San Diego Chargers day two NFL Draft grades

The San Diego Chargers began the day with a trade and had five picks in rounds five through seven. What do you hope to find from a day two prospect? A player with upside of course and the Bolts seem to have caught those traits with their selections.

Round four – trade for Brandon Manumaleuna

In a straight up trade, the Bolts acquired tight end Brandon Manumaleuna from the St. Louis Rams. At 6-foot-2 and 288-ponds, Manumaleuna is a truck that is best known for his blocking ability.

The Chargers' offense likes to feature two tight end sets and with the loss of Justin Peelle to free agency, their best blocking tight end, it filled a need area. With LaDainian Tomlinson a featured part of the offense, this addition could have more impact than many believe.

But Manumaleuna was a fourth round pick in 2001 and this is the final year of his contract. When guys like Terrell Owens can bag just a second rounder, the price seemed a little high.

Grade: C

Round five – Tim Dobbins

A JuCo transfer to Iowa State, Dobbins earned Newcomer of the Year in 2004 for his work on the field. A true middle linebacker with the ability to deliver the big hit, Dobbins is seen as an eventual replacement for Randall Godfrey next year.

Dobbins has the speed to work the sidelines and the aggressive attitude to clog the middle of the field.

Having made all the calls for the linebackers at Iowa State, Dobbins is a smart player that should pick up the defense quickly. He will start the year as a special teams demon and could see time in the rotation through the year. To get a player of this caliber and upside in round five was a coup.

Grade: A

Round six (A) – Jeromey Clary

One of the knocks I have had with the Chargers is their lack of originality in the running game. Tomlinson has the speed to hit the edges but the offensive linemen in San Diego aren't the best at pulling and oftentimes the running is done solely up the gut.

Clary is a player who comes from a vaunted rushing attack at Kansas State. A hard worker, Clary has quick feet to seal off that edge and has the ability to get to the second level. It is a far cry from many of the linemen currently in San Diego.

His weaknesses are more related to strength and his ability to get push at the point of attack. With some technique work San Diego could be looking at a starter down the road.

Grade: B+

Round six (B) – Kurt Smith

Four years has brought in four specialists. A Marty Schottenheimer pick all the way with his stress on field position. Having tried both Nate Kaeding and Mike Scifres out as kickoff men with little success, Smith has been given an excellent chance to make a dent.

Over 70 percent of his kicks went into the end zone over his career with 56 percent netting touchbacks. If he does that through camp, Smith is a lock and provides a key cog in this wheel.

Kicks rarely went into the end zone last year with just four of 88 a touchback. If Smith can up that number and consistently kick it deeper than the ten yard-line, it will make it that much tougher for the opposition.

Grade:: B+

Round seven (A) – Chase Page

A typical Charger – a hard worker who has the motor to make it through the game. He has more bulk that some of the current backups and could stand to gain more weight given his frame.

He has some quickness, which will be a benefit from the 3-4 end position but may struggle against the run.

Page has some ability to work with and they were obviously impressed with his visit to San Diego before the draft. He is an interesting developmental player.

Grade: B-

Round seven (B) – Jimmy Martin

The Chargers have found some gold with late round offensive linemen and are hoping Martin fits that bill. A left tackle prospect in college, Martin is seen as a guard/center prospect in the NFL.

Solid fundamentally, moving him inside will hide his overall lack of athleticism. Martin has experience blocking for a quarterback that was never in the same place, giving him great awareness on the field and demanding he block until the whistle.

He is a solid developmental prospect but does have a tough lineup to crack.

Grade: C


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