Look at any mock draft website or expert opinion, and you will see the San Diego Chargers addressing the cornerback position in the first round. From Jason Verrett to Bradley Roby or even the slim possibility for Darqueze Dennard falling to pick number 25, San Diego has an obvious need at corner. In most mock drafts, if the Bolts aren’t adding to the secondary, they are taking a defensive tackle to bolster the thinning nose tackle position.
The beauty of these mock drafts is they don’t matter at all. Experts hear things, writers predict things, but no one really knows what Mike McCoy and Tom Telesco are going to do. Judging from Telesco’s first draft and free agent moves, I think the one thing we can for sure conclude is to expect the unexpected.
Day one of free agency 2014, we expected the Chargers to start throwing money at cornerbacks as it was the most obvious need. What does Telesco do? Signs a reliable running back to make sure the Chargers still can pound the rock if Ryan Mathews goes down like he did in the playoffs. This guy knows what he is doing, he has a plan, and isn’t going to go out of his way to overpay — or overdraft — based off positions of need.
So what will Telesco do in May when the Chargers are on the clock? I see a few different scenarios playing out.
While taking Jason Verrett at 25 would be a safe, need-based pick with a decent amount of upside, the two “can’t miss” corners are Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard. GIlbert will likely be a top-10 pick, but Dennard could fall anywhere in the rest of the first round. The Bolts would likely have to trade up to get Dennard, and I have no doubt if he begins slipping on draft day, Telesco will be keeping a keen eye on the Michigan State product.
The best value pick at 25 would likely be a defensive tackle. With Louis Nix III, Timmy Jernigan, Aaron Donald, Ra’Shede Hageman, and Dominique Easley all first round talents at defensive tackle, the Chargers should have a top-15 player — in any other year — fall to them in 2014. The nose tackle position is critical in the 3-4 defense, and Sean Lissemore was capable in 2013, but San Diego needs to upgrade to have a truly dominant defense in the coming years.