Chargers News at the Combines

San Diego Chargers General Manager John Butler and Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer have already made their presence known around the combines. With the combines just going into full swing picking up steam through the weekend, the Chargers have already set their sights on a few players they feel can help them this season, cornerback Marcus Trufant of Washington State, wide receiver Andre Johnson of Miami, and safety Mike Doss of Ohio State.

With General Manager John Butler in his comfort zone at the combines it is only natural that he targets who he wants early in the session to determine if they have the right blend of athleticism and character that he craves.

Marty Schottenheimer is searching for some speed on both offense and defense and also has the ear of Butler as he tries to fit players to the system they now employ.

With the secondary in a bit of a flux after a season that placed them 32nd in pass defense this is an area of major concern for the Bolts. At the top of that list is Marcus Trufant, a cornerback out of Washington State, who is also on the list of the many fans who follow the Bolts.

Marcus Trufant

The 5-10 and 190 pound cornerback is one of the most consistent shut down cornerbacks in all of college football four years running, Marcus Trufant is a terrific defender that covers the pass, defends the run and impacts the game returning punts. He elevated his stock with a terrific Senior Bowl week and now is cemented as the No. 2 cornerback behind Terrance Newman.

Last year he blazed to a 4.33 time at the Washington State pro days, and a similar time at the combine would put Trufant even with Newman as a pro prospect and top 10 draft pick.

While he lacks Newman's sprinter speed; Trufant is a stronger, more aggressive hitter, who excels in bump and run coverage, but also is effective off the line. Trufant has been a consistent starter for four seasons but is still one of the younger players in the draft.

With Curtis Conway likely in his last days as a Charger, the first guy who was seen on the Chargers radar was Andre Johnson, a wide receiver from Miami. Johnson has benefited from a wide receiver class that has seen many of the elite juniors stay in college for their senior seasons. Johnson has skyrocketed up the boards and now heads into the Draft as the No. 2 rated receiver behind Charles Rogers of Michigan State. The Chargers would have to trade up in the Draft to secure Johnson.

Andre Johnson

The 6-foot-3 and 230 pound (that's right 230 pounds!) wide receiver out of Miami is blessed with outstanding size and speed. Johnson used his sub 4.45 40-yard dash speed to rack up 33 catches for 592 yards and six touchdowns in only eight games in his senior season at Miami.

Johnson has the hands, size, durability, competitiveness, work ethic, and athleticism that Rogers has, plus Johnson may even be a bit more physical.

Johnson lacks Rogers' route running and experience, however. His forty times will be highly anticipated, as scouts judge how close he is to Rogers in overall athletic abilities, but he won't fall far unless he runs over 4.5. That almost certainly won't happen, not with an athlete who ran track as a college freshman and sophomore in his hometown of Miami, with a personal best of 6.46 in the indoor 55-meter sprint. As a freshman, he ran outdoors and recorded a career best 10.69 hundred-meter time in the Big East championships.

Another veteran who may be cut is Rodney Harrison. Since the offseason began he has not heard much from the Chargers organization and that generally does not bode well for his future. Enter Mike Doss from Ohio State. The Chargers may be looking to trade down to get more value out of picking Doss.

Mike Doss

Solid against the run and average covering the pass, he is a complete safety that plays a total game. His range, athleticism and smarts are impressive. While he's not a defensive back that blows coverage Doss was a little hesitant at times last season but his decision to return for another year of college football was the best choice he made all year.

Doss will occasionally throw in a clunker and plays less then ordinary football but it is something that can be ironed out at the next level.

"If I'm a scout and I see the offense turn their offense away from Mike Doss," he said of himself, "you want to see what that player has that this offense isn't going to come that way."

Special thanks to Lane Adkins of who contributed to this report and continues to cover the NFL Scouting Combines for The Insiders Network.

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