It’s always good to cover all of your bases. Having a backup plan to a backup plan makes things go much more smoothly in all aspects of life. For life in the NFL Draft, that statement couldn’t any more true as things rarely (if ever) go as planned. With the San Diego Chargers, there are clear needs in the upcoming selection, but what if players to fill that need aren’t on the board when the Bolts are put on the clock by the Commissioner?
That possibility surely exists which is why we took a look at one particular contingency plan in a mock draft yesterday. While drafting a guard would clearly be a suitable alternative should none of the elite three offensive tackles be on the board, what if all of the above are gone? Well, let’s take a look at a scenario that could play out in this manner.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
3. Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
5. Detroit Lions – Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU
6. Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
7. Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
8. Buffalo Bills – Matt Barkley, QB, USC
9. New York Jets – Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
10. Tennessee Titans – Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
11. San Diego Chargers – ??????
Again just like in the previous version, the two stellar defenders are still on the board in Star Lotulelei and Jarvis Jones, but the Bolts just don’t have the ability to take luxury picks with so many pressing needs to address. While Dee Milliner is again off of the board, Xavier Rhodes has been slipping down my board a little bit recently. There is a fast riser within the realm of personnel departments across the league at cornerback and he seems like a real possibility in this particular case.
Desmond Trufant has been making a charge up draft boards league-wide as the draft countdown is officially under 30 days. If you are thinking ‘boy, I know I’ve heard that name before’, you’re right. Trufant has the bloodlines with two older brothers in the league, most notably Marcus who has been great for the Seattle Seahawks since being drafted back in 2003.
There is much more to this kid than just the name, however. Trufant is 6’0” 190lbs. so he has prototypical size for the position. To go along with the ideal build, he also has impeccable football intelligence often knowing the route a receiver is going to run before the ball is even snapped. His 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine was third best among defensive backs and his 20-yard shuttle time of 3.85 was just one one-hundredth of a second behind the top time.
Perhaps the only knock against Trufant is that his hands are lacking a bit. He had just six interceptions in his four years at the University of Washington and only one during his senior campaign. A former Bolt, Quentin Jammer, was known for having hands of stone as well and he was a terrific contributor for a decade in San Diego. There is a reason he is playing corner instead of wide receiver.
This scenario might not be ideal when the draft rolls around in a little over four weeks from now, but it could be what is facing the Bolts on that Thursday night. Should they have to make a choice in this type of scenario, expect Trufant to be near the top of their list.