There are many different philosophies entering any NFL Draft with 32 franchises functioning as 32 separate entities. For the San Diego Chargers and their current rebuild on the fly effort this offseason, their philosophy must be maximizing their haul in the upcoming draft to fix as many holes as possible on a roster that currently resembles Swiss cheese. That is why the notion of the Bolts trading up from some of the highly touted “analysts” for this upcoming draft, ahem, Mel Kiper Jr., ahem, Todd McShay, has to be the most asinine suggestion of all-time.
Both of these gentlemen believe that the three elite left tackles of this year’s draft class will be gone by the time the Chargers’ selection at 11 overall rolls around. My sentiments regarding this idea have been mentioned here several times over the past few weeks with potential contingency plans galore.
When the team decided to finally send the worthless Jared Gaither packing, his pink slip came with more than pure exuberance from having finally rid the locker room of an absolute cancer. Showing Gaither the door opened up a gigantic hole at left tackle for a team that was one of the worst in the NFL in 2012 for giving up sacks. While the “Big Lazy” never really helped alleviate that concern last season, he was at least a serviceable body (when healthy) to try and keep quarterback Philip Rivers upright.
The Bolts clearly recognize this shortcoming with new General Manager Tom Telesco intent on finding a solution sooner rather than later at left tackle. The most recent name linked to San Diego is Bryant McKinnie, who served as the blindside protector for Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens during their run to Super Bowl glory this past season. At 33 years of age, clearly McKinnie wouldn’t be a long-term solution, but should the draft not fall the way the Bolts would like he would serve as a nice veteran option to compete with recently signed King Dunlap.
There is no easy answer to the left tackle quandary this offseason as the Chargers are in a tough spot just outside of the top 10 in the draft order in a draft class where quarterbacks really aren’t very highly valued. While neither McKinnie nor Dunlap may be the failsafe solution that the team was hoping to find this offseason, trading up into the top 10 would only further compound the problem. Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Hopefully this old adage sticks with the Bolts and their new front office when the draft rolls around.