Chargers 2004 NFL Draft Scenarios II

Forget all that talk about trading down with Arizona, NYG, Pittsburgh, or even the Pats for just a second. I realize its fun to fantasize about all of the possible scenarios, but let's face it; the San Diego Chargers are stranded on an island. Every team knows that the Bolts do not want to be in position to pick another QB with the first pick. This point was cleverly and clearly driven home when Dean Spanos just so happened to blurt out this exact sentiment right after the season finished.

Guess we won't be seeing him playing in any celebrity poker tournaments!! Thanks Dean.

For Charger fans this territory is all too familiar. This will be the fourth time in the Charger's illustrious history that they have had the opportunity to choose a franchise quarterback with the first pick. I know that I don't need to remind some of you, but let's refresh for some of the newbie's.

The first time happened when the Colts picked John Elway with the first pick in the 1983 draft. O.K. so the Chargers were not picking #1, but the Colts did offer the legend to the Chargers in exchange for 3 first round picks. Damn! We were right there on the verge of greatness.

The second time happened in the 1998 NFL Draft. The San Diego Chargers traded two No. 1 picks; a No. 2 and two players (Eric Metcalf and Patrick Sapp) so they could move up one spot in the draft and select Ryan Leaf. He was No. 2 overall, picked after the Indianapolis Colts selected Peyton Manning. The Chargers then signed him to the richest contract in Charger's history, a deal which included an $11.25 million signing bonus.

The third time occurred in the 2001 NFL Draft. The Bolts traded out of the number one spot and a chance to take Mike Vick in order to move back to the #5 spot and pick up arguably the best RB in the league today, LaDanian Tomlinson. The Chargers were also able to pick up Atlanta's 2nd round pick in 2001 (Drew Brees) and a 2nd in 2002 (Reche Caldwell) along with Tim Dwight in the deal. Ask most Charger fans about this one and most will tell you that at this point in their careers; LT has been the better player. We'll see what the future holds.

Now let's get down to the business of fixing this team through the draft.

Rnd 1/1-QB Eli Manning (6'5" 218) Finally the Bolts pull the trigger and land their franchise QB. Eli may not be as polished as Peyton was at this point in his career, but he is a bigger stronger version and will only improve over time. How much time will be the key to this young teams' future.

Rnd 2/35-DT Darnell Dockett (6'4" 280) He is quick, strong, athletic, and very good at rushing the quarterback. He immediately provides the Chargers with something they are lacking and that's pressure up the middle. Dockett can also move to the outside.

Rnd 3/66-DE Darrion Scott (6'3" 271) Scott is an above average athlete who loves to get after the QB and is powerful enough to shed his blocker to support the run. He's been somewhat overshadowed by Will Smith, but he is the real deal.

Rnd 4/97-ILB Courtney Watson (6'1" 234) A former running back who converted to LB. Courtney is a smart and productive player who is rarely out of position. He can also play on the inside or outside.

Rnd 5a/128-OT Kirk Chambers (6'7" 315) A bit of a reach at this point, but he a much more mature OT than most rookies because he spent time away from school on a church mission. He's very experienced playing LT and displays great footwork and technique for such a big man.

Rnd 5b/149-S J.R. Reed (5'11" 200) He is a bit undersized, but he makes up for it with his instincts. This Charger defense needs playmakers and Reed is the type of player that is always around the ball and is capable of making the big play. He will be a great special teams player and will also add solid depth to a position that needs it.

Rnd 6/163-OG Lamar Bryant (6'3" 308) Lamar is strong, tough, and nasty. He needs to work on his technique, but has everything that you look for in a prospect. Lamar will provide some valuable depth at the guard position.

Rnd 7a/194-TE Sean Ryan (6'5" 259) He is as blue collar as it gets. Sean is not going to stand out in any one area, but he can run, catch, and block with the best of them.

Rnd 7b/199-DE Omar Nazel (6'5" 245) He is a very good pass rusher who will make plays in the backfield. Needs to add a little weight and get stronger to take his game to the pro level.

I know I forgot a starting LT, #2WR, K, RB, etc…I expect this team to address the LT through Free Agency.

There will be plenty of veteran WR's on the market. The key will be signing one to a reasonable salary, something this team has failed to do in recent years. This draft is also very deep at WR. Look for several WR's like Jamar Taylor (6'1" 194 4.3/40)-Texas A&M, Carlos Francis (5'10" 197 4.3/40)-Texas Tech, and Terrance Cooper (6'0" 200 4.3/40) to be looked at as UDFA's. They are all speed guys who can double as a return man.

Hoambrecker will be given a shot, but he will have to battle a veteran kicker to win the spot.

Running Back is a position that we have not had to worry about, but depth is lacking at this position. Expect to see guys like Rod Malone (6'1" 210), Jason Wright (5'10" 210), and Ran Carthan (5'11" 218) to get a long look as a UDFA's by the Chargers.

Note out of Arizona: "I think the Chargers and Oakland are very predictable," Arizona Coach Dennis Green said. "That has been proven. Oakland doesn't usually pick that high, but the Chargers have picked that high numerous times and have been very predictable in what they do with it."

Kenny Williams can be reached at kennay_28@yahoo.com

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