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SAN DIEGO CHARGERS


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2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft

2005 draft     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

 

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 16 Larry English OLB Northern Illinois #6 OLB Round 2

Senior Bowl practice comment

English looked good pass rushing and showed some promise in coverage versus running backs.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

5 - 6 Beatty 3-3   Fulton 2-3
3 78 Louis Vasquez OG Texas Tech #9 OG Round 4

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Lineman from Texas Tech often struggle adjusting and excelling in the NFL because of the system used there.  However, few lineman have the combination of strength, movement skills and athleticism of Vasquez.  He may need time to acclimate, but Vasquez will become a quality NFL starter.
4 113 Vaughn Martin DT Western Ontario #17 DT Round 5
4 133 Tyronne Green OG Auburn #7 OG Round 4

Senior Bowl practice comment

Green played better as the week progressed.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

3 - 6 Moala 1-3   Irvin 1-1   Moore 1-1   Cushing 0-1
4 134 Gartrell Johnson RB Colorado State NR Late Round Value
5 148 Brandon Hughes CB Oregon State #24 CB Round 5
6 189 Kevin Ellison SS Southern Cal #7 SS Round 5
7 224 Demetrius Byrd WR LSU #29 WR Round 5
FA ---- Derry Beckwith ILB LSU #4 ILB Round 2

Senior Bowl practice comment

No data other than one-on-one's, he looked good playing off blocks in the run game.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

5 - 3 Brown 1-2 McCall 1-0 Hill 0-1 Nelson 1-0 Johnson 1-0  Jennings 1-0

Senior Bowl Game

Beckwith played with smarts and speed.  He made a good read on a pass and broke the play up; made a good play on the goal line; and a great play on a screen pass.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Beckwith is not an exceptional athlete and is not very quick.  However, he has good instincts against the run, doesn't shy away from taking on blockers, and has good football speed. 
FA ---- Gregg Carr WR Florida State NR 7th/FA

Senior Bowl practice comment

A replacement player, Carr did not have a great couple of days of practice.
FA ---- Jeremy Childs WR Boise State NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Anthony Felder LB California NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Dan Gay OT/G Baylor NR 7th/FA
FA ---- James Holt OLB Kansas NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Wopamo Osaisai CB Stanford NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Kory Sperry TE Colorado State #15 TE Round 5

 

C

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The first three players chosen by San Diego were higher on their board than on mine.  In addition, for the second year in a row the Chargers went running back in the middle of the draft, and for the second year in a row I predict a swing and a miss.  When the Chargers selected both Turner and Sproles I said they were good picks (read below) so I wonder if A. J. Smith is trying to be too much of a know-it-all with his running back selections.  The Chargers did add one of my favorite and higher-rated college street free agents in linebacker Derry Beckwith.

DRAFT PICKS

I like Larry English's potential as a pass rusher, but (1) he is changing positions from defensive end, (2) he didn't play consistently against top competition at Northern Illinois; (3) he didn't jump out for me as mush as he did for some from what I saw during Senior Bowl week (although he showed promise); and (4) his workout numbers were okay but not top tier.  I had a second round grade on English.  With this very likely being both LT's and Sproles last years with the Chargers, Beanie Wells would have been my pick.  At 3-4 outside linebacker, I like the upside of Barwin better than English; I like the probability of success of Matthews better than English; and I it wouldn't surprise me if Veikune becomes a better NFL player than English.

I understand the Chargers selection of Vasquez one round ahead of where I had him graded.  He is a physical freak with great strength, quick feet and good athleticism.  He isn't there yet, but could develop into a top starter.  However, my top-rated guard Urbik was still available.  He doesn't have Vasquez' numbers, but gets it done on the field and will be a solid starter for years in the league.  Don't get me wrong, Vasquez could be better, but he could also be worse.

Martin is another tremendous physical specimen.  At 335 pounds, the kid ran a 5.07 forty and an eye-opening 4.31 short shuttle.  He is also very strong.  So he has size and strength to play the nose, and the speed and quickness to play end in the Chargers' 3-4 defense.  Having played college ball in Canada, this is all I know about the kid.  But sight unseen I gave him a fifth round grade just based on his workout.

In my opinion drafting Vasquez over Urbik meant that the Chargers had to back up their selection with Green.  Green is the opposite of Vasquez.  He is a technician and is better on the field than working out.  With a need at right guard, Green is more ready to start than Vasquez today, but will be best served long term as a quality backup.

I do not agree with the selection of Johnson in round five.  Here is a kid who looked very strong with decent speed on film.  But that was because of the competition he played against.  As a pure running back with toughness and quickness, the Chargers missed the boat by not drafting Ringer here.  If they wanted a player to share the load with Sproles down the line who could also get the tough yards inside now, I would have gone with Peerman over Johnson.  However, if I wanted the power-runner with decent speed that Johnson appears to be on film, I would have gone with strong safety here and running back Javarris Williams in round six.

Hughes went where I had him graded, he has very good speed and is a top athlete, but will need to add strength to so he can be a plus on special teams to make the team.  Personally, I liked Macho Harris at this spot more.

The way the draft unfolded, the Chargers selection of Ellison was fine.  He is one of the strongest safeties to ever enter the league, and if he was drafted by a 4-3 team, he could have been moved to SAM.  At safety his speed is suspect, at SAM his speed is okay.  However, I like the combination of Hamlin and Williams (see prior comment) better than Johnson and Ellison.

Bryd was well worth a seventh round pick.  He is relatively new to football, has excellent speed, and is still developing.  He is ideal for San Diego's development squad.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Beckwith was one of the best college street free agent signings by any team.  He is a better player on the field than workout warrior.  He is a heady player, who is a sure tackler and would fit nicely next to Cooper, allowing him to take some chances on making big plays.

Carr is a receiver with good size who was considered a late round prospect with potential until he had a poor week of practice at the Senior Bowl after being called on at the last minute as an injury replacement.  He's certainly worth looking at in camp.

Childs is a receiver with good hands and quickness.  While not a burner, Childs showed more speed running his forty (4.47) than expected.  He could find a spot on the Chargers' development squad.

Felder is a strong kid whose best NFL position will be inside in the 3-4 defense.  However, unless the Chargers move a player like Wilhelm, he will have a tough time making the club.

Gay has big frame but needs to get stronger.  He is another candidate for San Diego's development squad.

Holt is a very quick outside linebacker who may get a look at strong safety with San Diego.  If he beats the odds and sticks, he will be a very good special teams player.

Osaisai's chances of making the team are directly related to how he performs on special teams.  He is a good athlete, is a potential gunner and can also return kicks.

Sperry is a player I like more than many.  He is a natural athlete with good hands and quickness.  He is not much of a blocker at this point but has the frame to add bulk and strength.  Down the line he could be a contributor on offense as a pass catching tight end.

