Los Angeles Chargers April Scouting Report
The 2017 draft begins shortly and considering the fact that the team has recently gone 9-23, it’s pretty apparent that they will need to make some changes to right the ship. Importantly, the Chargers are fighting for market share and fighting not only the Rams, but the Dodgers, Angels, USC, UCLA, the Galaxy and a myriad of other sports teams for said market share. And it’s fair to say that Los Angeles won’t support a loser. Why do you think the Rams and Raiders left in the first place? So obviously, the team hopes to improve its position, in part, through the draft. This report will discuss the current state of the team with an emphasis on the 2017 NFL draft.
QB: Chargers QB Philip Rivers should still be slinging it at a very high level, but Rivers is 35 years old. That means he’s likely got a maximum of 5 years left until retirement, and more likely, 1-3 seasons before he hangs up his spikes. While Rivers’ backup, QB Kellen Clemens is a solid bench option, he’s not Rivers and he’s not the quarterback of the future. Look for the Chargers to draft their "quarterback of the future" in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th rounds.
RB: When RB Melvin Gordon is healthy, he’s one of the best in the league, but if he’s hurt, there’s a pretty major dropoff in talent. The signing of free agent RB Kenjon Barner helps. RB Branden Oliver is probably underrated, although is likely more suited as a 3rd down specialist. I’d expect to see the Bolts select another running back in the draft’s middle rounds.
WR: While WR Keenan Allen has huge potential, he hasn’t been able to remain healthy. So I’m not sure that the Chargers will be able to depend on him. WR Tyrell Williams had a terrific season and WR Dontrelle Inman proved to be a valuable backup. Look for the Chargers to add depth at wideout in the early rounds.
TE: TE Antonio Gates is long in the tooth, but should have a little bit left in the tank. TE Hunter Henry is his likely future replacement and has star potential. The Chargers have a number of quality options at tight end and I don’t see this being an area of need for them.
PK: While PK Josh Lambo has had some ups and downs, I don’t think the Bolts are looking for his replacement just yet. So while they may draft a kicker in the late rounds, they’ll most likely stick with Lambo.
DEF: CB Jason Verrett has shut down potential, but like WR Keenan Allen, has a slight build and has been subject to injury. Presumably, L.A. could use a quality safety, so look for that to happen in the early rounds. The Bolts could also use help on the corners and up front, so look for multiple defensive picks in the middle and late rounds.
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