Not all teams are willing to give out information on players they like; it is more of a chess game, but the keen eyes of TFY was able to see the Chargers taking a liking to defensive tackle Kevin Williams, wide receiver Tyrone Calico, and wide receiver Taylor Jacobs. They also saw Marty Schottenheimer take a liking to offensive guard Vince Manuwai and defensive end/tackle Nick Eason.
We will take an early look at each of these players and where they may fit, if at all, in the Chargers Draft plans, as well as who else may be taking an interest in them.
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 302
Williams has a future in the NFL as either a tackle or end and has a surprising up field burst. He has an exceptional first step and can shed double team blocks. He had an impressive Senior Bowl week and may have had the best week of any performer at any position. With the Chargers looking for a tackle that can collapse the pocket he may be the perfect choice. Some say he may start at end while he bulks up some but he showed he can play the tackle position now.
Williams had 61 tackles in 2002 and 14 of those were stuffs, or tackles for a loss. He also added 7 sacks. In 2001 he had 36 tackles, 11 for a loss and five sacks.
He would fit the Chargers need as a first round pick. Many believe the Chargers will look at defensive tackle with their first pick, and much depends on how the board plays itself out. General Manager John Butler believes in picking the best available and if Williams is there he may be the best. There is certain to be a run on defensive tackles in round one of the Draft, and none of the upper tier will be available come round two.
Senior Bowl Review: Kevin Williams
Other teams taking interest: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, and Oakland.
Ht- 6-4 Wt: 219
Middle Tennessee St
Calico was the most physically imposing receiver in Mobile. He ran crisp routes and showed solid hands. Had some trouble in traffic and when he missed a pass he did a set of pushups. He improved as Senior Bowl week progressed. His size and speed impressed scouts and could vault him up the Draft ladder.
He had 45 catches for 606 yards and four touchdowns this season, playing in a run-oriented offense that also spreads the ball around to a number of different options. He also took an interest in making himself a better blocker during the year as he realized his role. Calico set a school record with 65 catches as a freshman.
The Chargers may be looking at Calico in the third round of the upcoming Draft. He could be a steal if he continues his development, and the Chargers put a lot of weight into receivers blocking downfield. A big receiver such as Calico could open things up for the running game and surprise in the passing game.
Senior Bowl Review: Tyrone Calico
Other teams taking interest: Atlanta, Baltimore, Kansas City, San Fran, St. Louis, and Washington.
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 201
Jacobs skyrocketed up some boards after an impressive showing in Mobile. Jacobs is trying to break the Florida tradition of wide receiver busts and is doing so with a tremendous work ethic. During the week he ran crisp routes and was open consistently during practices. Jacobs has good concentration and can get the ball in traffic. His ability to make the tough catch and his ability to run after the catch are promising traits.
In one season he more than doubled his previous output, coming into his senior season he had 62 career receptions for 1009 yards (16.3 avg.) and eight TDs. In 2002 he had 71 receptions for 1,088 yards and eight TDs. Was named MVP of the 2002 Orange Bowl after catching 10 passes for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns, he followed that up with 7 receptions for 88 yards in the Outback Bowl this year.
With the solid outing he may have moved into the latter half of the first round. The Chargers would be hoping he dropped to them in round two, or they may be considering trading down from their round one spot to pick up extra picks. They may find themselves in an enviable position if a team wants to pony up for a particular player. They should get lots of calls on Draft day.
Senior Bowl Review: Taylor Jacobs
Other teams taking interest: Baltimore, Kansas City, and Washington.
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 303
Maunwai had a rough week in Mobile. He saw his Draft stock drop potentially more than any other player. After a solid start he did not progress through the week very well. As Tony Pauline reports, "Manuwai had a difficult practice and was beaten so badly by defenders he ended up on his backside on more than one occasion." Still he is athletic enough to play all the positions of the line and moves well pulling.
In 2002 he was credited with 60 "pancake" blocks. In 2001, Manuwai led the team with 53 "pancake" blocks and was noted on the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award "watch lists." He also helped the Warrior offense finish second nationally in passing averaging 381.3 yards per game.
He remains on the Chargers wish list as they search for an athletic guard who can block on the move. The Bolts will be looking his way if he falls to them in round two. With the Chargers not yet settled at the left guard spot he would be an immediate fixture with Toniu Fonoti manning the other guard spot. The Chargers remain unsettled with Kelvin Garmon and there is no guarantee Jason Ball or Cory Raymer will move from their center spots.
Senior Bowl Review: Vince Manuwai
Other teams taking interest: Baltimore, and Miami.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 295
Eason has had his career slowed by injuries. Still he has an explosive first step and can beat opponents with his first move. Beyond that he has trouble at the line with his technique of shedding blockers. He progressed during Senior Bowl week after a slow start and really started to move up Draft boards by the end of the week.
Eason had 62 tackles, including seven sacks and nine total tackles for loss in 2002, a key reason Clemson showed great improvement defensively. Clemson gave up just 330 yards per game, an improvement by over 60 yards per game over 2001. Eason's seven sacks were the most by a Clemson defensive tackle since current All-Pro Trevor Pryce had 7.5 in 1996. He originally played end for Clemson as a freshman.
The Chargers could be looking at Eason in the second or third round as they look to add depth at end and tackle. Eason never quite progressed into the dominant force many thought he would be but he does have a strong motor and with some development could be a force on the inside.
Senior Bowl Review: Nick Eason
Other teams taking interest: None known.
There you have it, insight into what the Chargers may be thinking come Draft Day. There are still the combines to come later this month and that could change everything. Seems interesting looking at some of these picks, you get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, the Chargers are willing to trade down to get an extra pick in the second round.
TFY Draft Preview contributed to this report.
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