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
English Larry N Illinois 6'2.1" 255 L-L 24 4.69 1.59 2.71 4.38 - 7.26 36" 9'7"
Vasquez Loius Texas Tech 6'4.6" 333 L-L 39 5.22 1.73 2.95 4.94 - 7.66 30.5" 8'7"
Martin Vaughn W Ontario 6'4" 335 - 33 5.07 - - 4.31 - - - -
Green Tyronne Auburn 6'1.6" 309 M-L 22 5.39 1.79 3.06 4.80  - 8.12 28.5" 8'6"
Johnson Gartrell Colorado State 5'10.2" 219 S-L 20 4.67 1.59 2.68 - - - 34" 9'6"
Hughes Brandon Oregon State 5'10.4" 182 L-L 8 4.36 1.46 2.59 4.23 11.25 6.90 37" 10'8"
Ellison Kevin USC 6'0.7" 227 M-XL 32 4.70 1.59 2.81 - - - - -
Byrd Demetrius LSU 6'0.2" 199 L-M - 4.38 1.47 2.53 4.52 - 7.08 35.5" 9'9"
Beckwith Darry LSU 6'0.3" 242 L-L 23 4.63 1.56 2.61 4.50 - 7.39 26.5" 9'2"
Carr Greg Florida State 6'5.3" 217 - - 4.58 1.58 2.60 4.40 - 7.41 31" 9'6"
Childs Jeremy Boise State 5'11.5" 200 L-M - 4.47 1.51 2.57 4.11 11.29 6.90 33.5" 9'7"
Felder Anthony California 6'1.7" 233 L-L 28 4.69 1.57 2.70 - - - 36" 9'8"
Gay Dan Baylor 6'3.7" 308 M-XL 18 5.48 1.84 3.10 5.40 - 8.47 24.5" 7'11"
Holt James Kansas 6'1.3" 223 - 17 4.72 1.57 2.72 4.12 - 6.81 32" 9'5"
Osaisai Wopamo Stanford 5'9.6" 197 L-M 14 - - - - - - - -
Sperry Kory Colorado State 6'5.6" 238 L-L 20 4.69 1.60 2.71 4.24 11.57 7.00 34.5" 10'2"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Rivers, Volek and Whitehurst are a very solid one, two, three.
RB There appears to be a war of words between LT and GM Smith.  LT could be gone this offseason.  Sproles is an UFA and, if he can get a bigger role than the Chargers will offer him, could bolt.  Bennett flashed, but don't get too excited, he has done that from time to time in his career but doesn't have long term staying power.  Hester is a good fullback, can fill in at running back, but is not starting material as a halfback.  The Chargers will add a running back higher in the draft than many think.
WR This is an underrated unit.  Chambers, Jackson, Floyd, and Naanee are four good receivers.  This doesn't even include former high draft pick Craig Davis.
TE Tight end is another very good and deep unit.  Gates is top drawer, Manumaleuna plays well whenever he is given a chance,  Wilson is a solid backup and special teams' player, and Chandler. is a young player worth watching.
OL The line did not perform as well in 2008 as it did in prior years, or was it the runners fault?  Starting right guard Goff is an UFA and will need to be replaced.  The team could also look for a new right tackle.
DL Olshansky, Williams and Castillo are a good starting defensive line.  The unit needs better backups so these big bodies can get a little more rest and stay fresher.
LB This unit needs the return of Merriman and will get it.  He makes Phillips a better player.  Tucker got valuable experience with Merriman out and now will be a top reserve.  Cooper is a stud in the middle.  Dobbins is steady.  He beat out Wilhelm, a player who may need a change of scenery to resurrect his career.
DB I love this teams' corners.  Jammer, Cromartie and Cason give the team three players othyer teams would love to have.  Weddle had a solid rookie year but needs to play under a bit more control.  I believe he will successfully make that adjustment.  Hart's play fell off and he was replaced by Gregory.  Look for San Diego to try to upgrade free safety in the offseason.
ST Kaeding and Scifres are fine.  Sproles is a great return man but is an UFA and will, most likely, have to be replaced when he leaves for another team.

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 27 Antoine Cason CB 6'0.2" 191 Arizona #4 CB Round 1
3 69 Jacob Hester FB/RB 5'10.5" 226 LSU   Late Round Value
5 166 Marcus Thomas RB 6'0.2" 213 UTEP   Late Round Value
6 192 DeJuan Tribble CB 5'8.6" 189 Boston Col   Late Round Value
7 234 Corey Clark OT 6'5.3" 313 Texas A&M   Late Round Value
FA   Billy Pittman WR 5'11.1" 189 Texas   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   Brian Bonner SS/FS/Ret 5'10.7" 196 TCU   Late Round Value

 

C-

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

After the selection of Cason in round one, I didn't particularly like the Chargers' draft.  They also didn't add any players as college street free agents that made me say, "Wow".

DRAFT PICKS

Cason was an excellent pick in round one.  He has good size and quickness, is a good athlete, has enough speed, a nose for the ball and plays smart.  He will replace Florence as the nickel and, long term, be an upgrade.

Hester is a okay as a backup running back, and okay as a backup fullback.  I believe he was over-drafted in round three.  He is not as good a runner as Turner, and as a fullback, is more of a west coast fullback than a blocking back.  As Chrissie Hynde might say (sing), "Don't Get Me Wrong", he will be a valuable backup, but he will not be able to step in as a full time starter shout LT go down with an injury.  My pick here would have been Tashard Choice.  He is more Michael-Turner-like and could be a good NFL starter.

As a backup running back Thomas is more Jacob Hester than Michael Turner.  He does run hard and could be a good short-yardage and goal-line back.  If I were the Charger GM, I would have drafted Choice in round three and then grabbed defensive tackle Rubin here.  Rubin is a strong kid who I predict will develop into a great run-stuffer.  He would have apprenticed behind Williams and been the Chargers' best option should Williams, a key to their defense, missed any significant time.

Tribble looked intriguing on tape, but had a poor showing during Senior Bowl practices and followed that up with workout numbers that verified why he struggled in the post season.  Tribble does have good ball skills, so free safety could be his best NFL position.

The fact that Corey Clark had a nice workout was not surprising.  He has the rep of not playing up to his athletic ability.  As a seventh round pick he makes a lot of sense since the Chargers' coaching staff  can make a decision on whether or not he is worth developing, and if not, there is no major investment in him if he gets cut.  He has the physical skills, it will be interesting to see if he can be developed.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Pittman was a productive receiver at Texas but may not have the speed or quickness to transfer those skills to the NFL.

