If you think it is hard to get a feel for just what direction the San Diego Chargers may be leaning in as the 2013 NFL Draft nears, you aren’t alone. That may be because this will be the first time for new General Manager Tom Telesco to call the shots in an NFL war room. It won’t be his first time around the war room process as he has been inside one for the past 19 years according to the Chargers’ team website, but this time will be different. TT has the final say of which name will ultimately be called when the Bolts are on the clock in a little over a week, and that could produce some unexpected results.
In an interview with the team website, Telesco described his unique approach to the draft process. He said: “Number one, we don’t rank our needs.”
Now if that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, I don’t know what will. That is pure blasphemy when it comes to draft war room 101, but TT went on to validate his reasoning behind this approach saying: “To me, if you start ranking your needs, it may start influencing your draft board so we have positions we think we’d like to add players to and then after that we let the board tell us where to go. We don’t rank our players 1-255. It’s more of a horizontal look by position and then we’ll rank each player against each other at different positions. But we let the board tell us where to go.”
In other words, it seems as if the Chargers will be looking for a best player available type of draft strategy when the real deal arrives on April 25th. That will be far different from that outlook employed by TT’s predecessor at the GM spot in A.J. Smith. His need-based approach seemed to place the team in desperation mode far too often and left them chasing if there was a run on a particular position. That is a definite positive to Telesco and his outlook of ranking players based on skill and selecting the player that best fits a need while also sticking with your original positioning on the draft board.
What does this actually tell us about which player the Bolts may be zeroing in on with the 11th overall pick? Very little unfortunately, that is unless you are privy to TT’s draft board. But that’s no necessarily a bad thing. If the general consensus surrounding a particular team is difficult to come up with, chances are the other 31 teams in the league are just as stumped.
While everyone knows that the Chargers would be thrilled to see one of the top three elite left tackles remaining on the board when they choose, that just doesn’t seem to be a likely scenario at this point. Even though that may seem like a disappointment at face value, it will be much less harmful with Telesco’s approach. As long as the Chargers stick to their draft board and choose the best player available, everything will be just fine on April 25th.