San Diego Chargers: The biggest needs from the 2012 NFL Draft

By Utsav Panchal

The San Diego Chargers have quite a few options to take with the 18th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. With a few players futures unknown, the Chargers really need to make some smart decisions to make a playoff run. I will list 5 possible positions that the Chargers will need to fill using the draft.

With the potential retirement of Kris Dielman, the Chargers need to bolster the offensive line to help protect Philip Rivers and make running lanes for Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. As we know, Dielman suffered a concussion and has had concussion like symptoms, causing him to think of retirement. Of course, we all wish the best for him, but personal health is an issue that only the player can decide. If Dielman does retire, the Chargers need to start looking for guards in the draft as a backup plan. There are many good guards n the draft, but one that would potentially drop down to the 18th pick would be tackle Cordy Glenn from Georgia. Glenn could be played both outside and inside, making him a valuable player for the Chargers, playing at either the tackle or the guard position.Other picks could also include Johnathon Martin (G) of Stanford and Mike Adams (G) of Ohio State

Another big position the Chargers  need to fill is the void they have in the pass rush. When Shawn Merriman was healthy, he was a beast, piling up sacks and tormenting the opposing quarterback. With him gone, the Chargers pass rush has failed, ranking in the bottom half of the NFL at 23, sacking the QB 32 times. Who better to add in this position than Nick Perry, a defensive end from USC, who registered nine and a half sacks in the 2011 season, especially picking up steam in the final 3 games with 5 sacks. Showing lightning speed at the snap of the ball and good quickness to round the corner, Nick Perry looks to be a solid pick for the Chargers. Other picks if they drop down could also include Melvin Ingram(DE) of South Carolina and Vinny Curry (OLB/DE) of Marshall.

Lastly, we’re going to look at the defensive secondary for the San Diego Chargers. Just 2 years ago, the Chargers claimed #1 in pass defense, and in 2011, that number dropped down to 13th. While not a gigantic dropoff, it’s still a concern for the Chargers. With few players on the defensive side that can cause turnovers, the Chargers need another playmaker to give the ball back to Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews and let them do work. With the departure of Rodney Harrison, a smart pick would be to pick a cornerback or a safety. In comes strong safety Mark Barron of Alabama. Ranked as the #1 safety in the draft, he could be a steal for the Chargers if he drops down low enough which he is projected to do so. Having a strong senior season, and because he played in a NFL type defense, he should be able to make the transition from college to NFL very quickly and be a great player for the Chargers. Other picks to bolster the secondary could include Alfonzo Dennard (CB) of Nebraska, and Janoris Jenkins (CB) of North Alabama.

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