Bonner could be a surprise in camp.  He can play the run and the pass and will excel on special teams.  He also is a very good punt returner.  I look for him to grab one of the last spots since he can backup both safety spots and provide relief for Sproles in the return game should LT get injured.  Despite drafting Hester and Thomas, Sproles is the best backup running back on San Diego's roster.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Cason Antoine ARIZONA 6'0.2" 191 20 4.45 1.51 2.53 4.08 NA 7.07 36" 10'8"
Hester Jacob LSU 5'10.5" 226 23 4.60 1.60 2.67 4.24 NA 6.85 29" 9'3"
Thomas Marcus UTEP 6'0.2" 213 21 4.60 1.60 2.65 NA NA NA 30" 9'8"
Tribble DeJuan BOSTON COL 5'8.6" 189 13 4.59 1.56 2.64 4.19 NA 6.88 34.5" 9'8"
Clark Corey TEXAS A&M 6'5.3" 313 23 5.16 1.77 2.97 4.68 NA 7.47 29" 8'10'
Pittman Billy TEXAS 5'11.1" 189 12 4.71 1.63 2.77 4.40 NA 7.06 32.5" 9'6"
Bonner Brian TCU 5'10.7" 196 17 4.60 1.52 2.62 4.26 NA 7.03 34" 9'6"

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

SD          Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Rivers proved himself to be one tough cookie and played his best ball in the playoffs.  Volek is a free agent and will "bolt" only if he can't get an opportunity to start elsewhere (how's that for a play on words, twisting the meaning).  Whitehurst may not be ready to be the primary backup.  So if Volek leaves, an experienced quarterback will probably be added.
RB  LT2 is as good as it gets as starting running back.  However, long time sub Turner is a free agent and he will find a team that will, at least, give him an opportunity to start.  Sproles is explosive, but does not have the size to be an every down back if LT2 gets hurt.  The Chargers need to add a backup for LT2.
WR  Suddenly, the Chargers have an excellent starting tandem at wideout in Chambers and Jackson.  I called Davis a reach on draft day and I stand by that comment.  Between Parker, Davis and Naanee the Chargers could find a reliable #3, but look for them to add a receiver between round 3 and 5 in the draft to compete for that spot.
TE Gates, Manumaleuna and Chandler give comprise a solid unit top to bottom for San Diego.
OL  The Titan's line goes six deep with solid to star players.  However, backup inside (guard and center) are needed, and possibly a fourth tackle.
DL The starters are solid, but a young nose tackle to rotate with, and eventually take over after Williams should be added. 
LB No holes in the starting unit, young reserves with potential sitting in the wings.  A nice unit.
DB The Chargers have an excellent pair of corners.  With Florence likely to leave, however, there are questions regarding Gregory and Gordon as the nickel.  McCree should be replaced by Weddle next year.  Hart is an underrated player who is a solid pro, but a stud strong safety could make this unit the best starting secondary in the league.  At a minimum if McCree is gone, a backup a safety will have to be brought on board.
ST Solid all around unit, kicker, punter, and return man.

 

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's Ranking Jay's Draft Value
1 30 Davis, Craig WR 6-1 207 Louisiana State #20 WR Round 4
2 37 Weddle, Eric SS 5-11 200 Utah # 3 SS Round 2
3 96 Waters, Anthony ILB 6-3 245 Clemson # 7 ILB Round 3
4 129 Chandler, Scott TE 6-7 257 Iowa # 6 TE Round 3
5 172 Naanee, Legedu WR 6-2 225 Boise State Late Round Value
7 240 Siler, Brandon ILB 6-2 238 Florida # 4 ILB Round 3
FA Hicks,Jarrett WR 6-3 210 Texas Tech Off My Board
FA Arline, Anthony CB 6-1 195 Baylor #12 CB Round 3
FA Buckley, Eldra RB 5-10 202 Tenn-Chat Late Round Value
FA Battle, Tra FS 5-10 173 Georgia Late Round Value
FA Roach, Nick ILB 6-1 246 Northwestern Late Round Value
FA Robertson, Erik G/C 6-3 312 California Late Round Value
FA Leonard, Louis DT 6-5 322 Fresno State Late Round Value

 

C

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Chargers had a different opinion on Davis than me.  I had a fourth round grade on him.  They also gave up an awful lot to grab Weddle, who has tremendous potential, but is no sure thing.  On the plus side they got very good value with Chandler and Siler and signed some interesting college street free agents.

Huh?  I had a fourth round grade on Davis, not because he won't be a good NFL player, but because he is best suited as a #3 receiver, not a starter.  He has good (not great as advertised) speed, and his speed is more straight-line than quick-cutting.  He will be a solid NFL contributor but he will not be a star.  If I was going to roll the dice on a speed receiver in round one I would have drafted Jason Hill.  Gonzalez and Smith, drafted after Davis, will be better all around NFL receivers, and I had Clowney as a higher rated speed receiver because of a greater upside.  Weddle could develop into an excellent strong safety.  He better after what the Chargers gave up to get him (including a #3 next year).  Weddle has surprising speed and quickness and is a playmaker but will need to hit the weight room to be more of a force in the box.  Waters may need another year to fully recover from his knee injury, but should provide a solid backup to Wilhelm (who I predict will have a monster year) in time.  He is very good against the run.  Chandler was a great get in round four.  This kid is an excellent receiver.  He has reliable hands, has good quickness, and is sneaky fast.  Unfortunately, with Gates ahead of him, his chances will be limited.  Naanee is a former quarterback who should be a terror on special teams.  He is very strong, fast and athletic.  In time he could be a valuable member of the team because in addition to special teams he has upside as a receiver and, as a former quarterback, can be used in special plays.  I knew I liked Siler more than most, but I didn't think he would fall to round seven.  The Chargers got a steal.  He was a team leader who made tackles and even a few sacks.  However, he is not a particularly good athlete so he may have limited utility on special teams which is most likely why he fell.  I predict he should settle in nicely as Cooper's backup.

The Chargers have a number of college street free agents worth tracking.  Hicks has good size, good hands, and good change-of-direction skills.  He could stick as a special teams player and bottom of the roster player.  He is not an ideal development squad player because what you see is what you're going to get.  His lack of speed limits his upside.  Arline was one of the better college street free agent signings.  He was very good in college showing superb man-to-man cover skills and a nose for the ball.  He does lack quickness so he is best suited to cover a teams' larger outside receiver (he is 6'1") rather than coming in to cover slot receivers.  I look for him to make the Chargers roster or development squad and to be a contributor on defense by next year at the latest (if he is not plucked off their development squad by a team that needs a corner during the season).  Buckley is a surprisingly effective runner who will need to improve his receiving ability to stick.  He could work on that skill on the Chargers' development squad.  Battle could surprise.  He has very good quickness and athleticism and enough speed to be a backup defensive back.  He likes to hit but will need to add bulk and strength to be effective in that role in the NFL.  If Battle can bulk up he could be a versatile sub because he can cover okay as a corner and hit enough for a safety and special teams player.  Look for Battle to be given a year to mature physically on the Chargers' development squad.  Roach, like Waters, is coming back from an injury (broken leg), and like Waters, Roach was a productive player when healthy.  Roach was a tackle hound in college.  Robertson is a tough kid who knows his assignments and is very consistent.  However, he lacks athleticism.  He has a shot to stick as a backup offensive lineman because he can play guard or center and because the coaching staff will know exactly what they're getting if he has to fill in because of injury (which is a plus when calling plays).

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
DAVIS CRAIG LSU WR 6'1.1" 200   4.41 1.49  2.54       10'1"  
Davis has good straight-line speed but his quickness and sharp-cutting ability is just average as witnesses by the fact that he was an okay, but not dynamic punt returner.   While he also has reliable hands he didn't separate himself from the pack during the post-season.  He has the look of a long-term solid third wideout.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
WEDDLE ERIC UTAH SS/CB 5'11.2" 203 11 4.48 1.43 2.56 4.12   6.78 33.5" 9'5"
Weddle played very well at Utah and had a nice post-season, rising up draft boards.  However, he is a bit of a safety and corner tweener.  His best shot will be as a strong safety, where his speed, quickness, and cutting ability are pluses.  However, he will need to hit the weight room. 

