San Diego Chargers 2013 NFL Draft Needs

Ryan Mathews, A.J. Smith - San Diego Chargers

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After seeing just how many holes the San Diego Chargers currently have on their roster this past Sunday, there’s no doubt that the team will have to retool by any means necessary this offseason. Teams must prioritize their list of needs however heading into free agency and the NFL Draft, so here is a list of which needs take precedence as the Bolts head into the final two weeks of a miserable season.

3. Running Back

It almost seems blasphemous to say that a franchise which selected a back in the top 15 picks just three short years ago needs help at the position, but Ryan Mathews just hasn’t panned out. His latest mishap has him breaking his other clavicle in week 15’s loss and he is out for the year.

While injuries may not be a player’s ‘fault’ per se, there comes a point in which a player has to be considered a liability. Mathews missed four games his rookie year, two in 2011, and now after this latest injury he will miss a total of four this season. 10 missed contests out of 48 isn’t a very good ratio to have. Is it time to call Mathews a bust? No, not yet, but 2012 will be his lowest yardage output of his career and things must get better if he wants to stick around much longer.

2. Cornerback

Both Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason will be free agents at year’s end and the Chargers may not attempt to re-sign either one. Marcus Gilchrist appears ready to step in on one side, but the team will need another upper echelon corner on his opposite.

For all of the praise that has gone toward the defense this year, the secondary has again been the team’s weakness. If the top talent on the offensive line is gone when the Bolts pick in the first round, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see them take a corner in round one. If things do go as planned however, look for a corner to be the next spot in line to be addressed via the draft.

1. Offensive Line

Everyone saw this one coming. San Diego’s line has been a nightmare from the preseason on with left tackle Jared Gaither’s phantom back injury to every single starter across the line missing at least a snap or two due to some ailment. When Marcus McNeill and Kris Dielman were forced to retire, this line took a serious step backward and has yet to recover that lost ground.

Landing at least one mid to upper tier free agent along the line and using the first round draft choice as well as one later round pick on depth is a must. This problem cannot continue to be ignored or else the team will have to search for a new franchise quarterback soon because Philip Rivers is too banged up to play.

So there you have it, the three main problem areas for the Chargers heading into the offseason. If this team really wants to get back to competing for a championship any time soon, they must address these shortcomings now.

Follow Anthony Blake on Twitter @AnthonyMBlake or on Facebook at Anthony Mizarkus Blake


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