In this year’s freshmen class of 2013, the San Diego Chargers might have a Rookie of the Year on their roster, Keenan Allen, and their controversial pick, Manti Te’o, is slowly coming along. Not forgetting about the 2012 draft class, how are those draft picks coming along after a full two years in the NFL?
As a refresher, these are the 2012 picks starting from reverse order.
Seventh round: Edwin Baker RB
Seventh round: David Molk C
Fifth round: Johnnie Troutman G
Fourth Round: Ladarius Green TE
Third Round: Brandon Taylor SS
Second Round: Kendall Reyes DT
First round: Melvin Ingram OLB
Overall grade: C
I’m basing this grade on the 2004 Draft, which deserves an A, and because that draft class had five Pro Bowlers and eight starters. The grade sits on the curve because there are question marks. In the final draft of the A.J. Smith–Norv Turner regime, the 2012 class is defense-centric. Flashes of strength for the future occur in a few good men.
Reyes and Ingram are core players to build off in the future. Reyes gives the defensive line a strong push while Ingram ignites and helps a pass rush that has been missing from their linebackers.
Green is a rising star, but his production and involvement in the offense is questionable. One week he draws praise as the next Antonio Gates, then the next week he goes missing again. Green can play, but Philip Rivers might have too many offensive weapons, including Gates in a lot of packages, to increase Green’s workload.
The question marks are with Taylor and Troutman. Taylor was placed on IR and hasn’t seen action since early 2012, leading many to believe he might get cut come training camp. Troutman, still a young guy on a shaky offensive line, got his chance to play this season, but he has a lot to learn.
Otherwise, the last two picks, Baker and Molk aren’t on the Chargers’ roster. Baker is playing with the Cleveland Browns with former head coach, now offensive coordinator, Turner. Molk was cut in training camp as Rich Ohrnberger earned the back up center role.