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
WATERS ANTHONY CLEMSON ILB 6'2.5" 245 25                
Waters is coming off a knee injury.  He is a strong middle linebacker who will be a strong two-down NFL middle linebacker.  He plays the run very well but needs work against the pass.  Still, he could get overlooked because of his injury.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
CHANDLER SCOTT IOWA TE 6'6.5" 265 17 4.78 1.67 2.81 4.22 11.88 7.12 32" 9'3"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Chandler is another tight end who is more of a receiver than a blocker.  He impressed me during the Senior Bowl practices with his consistency catching the ball.  He has sneaky speed and quickness and is a big reliable target.  While some of the more athletic tight ends may be drafted ahead of Chandler, Chandler will have a better NFL career than many of them. 

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
NAANEE LEGEDU BOISE ST WR 6'2.1" 226 19 4.41  1.50 2.53  4.20   6.73 40" 9'11"
Naanee is a former quarterback who has the size, speed and athleticism to grow into a solid backup NFL receiver.  He is also a very strong kid so he should be a top special teams player.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
SILER BRANDON FLORIDA ILB 6'1.6" 241 23 4.62 1.56 2.66 4.39   7.34 30.5" 9'1"
Siler is a tough player to analyze in terms of where he will go in the draft.  He was a team leader and has good speed for an inside linebacker, but is a limited athlete.  However, he makes tackles and is a team leader, and I believe he will be a solid NFL player.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
HICKS JARRETT TEXAS TECH WR 6'2.7" 210   4.61  1.58 2.64 4.43   6.83 34.5 10'0"
Hicks has good hands and change-of-direction skills, but lacks speed and is only an average athlete.  He could stick as a special teams player and bottom of the roster player.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
ARLINE ANTHONY BAYLOR CB 6'1" 195 12 4.43 1.46 2.52 4.46   7.02 34.5" 10'4"
Arline is an underrated prospect.  He has good man cover skills and nose for the ball.  It was thought that he lacked speed, but he ran a 4.43.  He does lack top-end quickness but he could be a good outside corner who covers teams bigger receivers man-to-man.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
BUCKLEY ELDRA TENNESSEE-
CHATT
RB 5'9.4" 202 14 4.48 1.53 2.65 4.43   7.21 35.5" 10'0"
Buckley is a productive back with good running back skills.  He has good speed and knows how to find holes and run to daylight.  He has a shot to make a roster as a backup running back if he can improve his receiving skills.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BATTLE TRA GEORGIA FS/CB 5'10.3" 173 9 4.50 1.56 2.61 4.11   6.87 36" 10'0"
Battle is the classic case of a tweener.  He has corner size and hits like a strong safety, but because of his size and strength limitations may be best served as a free safety in the NFL.  In any case he has enough speed, good quickness and athleticism, and enough versatility to get a look as a possible backup defensive back in some team's camp.

COMBINE
NO

 

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ROACH NICK NORTH WESTERN ILB/OLB 6'0.4" 246                  
Before breaking his leg, Roach was a tackle hound with a nice NFL future.  His injury could result in him going undrafted, but he is worth a shot as a late round pick or free agent.  

COMBINE
NO

 

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ROBERTSON ERIK CALIFORNIA OG/C 6'2.5" 312                  
Robertson is a tough kid who plays with consistency.  However, he is limited athletically.  He could get a look in a camp and could surprise because as a backup you know what you'll get on the field.

COMBINE
NO

 

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LEONARD LOUIS FRESNO ST DT/NT 6'4.5" 322                  
Leonard battled injuries but is a strong, tough kid who could stick as a backup nose tackle.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB  The roster is set with a young starter, experienced backup, and developmental #3.
RB This only becomes a need area if Turner is moved.  Then a backup would be needed.
WR Jackson has upside.  McCardell is at the tail end of his career.  Parker should be a #3.
TE Another position where the roster is set.
OL Dielman is an UFA.
DL A backup nose tackle, a fourth DE.  Picky, but that's it.
LB Edwards and Godfrey are UFAs.  Their replacements are on the roster (Cooper, Wilhelm), but depth will be needed.
DB A starting SS is needed.  The Chargers are set at corner and have depth.
ST A solid return man would help, especially if Turner leaves.

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

San Diego
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 19 Cromartie, Antonio CB 6-2 207 Florida State # 3 CB Round 1
2 50 McNeill, Marcus OT 6-7 337 Auburn # 3 OT Round 1
3 81 Whitehurst, Charlie QB 6-5 222 Clemson # 6 QB Round 3
5 151 Dobbins, Tim ILB 6-1 247 Iowa State # 5 ILB Round 3
6 187 Clary, Jeromey OT 6-6 304 Kansas State Late Round Value > Round 4
6 188 Smith, Kurt K 6-0 181 Virginia   > Round 4
7 225 Page, Chase DT 6-4 286 North Carolina    
7 227 Martin, Jimmy C 6-4 303 Virginia Tech # 14 OT Round 4
  FA Elliot, Brett QB 6-3 210 Linfield Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Mihlhauser, Nick C 6-3 291 Wash State Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA McKinney, Brandon DT 6-1 324 Michigan State Late Round Value > Round 4

 

B+

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Chargers got excellent value with McNeill in round two, Dobbins in round five, and Martin in round seven. 

If Cromartie was healthy his junior year, and progressed as expected from his sophomore year, he would have been a top ten pick.  It is rare that you find a 6'2" plus corner with the speed to cover burners, the quickness to cover the smaller, sudden receivers, the size and vertical jump to cover the tallest of receivers, the strength to cover physical receivers, and who also has a knack for getting interceptions.  While Cromartie is a freakish athlete, he is still raw and will need to show he can utilize his abilities consistently.  However, he has the potential to be a top talent in the league.  McNeill was excellent value in round two.  I had a first round grade on McNeill where the main concern is for him to keep his weight down, not his ability to block.  McNeill should be the Chargers' eventual replacement for Roman Oben.  On one hand the Whitehurst pick surprised me, on another it didn't.  I am not as high on Rivers as many other are.  Therefore, I would have drafted a quarterback capable of being a starter should Rivers not live up to expectations, but I was surprised that the Chargers felt that way too.  Whitehurst has a NFL arm, good mobility in the pocket, and is a smart.  However, he is two years removed from playing like a top NFL prospect at Clemson (in his sophomore year), having a horrendous junior year, and rebounding some in his senior year in a simplified offensive scheme. Personally, I liked Croyle better than  Whitehurst.  Dobbins is a player on whom their were some mixed opinions.  I like the kid and he should be an ideal fit as an inside linebacker in the Chargers' 3-4.  He has speed and strength, loves to hit, and plays the run very well.  Clary has a nice mix of speed, size and strength and has the potential to develop into a solid backup tackle, but he's not there yet.  He could end up on the Charger's practice squad.  Smith is a kickoff special who I didn't think would be drafted.  Still, he could make the Chargers roster so it's hard to knock the pick, even though I don't love it.  Page is an undersized defensive tackle with strength and quickness who projects best as a defensive end in a 3-4, but is another player I didn't think would get drafted.  Rodrique Wright drafted one spot later was the better prospect.  Martin was excellent value in round seven.  He played tackle in college but is a much better run blocker than pass blocker and could become a solid starting guard.  He will need to add bulk to make the switch, but at 6'5", has the body to do so.

