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NFL San Diego Chargers

NFL Rumors: San Diego Chargers interested in former OU tackle?

Lane Johnson San Diego Chargers

Matthew Emmons-USA Today Sports

According to San Diego Chargers U-T San Diego beat writer Michael Gehlken “Chargers could draft a quarterback in the first round.  Well, an ex-quarterback.”  This would be former Oklahoma Sooners tackle Lane Johnson.

Johnson was converted from quarterback to tight end to right tackle to left tackle.  Johnson made 12 starts at right tackle during his junior season while he had 11 starts at left tackle during the 2012 season.

Johnson was quoted as saying “I know that’s a bad feeling when you get blindsided.  I try to let that not ever happen to my quarterback.”

According to cbssports.com, Johnson is ranked 11th among prospects who will enter the 2013 NFL Draft.  San Diego has the 11th pick in round one of the draft and needs offensive line help.

San Diego’s offensive line allowed 49 sacks during the 2012 season and only three teams allowed more than them. A reason why this happened was injuries to former Baltimore Ravens and former Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Jared Gaither.

San Diego allowed two sacks in five games with Gaither in 2011, but he missed 12 games in 2012 after getting a four year deal worth $24.6 million during the off-season.

The play by San Diego’s offensive line was a reason why Philip Rivers ranked 10th in interceptions, why San Diego ranked 22nd in receiving yards and 30th in yards per reception.  When a quarterback gets pressure on him, it gives him less time to throw high percentage passes which was the case at times for Rivers in 2012.

If Johnson is still available, San Diego should think about taking him with the 11th pick because they need to improve their offensive line.  Offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are ranked first and sixth among prospects, so unless San Diego trades up, they will not get one of them.

I expect San Diego to take an offensive lineman in round one of the 2013 NFL Draft and Johnson seems to be the right choice.