Chargers wary of draft implications

Recent signings by NFL teams and those to come have and will impact the San Diego Chargers and the implications will be felt in the draft. Late injuries could also play a factor into their decision making process.

Just because the Chicago Bears picked up Mushin Muhammad, don't count them out of the Braylon Edwards sweepstakes. Muhammad is still 32 years old and the Bears would like to have a young receiver in the pipeline.

Edwards showed up in top shape, participated in the bench press when he did not have to and turned heads with his demeanor off the field. The feeling from scouts is he will not be taken off the top pedestal at wide receiver.

Edwards can immediately help a team with his size and willingness to work. If he does fall past Chicago at four, Minnesota would be the next team in line. After trading Randy Moss, they are thought to want defense but passing on Edwards and his value at seven would be difficult.

It could leave the Chargers, sitting at 12, with Mike Williams on the board. The USC alum didn't have a fantastic forty time and his year away from the NFL could scare some teams. There is, however, no better man in the red zone and the Chargers need a jump ball threat in that area.

Williams is unparalleled in his ability to go up for a ball and catch it at its highest point. Labeled as a Keyshawn Johnson type of receiver, he shields with his body and does not get out-muscled. He came in at 229 pounds and will have to work hard to keep his weight down.

Another prospect generating a lot of buzz is Troy Williamson out of South Carolina. One team has met with Williamson on four different occasions. He has great speed, stands at 6-foot-2 and is quickly rising up the draft boards. Originally seen as a late first round pick, he may be in the 15-20 range after a successful combine.

The Chargers like what they have seen out of Williamson and believe he can be great at the next level. He is caught in the middle of the Chargers picks and they are not known to reach for a prospect early in the draft, preferring to get a known commodity early on. How much he impressed during the interview session could be a factor.

They have an interest in Roddy White but came away disappointed that he would not be able to work out after injuring himself during Senior Bowl week. They met with White on two separate occasions with receivers' coach James Lofton leading the charge the first time.

White would fit their second pick in the first round, as long as he works out and remains healthy leading into the draft.

Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton could have been pushed off the Chargers draft board had they signed Allen Rossum. The Chargers would prefer to not only add speed at wide receiver but add size at the same time. Clayton would fit the bill if they did not have a return man locked up by the time the draft rolls around, all but a certainty now. He has the potential to be a number one receiver at the NFL level, despite size concerns. He would settle into the offense as a returner and move full-time into the starting rotation in year two.

Late injuries have turned the Chargers off of some prospects. While they remain high on Marcus Spears and Shaun Cody, they are now wary of what will happen down the road.

Spears had his knee scoped and the Chargers are unsure whether he is worth the number 12 pick. He had a great Senior Bowl week but word out of Indy is that he may have to wait until April before his next workout. That could work in his favor if he impresses at that time. He will remain fresh in the mind of every team if he excels just prior to the draft.

Cody has a back injury that kept him out of participating in the combines and back injuries are notorious for flaring up down the road. They met with Cody a second time in Indianapolis but the medical team will have to clear him before they are comfortable with a possible selection of the USC defender.

There has been talk that the Chargers will trade up but don't look for that to happen. The Chargers prefer to keep their picks in the first round and if anything would trade down to accumulate another pick in the second or third round. They are not ready for another training camp holdout and feel they can get everyone in on time by standing pat.


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