The Chargers signed three college street free agents of note.  Elliot will get a chance to show his stuff in preseason games and the Chargers will like what they see.  He is a transfer from Utah who threw 110 touchdown passes his two years at Division III Linfield.  With Feeley and Whitehurst ahead of him it will be interesting if he can force the Bolts to keep four quarterbacks, or if he lands on their practice squad.  Mihlhauser has the head and the feet to be a quality backup center, but needs to hit the weight room to get stronger if he is going to make a run at a roster spot.  McKinney is a big, strong man with limited mobility and athleticism, but could stick around as a developmental nose tackle.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Cromartie Florida State 6'2.4", 208 4.37 1.58 2.70 3.89   7.02 18 42" 11'0"  
CB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Cromartie has a great mix of speed, quickness, strength and a athleticism.  He was injured his junior year which makes him a risky pick both because of the injury and his lack of experience, but as far as raw tools are concerned, he is a top ten talent.  In his sophomore year Cromartie showed a nose for the ball (4 interceptions) as well as good coverage skills.
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McNeill Auburn 6'7.4", 336 5.07 1.76 2.99 5.04   8.19   31" 8'2"  
OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - McNeill is b
ig and strong.  He will need to show good footwork in workouts to be one of the top two or three tackles selected in the draft.
Mike Mayock, NFL Network - McNeill is not a player Mayock liked when studying tape, but he was an impressive athlete at the Combine and looked good in drills.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - McNeill is fast for a tackle and is a good athlete.  If he can keep his weight in check, McNeill has a chance to be an elite NFL tackle.  Currently, McNeill is more advanced as a pass blocker than a run blocker.
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Whitehurst Clemson 6'4.6", 224 4.70 1.67 2.76 4.11   7.00   33" 9'4" 33
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Cutler and Croyle were the talk of practice at the Senior Bowl, but Whitehurst gets the nod, ever so slightly for his play during the game.  No quarterback looked great during the game.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Whitehurst was considered a top prospect earlier in his career, injuries set him back, but he had a good Senior Bowl week and could move up the draft board.
Gil Brandt, NFL.com - Whiltehurst looked very good in position drills at his Pro Day even though he is still only 85%.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - After his sophomore year it appeared that Whitehurst would be a future top NFL pick.  Then he fell apart in his junior year completing just over 50% of his passes while throwing 17 interceptions and only 7 TD passes.  He did rebound in his senior year, completing about 2/3 of his passes, but still threw 10 interceptions and 11 TD passes.  Whitehurst has the arm, pocket mobility, and smarts to be a solid NFL starting quarterback, but he hasn't put it all together since his sophomore year.
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Dobbins Iowa State 6'1.4", 235 4.59 1.65 2.75 4.39   7.25 23 35.5" 9'2"  
ILB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Dobbins has a nice mix of size, speed and strength for an inside linebacker.  While Dobbins has only average athleticism, he loves to hit, and is a hard worker.  Dobbins' strength is against the run.
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Clary Kansas State 6'6.1", 309 4.88 1.87 3.12 4.66   7.75 26 29.5" 8'6"  
OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Clary has good speed, and strength and has the build to add even more muscle.  He is currently a work in progress with the potential to develop into a a good backup tackle.
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Smith Virginia K  
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Smith is a kickoff specialist who could be brought in as a free agent.
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Page North Car 6'4.3", 286             28      
DT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Page is an undersized defensive tackle with strength and quickness who could get a look in camp by a team that plays the 3-4 as a defensive end.
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Martin Virginia Tech 6'5", 303 5.14 1.80 3.03       26 32" 8'9"  
OT/OG
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Martin is a versatile lineman with good athleticism and strength.  He played tackle in college but run blocking is his strength and he could be a very good guard in the NFL if he adds bulk.
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Elliot Linfield 6'3", 210 5.13     4.59   7.68   29" 9'0"  
NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Elliot played in the Hula Bowl.  He showed accuracy, and ability to throw short and deep.  He was inconsistent, but could be a sleeper.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Elliot transferred from Utah.  He is a good leader in the huddle and in the locker room.  He has a NFL arm, and threw for 110 touchdown passes in his two years at Division III Linfield College.  Yes, I said 110 TD passes.
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Mihlhauser Wash State 6'2.6", 291 5.29     4.58   7.30 16 29" 8'7"  
C - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Mihlhauser is a smart player with good feet who could develop into a solid backup center if he hits the weight room.
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McKinney Mich State 6'1.4", 324 5.43     4.69   7.69 36 25.5" 7'8"  
DT/NT- NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - A one dimensional run stuffer with great strength and limited athleticism.  He could stick as a backup nose tackle in a 3-4 defense.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

SD
QB Brees is an UFA but he isn't going anywhere.  Even if he did, Rivers is there to start.  Feeley got a bit of a raw deal in Maimi and is poised to be the backup when either Brees or Rivers is finally moved.
RB The best stable of running backs in the league, lead by this generations LT.  Turner could start for some teams.  Sproles is a mini-dynamo who would be more of a spot player (think Dave Megget) on any other team because of his ability, skill, and home-run hitting potential.
WR McCardell is still very effective but should be a number two at this point in his career, not a lead receiver.  Parker has skill, but ideally is a third wideout.  Caldwell may be gone, Jackson could step up.  The Chargers need a number one receiver, and another receiver who can play in multiple receiver sets.
TE Gates is as good as it gets.  Peele is a good blocker, but is an UFA and will have to be replaced if he leaves.
OL The terrific story of two years ago, came back to earth last year.  The Chargers line was no where nears as good last year as it was two years ago.   As a result, the Chargers could look for a center and a guard to compete for starting spots, and a young tackle to develop behind Oben.  Hallen a RFA will also need to be resigned.
DL An excellent 3-4 line.  The only worry is depth because Scott is an UFA, and Ceasar a RFA.
LB Another strong unit.  Merriman, a player I indicated was under-valued I the draft despite projected as a top 10 to 15 pick, was a good as I thought he would be.  When Foley comes back healthy next year these two will surpass the pressure Porter and Haggans put on QBs in Pittsburgh.  That said, Edwards and Godfrey are, terrific, and solid respectively as starting inside backers.  Wilhelm, Cooper (both RFAs), Harris, and Leber (UFA) are quality reserves.   If the Chargers kkep their RFAs they are set at linebacker.
DB Florence, Jammer, and Davis have not lived up to expectations.  Of the three Davis is the most trouble to be given up on.  Fletcher played the nickel over Davis but he is an UFA.  At safety Kiel had a disappointing year, and Jue was okay, but not great.  Wilson and Pippens are good reserves, but not starters.  The Chargers may bring oin a top corner to shake things up, and competition for  both safeties.
ST A strength.  Kaeding, Scifries, Sproles, and Parker are a top-notch group.

