The San Diego Chargers have too many needs to fill through the NFL Draft. Though new general manager Tom Telesco would like to build his team through the draft, he’ll likely have to fill at least some of the voids through free agency.
A position that should be heavily looked at this March is offensive tackle. There are only a few tackles worthy of being selected 11th overall in the draft, while there are plenty of talented tackles who are set to be free agents.
Some of the top names include Jake Long, Ryan Clady, Branden Albert, Sebastian Vollmer, Andre Smith, Will Beatty, Gosder Cherilus and Sam Baker. Not all these players will be pursued and not all are fits for their scheme, but the Chargers should still be thankful that so many are available.
With so many tackles set to hit the open market, not only should the Chargers by able to nab one if they so choose, but the prices will drop on all of them. San Diego can’t afford to break the bank with one player.
The Chargers, and every other team for that matter, won’t need to overpay to sign one of these players. Teams will have leverage in negotiations, knowing that if the player asks for too much money, they can simply go in a different direction and sign someone else. The Chargers can be patient and wait for tackles to lower their asking prices, rather than overpay on day one of free agency.
If San Diego shores up their tackle position in free agency, that will give them flexibility in the NFL Draft. They won’t be forced to reach for a tackle with the 11th pick, and can choose the best player available that fills another one of their many needs like offensive guard, cornerback or linebacker.