A.J. Smith is willing to make a trade during the 2012 NFL Draft

By Kenny Gardner

According to cbssports.com writer Dan McLellan, San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith was quoted as saying “We’re wide open. We have been always since I’ve been here, and we’ve done everything.  We’ve gone up in the attack.  We’ve bailed out in the past, and we’ve stayed where we are. It depends on circumstance.”  San Diego has the 18th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  I have gone on record as saying the Chargers should select Whitney Mercilus because they desperately needs a pass rusher on the defensive line after their linemen combined to record 11.5 sacks during the 2011 season.

Mercilus should still be available, so Smith could be talking about moving up in any round not just the first one.  The Chargers already have a quarterback in Philip Rivers who has proven that he can be elite at times.  The team also has a running back in Ryan Mathews who missed two games, but finished 10th in the NFL in rushing yards while being 16th in attempts during the 2011 season, so they have two great offensive weapons.

If Smith decides to move up in a specific round, it should probably be done in the second one.  San Diego needs a cornerback or a strong safety for the future.  San Diego has the 17th pick in the second round, which is the 49th overall pick.  San Diego would have to move up to get corner Janoris Jenkins if he is still available or safety Harrison Smith.  Jenkins is ranked 39th among all prospects and is projected as a first or second round pick while Smith is ranked 47th and projected as a second round pick.

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