Many fans have asked when the San Diego Chargers’ draft picks from the last few years would finally step up. Their chance has arrived due to numerous injuries to the Bolts on defense in week 12 and this Sunday’s tilt will see the first glimpse into what the team hopes is a promising future of young talent.
When both starting safeties Atari Bigby and Eric Weddle went down against the Baltimore Ravens, the San Diego defense looked a bit under prepared and overwhelmed by the circumstances. Backup safety Darrell Stuckey also has a hamstring issue that will likely prevent him from suiting up this coming week while inside linebacker Donald Butler’s groin injury will probably do the same.
Hopefully a week of practice will be what the squad needs to get themselves ready for some live game action. After all, the last time Bolts fans saw much of either second-year linebacker Jonas Mouton or rookie safety Brandon Taylor was in the preseason as both have resided on the inactive list for all 11 games to this point in the 2012 season.
While this will be a stern test for both young players, it will also be a vicarious exam for General Manager A.J. Smith who selected both of these guys in early rounds of the NFL Draft. Mouton is in his second season and has yet to suit up for a real game while Taylor was just taken this past April, but he hasn’t seen the field year either. How the young talent that GM Smith has been collecting over recent years fares in their first taste of real action could determine his future with the franchise.
With Head Coach Norv Turner’s pink slip already signed, sealed, and delivered barring a minor miracle, Smith has to be hoping to see good things this week from these players. Judgment is often been delayed for evaluating the success or failure of a given draft class, but it’s time for Smith’s draftees to step up and show their worth over the course of the season’s final month.
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