It has long been assumed that the San Diego Chargers would be targeting one of the top three left tackles available at pick number 11 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. While that may still be the case in a perfect situation, the team may be forced to make a selection under less than ideal conditions a couple of week from now. There is no telling what will transpire in the 10 picks prior to the Chargers’ selection, so it would be wise for the team to explore all options leading up to the draft. Without further ado, let’s do exactly that.
This possibility has been discussed at length before and you can find that piece here. Still Cooper makes plenty of sense because he would be ideal in the zone-blocking scheme and it isn’t like the team couldn’t use a guard after losing both starters from a year ago in free agency.
The idea of adding Lotulelei has also been a hot topic for me and that discussion can be found here. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize to miss out on a top tackle and still get a player at a position of need that just happens to be ranked in the top five players overall in the draft.
Here is where pretty much everything has started to go wrong for the Chargers. As we outlined before, the team may not get as lucky as once anticipated with several quarterback needy teams in the top 10 filling that void via free agency or trade in recent weeks. Austin is an immediate dynamo who could reinstate that Darren Sproles element in the club’s offense, but it would be a luxury pick at best.
The same goes for this selection really as although Antonio Gates isn’t the player we once knew and loved, he is still quite an effective red zone target with his ability to box out defenders in a familiar basketball style. Randy McMichael was released this offseason so another tight end will be needed to flesh out the depth chart. Eifert is a skilled player, but this would likely only happen if the team found a way to trade down.
This one is a little more interesting to me and carries a bit more weight. Eric Weddle is a star at the one safety spot, but he has no complementary part in the back half of the Bolts’ defense. Vaccaro could become that piece and move down into the box on running downs as an eighth linebacker of sorts. This would be a luxury pick, but not as much as some others considering the fact that the secondary still struggled at times in 2012.
Donald Butler is an absolute star in the making at inside linebacker, but a 3-4 alignment needs two such players to be effective. Veteran Takeo Spikes was shown the door this offseason, and the team must look for a way to replace his production inside. Ogletree has the athleticism to play like a third safety at the linebacker spot which would greatly improve the secondary, but this pick likely wouldn’t happen without moving back as well.
Left tackle Lane Johnson may be the ideal choice for the Chargers when April 25th arrives, but there are no guarantees that he will be available to them with the 11th pick. These names are all definite possibilities to keep in mind should the team have to veer from its desired path in just a few short weeks.