: You could get Drayton's little brother (Cortlandt Florence, RB, Tusculum College) in the late rounds

BOLTENSEN: The center from Ohio State (Stepanovich)---2nd round? Oh, and his big OG teammate, how is he looking?
TFYDraft: Stepanovich is a late third round choice. His teammate Adrien Clark had a good year and with a solid post season could slip into the late part of the second frame

TFYDraft: Alright...10PM NY time and I've got to eat dinner!!!
TFYDraft: Thanks for having me and for Denis sending the invite.
DenisSavage: Appreciate it and hope to have you back soon
TFYDraft: Make sure to stay glued to your computers next week...we will report anytime there's a bug crawling on the carpet at the Senior Bowl

DenisSavage: Tony will join us again after the Senior Bowl and before the combines. We will attempt to have it done an hour later and on a Wednesday night to increase the exposure to all our fans. Thanks again Tony!

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