Should the Chargers trade their first round pick for Mike Wallace?

By Kenny Gardner

The San Diego Chargers have the 18th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.  The team desperately needs a pass rusher as they went from being tied for second in the NFL with 47 team sacks in 2010 to being tied for 23rd in this category with 32 in 2011.  A major reason why this happened is the fact that Shaun Phillips went from 11 sacks in 2010 to 3.5 sacks in 2011.  Antwan Barnes was able to go from 4.5 sacks in 11 games during the 2010 season to 11 sacks in 15 games last year.

San Diego lost Vincent Jackson in free agency to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it will be difficult to replace his 60 receptions for 1,106 yards and nine touchdown receptions in 2011.  Antonio Gates missed six games during the 2010 season and three games last year while Malcom Floyd missed five games in 2010 and four games last season.  Restricted free agent Mike Wallace has not missed a game in three seasons and would be a great addition to the team if San Diego were to give up their first round pick in the 2012 draft.  Wallace was fifth in the NFL with 1,257 receiving yards in 2010 and tied for seventh that year with 10 TD receptions as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wallace had 72 receptions for 1,193 receiving yards and eight TDs for the Steelers in 2011, which tied for 11th in the NFL in the last two categories.

The question is would San Diego rather add an unproven pass rusher who will be the 18th pick in the draft, or a dynamic receiver in Wallace?   If Phillips can return to form to go along with Barnes, San Diego will be fine in terms of getting pressure on quarterbacks.  The combination of Wallace, Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews would be a great.

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