Around the Network: SD Keeps All Options Open

The San Diego Chargers have already done some maneuvering with this year's draft picks, which means A.J. Smith is going to have to be even more crafty come draft day. That is nothing new for the man in charge. Here is a look at some of the prospects who could end up in sunny California and what the experts have to say about them.

Draft day is going to come with a lot of gambles for the Chargers. Many key players the Chargers would like to see at No. 27 will already be wearing another team's hat by the time the Bolts go on the clock, but San Diego still has many options.

A player like Antonio Cromartie's cousin, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, would be an ideal fit in San Diego's secondary. However, because of his big performances at the Senior Bowl and his big link to the league's reigning interceptions leader, RoCro should be long gone.

Antoine Cason carries a fringe first-round projection, making him a much more plausible pick. Given his well deserved reputation as a pass-thieving artist, Cason would be a bargain at No. 27.

The Chargers also need to find Michael Turner's replacement. This year's pool of talent at the running back position is particularly deep. Cory Boyd is a mid- to late-round player with the quickness and size to be a superb backup. He's meeting with West Coast teams, but his athleticism would fit anywhere.

The fastest 40 time at the NFL Combine has every team with a running back need talking about Chris Johnson out of East Carolina. Nonetheless, the stigma that he is not an every-down back is keeping him from a first-round projection. San Diego could very well take advantage of that prevailing misconception.

In the later rounds, keep your eyes on RB Yvenson Bernard out of Oregon State. He isn't the burner Turner was, but can play every snap.

The Chargers also need help at offensive tackle. If A.J. Smith doesn't stray from tradition, he'll address the need on day two with a player from a small school. UNLV Offensive lineman Tim Goins clearly fits the bill .

Tony Hills out of Texas wouldn't be the Chargers traditional lineman, but the Bolts could capitalize on his injury concern that has other teams hesitating. In turn, San Diego could pick up a talented power blocker at a discounted rate.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for She has contributed to the official Web sites of Lorenzo Neal, Shawne Merriman, Shaun Phillips and many other NFL players for Sixthman Communications. Her analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports.

BoltsReport Top Stories