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

San Diego - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 12 Merriman, Shawne OLB 6-4 253 Maryland # 1 DE (# 1 OLB) Round 1
1 28 Castillo, Luis DT 6-3 306 Northwestern # 2 DT Round 1
2 61 Jackson, Vincent WR 6-5 241 Northern Colorado #14 WR Round 3
4 130 Sproles, Darren RB 5-6 181 Kansas State # 7 RB Round 3
5 164 Britt, Wesley OT 6-8 314 Alabama # 7 OT Round 3
6 177 Sims, Wes G 6-4 317 Oklahoma   > Round 4
7 242 Mruczkowski, Scott C 6-4 321 Bowling Green Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Pollard, Johnathan ILB 6-1 247 Oregon State #9 ILB, #9 OLB Round 3
FA   Burks, Justin ILB 6-0 244 Arizona State Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Elimimian, Abraham CB 5-9 188 Hawaii Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Griffeth, Kelly TE 6-5 284 Fort Hayes State Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   McCarty, Cody TE 6-4 263 TCU Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Lekkerkerker, Cory OT 6-7 323 Cal-Davis Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Duckett, Adell DE 6-3 270 Texas Tech Late Round Value > Round 4

 

The Chargers had one slight reach (Jackson), that I can't really argue, and two excellent value picks to start off day two of the draft (Sproles, Britt).

Overall, I liked the Chargers draft.  Shawne Merriman will be the top defender to come out of this draft.  He will be a difference maker on defense, a player teams will have to scheme against.  While Ware will be a good player, Parcells will come to dread his decision to pass on Merriman.  Merriman will not only get after the quarterback, but he will also get his share of tackles.  Castillo was the best athlete amongst all defensive tackles in the draft.  he was also very productive on the field.  He has the size needed to play inside in a 3-4 defense, and the athletic ability to slide outside and play end in the 3-4 as well.  Jackson was drafted a little higher than I had him graded.  If he was a little faster, I would have looked at him as a second round pick.  However, he has great size, and good quickness and athletic ability.  He could develop into a very good starting receiver.  Sproles could be a steal in the fourth round.  At worst he is a Dave Meggett.  At best, he is a Napoleon Kaufman. While it's a given he will be a game-breaking return man, and third down back, he could be much more.  He could see the field as on first and second downs, both as a change-of-pace back, and as a slot receiver.  Remember, in addition to excellent speed and quickness, at under 5'6", he lifted the bar 23 times, one of the better performances amongst the running backs in the draft.  Sproles is a difference-make drafted on day two!  Britt was injured during the pre-draft process so he couldn't workout.  However, his injuries allowed the Chargers to draft this third round talent in round five.  Sims is the first "miss" for the Chargers in this draft.   I liked Kemoeatu and Meyers, both drafted after him, much better.  Sims played tackle in college and will be moved to guard.  Mruckowzski dominated at Bowling Green, but will need to work on his technique to make the successful transition to the NFL.  He was definitely worth a seventh round pick.  

The Chargers followed up a good draft with some excellent college street free agent signings.  The best is Johnathan Pollard.  Pollard played defensive end in college, but projects to inside linebacker in the NFL.  He has the quickness and toughness needed to be a very successful 3-4 inside linebacker.  Burks is another 3-4 inside linebacker candidate.  Burks was a team leader, and very productive player at Arizona State.  His speed (or lack of), however, meant he would only have a chance to stick on a team that plays the 3-4.  Burks is a limited player, but one who has great strength, and good leadership qualities.  Elimimian is a smallish corner without great speed, or exceptional quickness.  He was productive in college, but that was in a conference where the top receiver (his teammate Owens) ran a 4.62 forty.  He's worth a look.  Griffeth is a massive (284 pounds) tight end who could stick as a blocker.  He could also land on the Chargers' development squad.  McCarty, on the other hand, is intriguing as a two-way tight end.  He is a throwback to the slow, sure-handed, tough, tight ends who can get open in the short zones, catch the ball, and are tough to bring down.  If it comes down to Griffeth or McCarty, loof for McCarty to stick.  Lekkerkerker is a tough guy who could force his way onto the Chargers' roster.  Duckett is a little light for a 3-4 defensive end, but with a 6-3 frame could put on the weight needed.  In his college career, Duckett did not always go all out on every down, and was much better rushing the passer than playing the run.  He will need to finally tap his potential to stick with San Diego.

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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Merriman DE/OLB 4.61   4.21     25 40" 10'1" 19

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

What is a high first round pick doing on my list? I'll tell you. Scouts are minimizing the impact Merriman will have in the NFL. Considering he is a top ten to twelve pick on most draft boards, that let's you know the impact I predict he will have in the league. He will be a dominating player, and people will scratch their heads and wonder why he wasn't selected in the top five. Make that the top three. Merriman is the best defensive player in the draft. He will be a difference-maker in the NFL.

Vic Carucci of NFL.com reports: After choosing not to work out at the combine, Merriman made a strong comeback with the many club representatives he disappointed at Indianapolis with an impressive showing at Maryland's Pro Day ... Athletic enough to play end or outside linebacker, and has the versatility to be a nice fit in a 3-4 scheme.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Merriman bulked up and kept his athleticism.  He can play either outside linebacker or defensive end in the NFL and be a dominate player. 
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
He was already projected as a prospect to be chosen in the top half of the first round, but Maryland defensive end/linebacker Shawne Merriman is a physical specimen who might be off the board in the top 10 picks now. Merriman measured 6-feet-4 and 272 pounds on Saturday and looked like his frame could handle another 10-15 pounds with no problem. He is certainly a "cut" player, a guy with a live-looking body and, in a league where so many teams are going to a 3-4 defensive front and seeking hybrid "edge" players, his stock figures to skyrocket. Merriman can play in a two-point stance, then move up to end and put his hand on the ground in "nickel" situations, and some scouts feel he could even play middle linebacker. The defensive coordinator for a team that went deep into the playoffs in 2004 suggested that Merriman is good enough to start for his unit right now.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
A bit of an outside linebacker-defensive end tweener, he has the athletic ability to play outside linebacker in the NFL.  It may take some time, but he will be an excellent blitzing linebacker.
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Castillo DT 4.79 1.67 4.26     32 34.5" 9'4" 37
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Castillo had a great workout and is moving up draft boards.  Scouts knew he was a monster run-stuffer, but didn't expect the speed he displayed.  Could be a very very good NFL player.
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Jackson WR 4.56 1.57 4.00 11.49   23 39" 10'9" 33
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Jackson had an excellent workout for a man 6'5" and 241 pounds.  He will need time to develop, but has the raw tools to be a good NFL player.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Jackson was virtually invisible during the Senior Bowl game.
Pat Kirwan of NFL.com reports:
Vincent Jackson from Northern Colorado was working with the wide receivers but may become a hybrid tight end/wide receiver. At 6-foot-5, 223 pounds, he wasn't the quickest wide receiver on the North team, but he is put together and is much more intriguing as a tight end prospect (Senior Bowl practice).
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
  It was hard to miss Northern Colorado WR Vincent Jackson. At 6-4, 238, Jackson is an imposing prospect; he sloughed off smaller CBs trying to jam him at the line of scrimmage with ease, was always open in the intermediate zones and also showed some intriguing deep speed; Jackson, though, also dropped a couple of passes. 
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Sproles RB 4.38 1.55 3.96 11.13 6.96 23 33" 8'9" 21
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: With Fason, Morency, and to a lesser extent Arrington not running in the 4.3's, Sproles becomes the one true home-run-hitting speed back in the draft.  While he is small, he could be used in a similar fashion to the way Napoleon Kaufman was used by the Raiders years ago.  Others poor workouts, coupled with his obvious pure speed and quickness, has Sproles moving up my board despite his small stature.
Allen Trieu of NFLDraftShowcase.com reports:
Sproles didn't have as strong a senior season as most people expected. Still, he has great open field ability and has the set of skills it takes to be a great 3rd down back at the NFL level.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
Darren Sproles of Kansas State, was so quick out of the blocks in the 40, scouts monitoring the event made him start over because they couldn't hit the stopwatch fast enough.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:
Another tailback who doesn't rank among the big three, but who might be a middle-round steal as a situational player is Darren Sproles. The former Kansas State standout certainly is a munchkin-sized back, but he is very thick through the thighs and legs, has long speed, and catches the ball well. "We like him a lot," one NFC backfield coach said. "If he hits the hole and pops through, he's going to run a long, long way. Get him eight 'touches' a game, maybe some as a [kickoff] returner, and he'll make some plays."
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Sproles did 23 reps of 225 pounds at the combine, showing very good strength for a player his size.

