The Justice Files

I miss football. I think we all do at this point. That's the reason that my interest in the draft is piqued right now. That might sound blasphemous since this draft is particularly important for the Chargers. It's just that the selection process itself is simply a crapshoot. I think A.J. Smith, Buddy Nix and the rest of the crew know what they're doing.

In fact, I think that A.J. Smith knows more than most GMs. But if history has shown us anything, it's that nothing is certain come draft day. Plus, there is so much misinformation being spread around this time (much of it intentionally leaked by organizations trying to throw other teams off the scent) that no one really knows what is going on. Come on, an event that allows Mel Kiper, Jr. to become an expert, can't be based on any sort of exact science.

But we are all starving for some Charger action and that's why we'll all be watching eagerly. The Organization had stood relatively pat this offseason, opting instead to focus on the draft. That's generally a good idea. Near the end of Bobby Beathard's tenure, he may have taken his "genius" label a bit too seriously as he started reaching for more and more projects. The Bolts kept trading out of the first round, after taking Natrone Means in 1993, and our draftees kept falling off the roster. When we finally kept our 1st round pick, we took Ryan Leaf. Everybody loves to talk about that but forgets that Andre Wadsworth was also (although not as spectacularly) a bust and that the Chargers weren't exactly devastated by the loss of Patrick Sapp and Eric Metcalf.

Good teams, the ones that AJ Smith claims he is modeling the Chargers after, build through the draft. The front page of USA Today on Wednesday featured an article on how the Steelers have continually found starters in the draft.

But are we close enough right now to a Super Bowl contender to bank on rookies filling the holes?

The latest rumors have the Bolts selecting a cornerback. My heart skips a beat when I read that we are looking for a player "to pair with Quentin Jammer," as if Jammer is the anchor of our pass defense. I know he played a lot better down the stretch last year, which is more than I can say for some of our other players. But does anyone really feel that is anything but a liability back there? Sammy Davis is gone and Drayton Florence would be hard-pressed to have a worse season than 2005.

Jammer reminds me a lot Mets pitcher Victor Zambrano. Yes, I am a Mets fan and for those of you San Diegans who saw Zambrano pitch on Sunday you know that I am not paying Jammer a compliment with this comparison. Padres fans must have been ecstatic to watch an opposing player falter so effortlessly. Unfortunately, Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph seem very hesitant to cut the cord with Zambrano and subsequently admit that trading Scott Kazmir for him was a massive mistake. So what happens? We are subjected to watching this guy go out to the mound, all the while knowing that he will eventually crumble. That's how I feel about Jammer. The fact that he improved last season just makes him more dangerous (to the Chargers). If we are planning on him being our anchor, we're in deep trouble.

I wanted to see what others among The Legion Of The Lightning Bolt had to say. I logged onto the Chargers' The corners are still not in the top 20 and without that, they will take on many loses.
Back to #23, he truly is the worst ever and I would take a little Ivy League guy over him who could at least cover his mouth. I don't understand why 23 has such pumped-up arms? The only thing I can think of is that he needs strength to get up off the turf after a weekly beating at his position."

And I thought I was hard was hard on Jammer. Obviously, we have other needs. Our secondary was not the reason we didn't make the playoffs. In fact, most of last season's pivotal miscues were the result of the offense. We didn't make plays when we had to, which is one of the reasons that Drew Brees is in New Orleans. I don't know much about Winston Justice, even though I love his last name. Robert Gallery was touted this highly and has yet to pan out. The only time I ever tried to predict who the Chargers would draft was when I wrote a column for and came up with Troy Polamalu. See what I mean? It's all a guessing game.

Enjoy your Saturday,


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