Bolts Use Comp Picks on Green, Johnson

A.J. Smith was dead serious when he said he was determined to improve the inside running game of the San Diego Chargers. Smith used his pair of compensatory picks in the fourth round to select RB Gartrell Johnson and OG Tyronne Green, the second guard picked by San Diego in the first four rounds.

Many Chargers fans are scratching their heads after San Diego used two of its first four picks on guards, but the move to tab Auburn's Tyronne Green is not altogether surprising. The Chargers lost two interior offensive linemen this offseason, Jeremy Newberry and Mike Goff, and have now replaced them through the draft.

Green (6-foot-2, 305 pounds), who was selected with the team's first compensatory pick in the fourth round (No. 133 overall), is an athletic blocker and a good value pick. He is quick off the snap, capable of reaching the second level, and proven against some of the best competition college football has to offer.

One thing is for sure: RG Kynan Forney can no longer feel secure in the starting job he assumed was his after signing a new two-year contract this offseason.

RB Gartrell Johnson
David Zalubowski/AP

San Diego's suddenly competitive offensive line now has a new runner to open holes for. One pick after selecting Green, the Chargers used their second compensatory pick on Colorado State RB Gartrell Johnson.

Johnson (5-foot-10, 219 pounds) is coming off a monster senior campaign in which he carried 278 times for 1,476 yards (5.3 ypc) and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 32 passes, proving his ability as a receiver.

Johnson is a tough, physical runner who can punish defenders between the tackles. He will be the power complement to LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles, something the Chargers missed sorely after losing Michael Turner as a free agent.

Johnson also has all the skills to be a strong contributor on special teams, which should allow him to stay active on game days this season.

The selection of Johnson means Michael Bennett is unlikely to return in 2009.

Talk it out in our message boards. Talk Tryonne Green | Talk Gartrell Johnson

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.

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