A Different Look

Now that the rumors are at a peak and some the fans have lost faith, it's time to take a look at a possible solution. Where that solution lies is almost like solving a riddle or one of those pictures that you turn upside down again and again trying to figure out if she is smiling or frowning. I'll admit I have not bought in to the strategy that AJ and Co. is currently deploying for the San Diego Chargers team.

I like the idea of signing several solid mid-tier veterans instead of overpaying for 1 or 2 big name FA's. We all know that we've been down that road too many times recently. But, how many holes does this team need before it starts heading in the right direction? Is this team re-building or is it merely morphing right before our eyes. Morpheus, if you're out there, please send us a clue. Now, let's take a step back and try to solve this puzzle.

There are still a couple of FA's that would give this team some direction and the fans a sign of hope. First, I still think there could be a QB out there that has some qualities the Chargers are looking for. The team needs to look at a young QB with some experience. Perhaps a young QB that has spent his career as a backup, with a few starts under his belt along the way. A QB like Billy Volek would fit the bill without breaking the bank. The team would be able to sign him for decent money, while promising him a chance to start.

We are starting to see what patience can do for an organization. AJ Smith has said all along that they will not rush into Free Agency throwing big dollars at every player that comes in for a visit. Well, now that we have seen a couple of veterans get the ax, it might be time to kick this thing into high gear. Signing a player like Todd Steussie would add some key experience to an O-line that is lacking in leadership and depth. Steussie will be a perfect fit for this team on the RIGHT SIDE (follow me on this).

Next up, Safety John Lynch would absolutely look good in Lightning Bolts. We already know that he will play at the right price. Not only is he an intelligent player and leader, but he is also a home grown San Diego athlete. That will keep the fans in their seats and a smile on Mr. Spanos' face. This team would also redeem itself for having let go of Super Bowl Champion, Rodney Harrison.

That's it for Free Agency. We've solidified some key positions, without jeopardizing the cap and yes David Boston is still a Charger (for this weekend at least). With the addition of Volek, there is now a real possibility that the Bolts will stay at #1 and pick either Larry Fitzgerald or Mike Williams to team up with Boston (yeah, yeah, we know, he is good as gone).

San Diego could also still use a LT since Stuesse is penciled in as the starting RT. Now Arizona and Coach Green can no longer stand pat at the number 3 position and miss out on Fitzgerald, who Green is enamored with. The Cardinals step up and offer the Chargers their #3, plus Leonard Davis and their #4 pick in exchange for our #1 & #5b (#149).

But wait, there's more. Gallery is still available at pick #3, but Cleveland fears that the Giants are going to take the mammoth LT. Cleveland offers their #7, a 2nd (#37), their 4th (#105) in exchange for our #3 and our #7b (#199). Cleveland would have stayed put at the 7th pick, but Washington takes Winslow off the board.

Now it's time to focus on the draft. The Chargers now have the following picks: 1/7, 2/35, 2/37, 3/66, 4/97, 4/99, 4/105, 5/128, 6/163, & 7/194 (leaving out anything should Boston leave).

Rnd 1/7-DE Kenechi Udeze-USC (6'2.5" 280) Yes, he is still somewhat raw, but he is also a 3 year starter for one of the top teams in the nation. Has size along with speed to get to the QB. Udeze will add instant impact to the 3-4 defense that coach Phillips plans to run. He has potential to be a perennial Pro Bowl type of player. At pick #7, he will also be easy on the bank.

Rnd 2/35-WR Lee Evans-Wisconsin (5'10.5" 197-4.4) Great hands, productive, and tough. Evans has battled back from a couple of major knee injuries, but appears to be fully recovered as a result of his 4.4 forty time. He is a competitive player who works hard on and off the field. He will make a nice addition.

Rnd 2/37-OT Jacob Rogers-USC (6'6" 307) It appears as if the Chargers are assembling a carbon copy of the National Champion Trojans. The Bolts are fortunate in this case to find Rogers still on the board. With the addition of Steussie at LT, Rogers will have a year or two to develop. He has very good technique, but will need to improve his strength at this level. Should eventually develop into a fine LT if he stays healthy.

Rnd 3/66-OG Sean Locklear-NC State (6'2.5" 314) Can be a nasty dominating run blocker at times. Still needs to work on his footwork to improve his pass protection. His fiery disposition is welcomed by LT and company. Finally there is a commitment by the front office to protect LaDainian and their starting QB.

Rnd 4/97-OLB Demorrio Williams-Nebraska (6' 2" 232 -4.5) Athletic, fast, and always around the ball. Demorrio is a bit undersized, however he is a relentless player. He is also above average in coverage. Should be a definite special teams standout while providing depth at the OLB position.

Rnd 4/99-K Nate Kaeding-Iowa (6' 187) Nate is regarded as one of the better clutch kickers to come along in a long time. Strong leg, accurate, and can also kick off. The Carney nightmares are over.

Rnd 4/105-RB Mewelde Moore-Tulane (5' 10.5" 210 -4.55) A very productive back with good vision and hands. Moore is not going to break a lot of tackles or long runs, but he can do a little bit of everything and he does it well . Will make a nice addition to the backfield and give LT a rest from time to time.

Rnd 5/128-DT Rodney Leslie-UCLA (6'3" 310) Leslie slips down to the 5th round and the Chargers waste little time with this pick. He is already a very strong player at the point of attack, but he also has the frame to add some weight. As a DT, Rodney possesses big play ability, but needs to stay away from the injury bug. He will add nice depth behind Jamal Williams at NT.

Rnd 6/163-TE Sean Ryan-BC (6'4.5" 268) Ryan is your typical blue collar run blocking TE, except that he is also an adequate route runner with good hands. Sean will provide the Chargers that extra side of beef when it's necessary at the goaline or 3rd and 1 situations.

Rnd 7/199-QB Rod Rutherford-Pitt (6'3" 225) He is a great athlete, who has improved each year as a starter. Has a good arm, but needs to work on accuracy. Rod also needs to work on his reads and recognitions to make it at the next level. But, at this point in the draft, his potential is too good to pass up.

Kenny Williams can be reached at kenny@sandiegosports.net

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