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Sproles was electrifying in the Senior Bowl game showing big play ability, speed, quickness, sharp stop and starts, and excellent cuts, both as a returner and runner.  However, he is still under 5'6" which even limits him on third downs because of mismatches blocking.  Still, he has the ability to make big plays.  A dilemma.  One of my top six players in the game, however, from an NFL-stand point I liked Houston better.
Pat Kirwan of NFL.com reports: 
Darren Sproles (Kansas State) is tiny, but behind the massive offensive line of the North team, he showed he can be effective (Senior Bowl practice). Some teams will shy away from him because he is just under 5-foot-6, but he can play.
Jamie Moore of GBNReport.com reports: A couple of  undersized players showed well on Monday. Diminutive Kansas State RB Darren Sproles showed impressive quickness and acceleration. 
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Britt OT           24     33
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Injuries have limited Britt in workouts which will negatively impact his draft position.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Alabama OT Wesley Britt did a nice job in pass protection, getting good arm extension and moving his feet well.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Has the talent and body to be a dominate player.  He's not there yet, but, in time, could be as good as the top two (Barron and Brown).
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Sims OG/OT 5.37 1.85 4.45   7.60 26 28" 9'0" 22
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Originally, I didn't think Sims skills would transition well to the NFL because he lacked the lateral mobility to be tackle, and , I thought, the quickness to be a pulling guard.  However, during his workout, he showed acceptable quickness for a guard (4.45 is among the better numbers for a guard as well as a tackle, and 7.60 is just below the top numbers for guards).
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Mruczkowski C           28     28
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Mruczkowski dominated at Bowling Green.  However, he will, obviously, face much better competition in the NFL.  He will have to hit the weight room  and learn better technique to make it at the next level.  However, he does have a good skill set with which to work .
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Pollard ILB/OLB 4.72 1.65 4.08   7.42 21 35" 9'8" 24
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Pollard is an interesting prospect.  He played defensive end in college, but projects as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.  This is a trend set by the Patriots moving players like Bruschi from college end to NFL inside linebacker.  Pollard has the skills, and game, to make a successful transition to inside linebacker in the NFL.
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Burks ILB 4.83   4.56 12.46 7.46 32 28" 9'1" 24
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Burks was a two-year starter at linebacker.  He was a defensive leader who made a huge impact in the middle as a senior, leading his team in tackles. He is a very strong young man, who is ideal for an inside spot in a 3-4 defense because of his lack of top-notch speed.
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Elimimian CB 4.62   4.06     14 39" 10'1" 28
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: While Elimimian has good cover skills, lacks the height and the speed to be a starting nickel corner, however, he could be a good special teams player and an extra defensive back.  
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Hawaii CB Abraham Elimimian  stood out with some very sticky coverage (at Senior Bowl practice on Tuesday) and also showed a very feisty side.
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Griffeth TE 4.95 1.71 4.33   7.26 21 28" 8'7" 28
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: At 6'5", 284 pounds, Griffeth is a load.  He could stick as a blocking tight end.
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McCarty TE 4.97   4.49   7.84   30" 8'9"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: McCarty is a throw-back to the day of the slow, tough tight end who can block, work the short areas, catch the ball, and is difficult to bring down.  McCarty is not starting material in the NFL, but he is a player who should make a roster and contribute.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
McCarty caught the ball well during the Senior Bowl game, and ran hard after the catch.
InsideThe League.com reports:
TCU TE Cody McCarty looked very good running routes and making catches with his hands during workouts Tuesday, Jan. 25, for the South workout at Mobile, Ala.
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Lekkerkerker OT 5.41   4.76   7.97 25 32" 8'10"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Lekkerkerker is a hard-working, tough kid who should stick as a development project on some team's practice squad.  Down the line, he will be a good NFL backup.
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Duckett DE 4.97 1.71 4.35   7.76 14 34.5" 8'9" 23
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Duckett has had his share of injuries, but when healthy, is a good pass rusher. 

 

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: Brees QB, Wilson S
Key RFA: Chatman RB, Peele TE (4th), Scott DE, Leber LB (3rd)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: Brees and Rivers will be together again.  At least for one more year.  Flutie hangs in as the third QB.
RB:
Tomlinson backed up by Chatman and Turner.  The Chargers are lucky this is a deep running back draft, otherwise, Chatman could have been targeted as a RFA.
WR: McCardell, Parker and Osgood are an okay top three.  A true number one is needed.  McCardell is a move-the-chains receiver, Parker is a big-play waiting to happen but isn't big enough to be a true number one.  Osgood needs to continue to improve.
TE:
Gates is the closest thing to Gonzalez since Heap.  Peele is a good backup.
OL: The Chargers got good line play using tape and plaster last year.  Their line player better as a whole than the parts indicated.  Will that be the case again in 2005?  I would bring in some talent to be sure.
DL: Olshansky was a good draft pick.  He is a strong young man who is a perfect 3-4 end.  Dingle, however, can be improved upon.  Williams is good in the middle.  Depth all along the line also needs to be addressed.
LB: Edwards and Foley are pro bowl players.  Leber, a RFA, is also a skilled player.  Godfrey, works in this defense because of the talent around him.  Wilhelm is a good young backup, who could replace Godfrey.
DB: Davis, Jammer and Florence are three good young corners.  Even Fletcher has found a role, after being a first round disappointment in Miami.  But then it's a long way form shut down corner to dime back.  Kiel regressed a little last year, but still has talent.  Wilson is an UFA, and is replaceable.  Milligan could be the guy, but competition should be brought in for him.
ST:
Despite his miss in the playoffs, Kaeding is a fine young kicker.  Scrifes is also a top punter.  Parker and Dwight handle the return game capably.

