2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers the San Diego Chargers Should Target
San Diego Chargers: 2014 NFL Draft Sleepers
Looking back, a case certainly could be made for the San Diego Chargers having the best draft class from last season. In his first year as general manager Tom Telesco did an incredible job of landing impact talent in the draft. Telesco's additions to the roster, and the ability of first-year coach Mike McCoy to get the most out of his players, were a huge reason why the Chargers made the playoffs last season.
With their first three picks of the 2013 draft, Telesco and his staff landed talented players who will likely be huge contributors to the Chargers for many years. First-round pick D.J. Fluker anchored the offensive line, playing both right and left tackle successfully. When healthy, second-round pick Manti Te'o was a key player in the middle of the San Diego defense, that played much better when he was available. Third-round pick Kennan Allen was probably the best of the bunch, proving draft day doubters wrong all season long with 71 receptions for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. Allen came in second to Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy in NFL Rookie of the Year voting. Many thought that Allen deserved to win the award.
If Telesco and the Chargers can have the same success in the 2014 NFL Draft, they will likely be serious Super Bowl contenders next season. The Chargers have a very talented roster, but they do have major holes at certain key positions. Selecting later in the draft this season, the Chargers may have to pin-point some sleepers that they like in the later rounds.
This draft class is extremely deep at multiple positions, and teams should be able to land impact talent later in the draft. The Chargers proved their ability to draft well in the early rounds, but landing talented players late could become the key to this draft. Here are five sleeper prospects for the Chargers to target.
5. Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
Josh Huff has great speed, and that is something that the Chargers lack across the board offensively. Wide Receiver is also an obvious position of need for San Diego. Huff could step in to play slot receiver and return kicks immediately for the Chargers.
4. Chidera Uzo-Diribe, DE/OLB, Colorado
The Chargers have spent a ton of draft picks on pass rushers throughout the years. Unfortunately, it is still a position of need. Chidera Uzo-Diribe is a prospect who I think is being underrated. He has great athleticism and explosiveness that allows him to attack the QB on the pass rush very well. Uzo-Diribe is a raw prospect that has to improve other aspects of his game, but his pass-rushing abilities alone make him worth the late-round pick.
3. Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman
Fluker turned out to be a great pick, but the Chargers' offensive line still needs plenty of work. Dakota Dozier is one of my favorite interior offensive lineman in this draft, and will only fall to the later rounds because he went to a small school. Dozier is a technically sound offensive lineman who excels in the run game. His pass-protection skills are average, but he shows nice potential for improvement in that area. Dozier will be a great value pick in the later rounds, and has the ability to step in and play immediately.
2. Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee
The Chargers must address their nose-tackle position this offseason. It is certainly possible that they land someone like Louis Nix III in the first round, but Daniel McCullers would be a nice choice if they decide to wait. McCullers is a massive man standing 6-foot-8 and weighing 351 pounds, and has surprising athleticism for a guy his size. He has great power and strength that allows him to disrupt the run game and get a nice push up front against the pass. McCullers seemed to take plays off at times in college, but there is no denying his raw ability at the position.
1. Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Standing 6-foot-1, and weighing 198 pounds, Pierre Desir has the size that scouts crave at the cornerback position. Desir also has great athleticism and ball skills that makes me think he can become an impact player at the next level. He comes from a small school, so the level of competition is a concern, but he was incredible against some of the best wide receivers in this draft at the Senior Bowl. The Chargers ranked 29th against the pass in 2013, and their less than impressive corners were a huge reason why. Desir could start from day one for San Diego, and he has the potential to become a star.