With under a month remaining until the NFL Draft the talk about which prospects are rising and which are falling will dominate a majority of draft discussion. We’ll hear things about pro day performances, work ethic, girlfriends and whether someone the prospect met once got caught smoking weed. There will be plenty of media stories about everyone, but none of it really matters. Any stories coming out about draft prospects around this time need to be taken with a large, McDonald’s fries amount of salt. In reality, we won’t know who’s really rising and falling until Draft night. Until then, all teams can really do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Instead of listing prospects in a mock draft style, let’s go over some best- and worst-case scenarios for the San Diego Chargers for the first round. San Diego has the No. 25 pick, which means about 24 crazy things could happen that night before the Chargers are on the clock.
Now these scenarios are going to be plausibly realistic. While Jadeveon Clowney falling to No. 25 would be the ultimate best case scenario, that’s not going to happen and it’s not worth covering. Realistically, what should the Chargers expect and what should they hope for?
Best Case Scenario: None or one cornerback taken so far
How it sets up: This scenario happens with an early run on quarterbacks. Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles all go within the first five picks. Teams just outside the top-ten, like the Tennessee Titans, impulsively take Derek Carr way too early and a team like the Minnesota Vikings, who missed out on the big three with their first pick, trade up from the second-round back into the middle of the first-round to take someone like Jimmy Garappolo fearing he won’t be there with their next pick.
This leaves a ton of top-tier prospects still on the board and teams picking ahead of San Diego take advantage of the players who have dropped rather than the cornerbacks at the perceived places they were supposed to go.
How the Chargers should react: The scenario leaves either Justin Gilbert or Darqueze Dennard on the board for the Chargers to pick from. The Chargers can address a need while also taking the best player available at this point, instead of reaching for the fifth- or sixth-best cornerback in the draft just because they need help in the secondary. San Diego would be more than happy to take either of these corners in the first-round and can focus on taking the best player available for the rest of the draft, while also making an effort to pick up a nose tackle at some point.
Slight optimism: The Chargers make out with one of these players in cover32’s new mock draft.
Worst Case Scenario: Everyone is gone
How it sets up: No one cares about quarterbacks. Teams become so worried about not having an “elite” quarterback prospect in the draft, everyone tries to play it safe by waiting. They all decide instead of taking a quarterback, prepare to defend against them. This causes the top five cornerbacks to be taken, as well as defensive tackle Louis Nix III.