2014 NFL Draft: 5 Players the San Diego Chargers Must Avoid

5 Players the San Diego Chargers Must Avoid in 2014 NFL Draft

San Diego Chargers 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

The NFL Draft provided some instant impact players for the San Diego Chargers last year with D.J. Fluker, Manti Te’o and of course Keenan Allen becoming starters. The Bolts will need another solid draft class to continue improving and moving up the food chain in the AFC this year. But in order to make that leap from solid team to true contender, their draft class shouldn’t contain any of these five prospects.

5. Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

Antonio Richardson 2014 NFL Draft
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

5. Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

Antonio Richardson 2014 NFL Draft
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Monstrous offensive linemen have a tendency to either dominate or quickly flame out at the next level. Antonio “Tiny” Richardson could easily go either way at 6-foot-6, 336-pounds, but the Chargers shouldn’t be the team rolling the dice. He’s not very technically sound with a propensity for getting overextended against oncoming rushers. It would wise to avoid this potential fool’s gold and look elsewhere for a left tackle of the future.

4. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

AJ McCarron 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

4. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

AJ McCarron 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

It’s quite possible that the Chargers will look to find a quarterback to groom as the heir apparent to Philip Rivers in this draft class, but A.J. McCarron shouldn’t get that distinction. Though he’s rated as a third-round prospect, his game manager mentality just doesn’t show enough upside to warrant that type of a draft choice. San Diego would be better off spending their draft capital elsewhere and wait until at least the fifth round for a QB.

3. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Cyrus Kouandjio 2014 NFL Draft
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

3. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Cyrus Kouandjio 2014 NFL Draft
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Though it would be sweet to see D.J. Fluker line up alongside his college teammate in the pros, Cyrus Kouandjio’s failed physicals at the NFL Combine are worrisome. The Bolts have dealt with linemen who have chronic injury issues in the past (Jared Gaither, anyone?) and the marriage always ends in divorce. He may wind up being a solid contributor somewhere, but San Diego just can’t afford to roll the dice given the physical question marks.

2. Michael Sam, OLB, Missouri

Michael Sam 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

2. Michael Sam, OLB, Missouri

Michael Sam 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

It was the buzz topic after Michael Sam came out as the first openly gay player to enter the NFL that he would be a nice fit with the Bolts, but I’m just not buying it – and it has absolutely nothing to do with his sexual orientation. Sam is just not fast enough for the NFL game when watching film. Though he does display some positives, at best he would be a rotational pass rusher in San Diego which could be found among the undrafted free agents

1. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

1. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Darqueze Dennard 2014 NFL Draft
Getty Images

He may be billed as one of the top cover corners in this year’s draft class, but Darqueze Dennard should not be a member of the Chargers. There are just too many questions about his ability to handle the speed of the game at the next level after an average showing speed-wise in pre-draft workouts. Though he plays with nice physicality and has solid instincts, the chances of getting an Antoine Cason 2.0 are too high to risk it.


Around the Web