Insiders Draft Recap: Chargers Edition

The San Diego Chargers had a total of eleven picks in the 2004 NFL draft thanks to a draft day trade and several others that netted picks in the annual selection weekend. A trade for Philip Rivers started the day off right and Carlos Joseph ended the day. A look at each and the possibilities that they have in the future of San Diego...

Round 1/4 -- Philip Rivers, QB, 6-4, 226, North Carolina State
For the second time since 2001, the Chargers peddled the No. 1 pick. It worked out fairly well last time, when drafting RB LaDainian Tomlinson. The Chargers hope to hit a home run again with Rivers, the accurate and durable ACC star. With the club losing confidence in Drew Brees, Rivers could start his rookie year.

Round 2/35 -- Igor Olshansky, DL, 6-5, 309, Oregon
The Chargers are in dire need for help along the defensive line, which means Olshansky could see the field quickly. He has been playing for only six seasons, but has caught on quick -- the Ducks' defensive lineman of the year the past two seasons. Is versatile; can play inside or at end.

Round 3/65 -- Nate Kaeding, PK, 6-0, 187, Iowa
A kicker in the third round? A tad high, no? But the Chargers are confident they got a long-term replacement for veteran Steve Christie. Kaeding was the top-ranked kicker on the board, so the Chargers didn't hesitate in selecting someone who missed but one field goal and one extra point all last year. Surprisingly, he was a two-time team captain for Iowa.

Round 3/66 -- Nick Hardwick, OL, 6-3, 283, Purdue
Another bit of a surprise here, as the one returner on the Chargers' offensive line is center Jason Ball. But they took another center in Hardwick, although he can play guard; The Chargers say, though, they will use him as a center. Won the team's Pit Bull Award for his tenacity.

Round 4/98 -- Shaun Phillips, DE, 6-2, 252, Purdue
Make a great push in his senior year to become one of the nation's top pass rusher. And that's important to the Chargers, as currently their top two defensive ends are Otis Leverette and Adrian Dingle. Phillips' 33 1/2 sacks set a school record; his 60 1/2 tackles for losses was third all-time in Purdue.

Round 5/133 -- Dave Ball, DE, 6-5, 277, UCLA
Another pass rusher here. Ball averaged 1.27 sacks per game his senior year for the Bruins. Durable, as he started 39 of his last 42 contests. Shows a nice burst off the snap, and is keen in using leverage. With the Chargers lack of depth, he could compete for playing time.

Round 5/154-- Michael Turner, RB, 5-10, 237, Northern Illinois
Was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker award which goes to the nation's top running back. He rushed for 1,915 yards his junior year; followed that with 1,648 yards last year. He ran for over 100 yards in 21 of 45 games to set a school record. He's quick, but also thick in the chest and calves, with broad shoulders. Could be LaDainian Tomlinson's backup.

Round 6/169 -- Ryan Krause, TE, 6-2, 244, University of Nebraska-Omaha
Probably projects to an H-back at the pro level, as his biggest strength is his blocking. But he did catch a career-high 67 passes for 1,066 yards and 11 TDs. Very athletic player here, and the Chargers think they may have drafted a sleeper.

Round 7/204 -- Ryon Bingham, DT, 6-3, 303, Nebraska
The Chargers had a pretty good ex-Husker in the middle of their line a few years ago in John Parrella. Bingham is cut from the same cloth, as he's strong -- was a finalist for Nebraska Lifter of the Year award four times. Heady, as well -- made two All-Big 12 Academic squads. Needs to get a better clue on using leverage to contribute at this level.

Round 7/209 -- Shane Olivea, OL, 6-2, 312, Ohio State
A three-year starter for some pretty good Buckeyes teams. The Chargers like his size, and the way he jumps off the ball. More of a pass-blocker, but has more than enough skills to hone his run-blocking, which he will have to do in San Diego.

Round 7/254 -- Carlos Joseph, OL, 6-6, 342
After starting two years at right tackle he switch over to the left side and performed well. He started on the defensive line, just like his brother, William, who was an All-American. Not only does he lock up well with the defender in front of him, but isn't shy about venturing out and knocking down linebackers.

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