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

San Diego - Manning traded for Rivers, Philip
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 1 Manning, Eli QB 6-4 218 Mississippi
2 35 Olshansky, Igor DT 6-5 309 Oregon
3 65 Kaeding, Nate K 6-0 187 Iowa
3 66 Hardwick, Nick C 6-3 283 Purdue
4 98 Phillips, Shaun DE 6-2 252 Purdue
5 133 Ball, Dave DE 6-5 277 UCLA
5 154 Turner, Michael RB 5-10 237 Northern Illinois
6 169 Krause, Ryan WR 6-2 244 Nebraska-Omaha
7 204 Bingham, Ryon DT 6-3 303 Nebraska
7 209 Olivea, Shane OT 6-2 312 Ohio State
7 254 Joseph, Carlos OT 6-6 342 Miami (Fla.)

 

Time will tell whether or not the Chargers made a smart decision trading away Eli Manning.  However, my issue is not with the trade, but with the quarterback they "selected" at number four.  Rivers will get more bang for the buck the next couple of years, and he will be a steady, solid pro; but I believe that Roethlisberger will be a star.  In round two the Chargers drafted a player I had with a first round grade.  Olshansky has tremendous strength and excellent quickness.  He will be a stud.  However, I would have gone with WR Henderson or WR Colbert in round two; and then DT Starks or DT Washington in round three instead of Hardwick.  Both are solid defensive tackles and were available when the Chargers were up in round three.  Speaking of round three, while some may question Kaeding, he was the best kicker in the draft and may not have been available for the Bolts in round four.  So no argument there.  However, I had a late fourth round grade on Hardwick.  He has excellent potential, but is no sure thing.  He also may have been on the board in round four, and I like the potential of round five DE Dave Ball more than their fourth round selection, Shaun Phillips; so picking Hardwick or a center like Stepanovich or Leckey in the fourth (in place of Phillips) would have been better.  That also would have allowed the Chargers to select a wide receiver like Hamilton, Berrian or Darling in the third.  Michael Turner was excellent value in the fifth round.  He had a third round grade from me.  He should provide adequate (at least) Tomlinson-insurance.  Turner has speed and strength and was a very productive college running back.  Krause is a possession receiver with good size and questionable speed.  He may help in multiple receiver sets catching the ball over the middle, moving the chains.  But he has a limited upside.  Bingham has a chance to stick as a rotation-depth player.  Can't ask for much more than that for a seventh round pick.  If Olivea can be kept on track he could be a useful sub, but that's a big if.  Joseph was a seventh round steal.  Don't get too excited, seventh round steals doesn't mean future pro bowl.  It means Joseph should make the team and should develop into a useful player; either a top sub or functional starter.  As far as college street free agents, the two I like the most are WR Floyd, who could out-play Krause and take a roster spot away from him; and DE Pollard who should be in the mix for a backup defensive line position.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

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Rivers 6-4¾, 224 4.95 4.34 7.34 32½" -
Rivers
NC State

#3 ranked QB  by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: Rivers was probably the best quarterback here (Senior Bowl practices),but nobody blew the scouts away.  He really stood out when the coaches went to the two minute offense. Rivers was at his best in this drill.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: His Senior Bowl performance answered any doubts about his effectiveness due to his unorthodox throwing style or lack of a great arm. Rivers looked like a first round draft choice and a future leader at QB for some NFL team.
Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports: QB Phil Rivers, North Carolina State... Had pro scouts arguing among themselves (and maybe with themselves) because of that an odd 3/4 arm delivery. Rivers, though, was consistently very accurate with decent velocity and a nice quick, compact, albeit unorthodox, delivery; indeed, it may very well be that the 3/4 arm delivery actually helps Rivers get rid of the ball so quickly, particular when working out of a 5-step drop (comments from the Senior Bowl).
SportingNews.com reports: Thanks to great Senior Bowl workouts last week and his MVP performance in Saturday's game, Phillip Rivers jumps 17 spots in The War Room's updated Super 99 rankings. Rivers, from NC State, leaps ahead of Tulane's J.P Losman as the No. 3 quarterback behind Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:  Several teams appear intrigued by Phillip Rivers, the North Carolina State quarterback with the unusual release point.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:  North Carolina State's Phillip Rivers was 6-feet-5, 229 pounds (at Combine).
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Phillip Rivers, QB, N.C. State: Because the on-field workouts begin later in the week this year, it is a bit unfair to judge players, but there seems to be no stopping the momentum of quarterback Phillip Rivers of North Carolina State. He began to surge up draft boards after his work at the Senior Bowl all-star game, both in the practices and the contest, where he was named the most valuable player. Rivers has terrific size and, despite an unusual release point, a strong arm. He won't work out here, in terms of throwing the ball, but likely will run the 40 and do some of the other drills. Most teams now view him as a certain first-round prospect and one team currently has him rated ahead of Roethlisberger.
Pat Kirwan of NFL.com reports: QB Philip Rivers is gathering some momentum and is making a move at the No. 2 spot among quarterbacks in some people's eyes.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Rivers (6-5, 224) threw the ball to three receivers, including Jerricho Cotchery, and two running backs. Our sources informed us that he was very accurate.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Roethlisberger is sliding a bit and many teams (like Pittsburgh) now have Rivers rated ahead of him..
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Olshansky DT 6-5 1/8, 318 4.97 1.74 4.42 7.62 43 34" 9-1
Olshansky
Oregon

#4 ranked DT  by Jaybird

Pete Fiutak / CollegeFootballNews.com posted at foxsports.com reports: Projected: 2nd to 4th round. Good or bad move to come out early? Way raw but with a great upside, Olshansky might slide because he still needs a bit of work. Even though it didn't cost him much this season, NFL teams could be freaked a bit about a back injury that kept him out of spring ball. He might be the strongest tackle in the draft.
Mel Kiper of ESPN.com reports: Would have been one of the top 10 to 15 picks if he came out next year.  Is now a mid-to-late first round pick..
Kaeding
Iowa

#1 ranked K  by Jaybird

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Iowa's Nate Kaeding should be the first kicker off the board in the college draft.
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Hardwick C 6.03.4, 295 5.10 1.80 4.58 7.23 27 32½" 9-6
Hardwick
Purdue

#5 ranked C  by Jaybird

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hardwick  is a good athlete for a center.  He will need seasoning and coaching but could develop into a quality starting center.
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Phillips DE 6-03.4, 254 4.69 - 4.21 - 19 34' 9-7
Phillips
Purdue

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Unless DE Phillips can become more powerful and iron out his weaknesses, he would be no more than a situational pass rusher in the NFL. However, with the athleticism and steady progress he has made in college I think he will be an attractive prospect in early day two of the draft.
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Ball DE 6-5 1/8, 274 4.99 - 4.63 7.46 29 28" 8-6
D Ball
UCLA

#9 ranked DE  by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: David’s future in the NFL is certain, he will be a valuable defensive lineman. However, it will be up to him as to if he plays defensive end or tackle. If he gets in better condition, drops a little weight, and improves his speed and endurance he could be an excellent defensive end, a power type, obviously not a speed rusher.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Ball did not run the forty yard dash on pro day, he said he had a bad left calf. 
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Turner 5-10 3/8, 237 4.48 1.56 2.61 4.15 7.50 22 31" 9-6
Turner
Northern Ill.

#7 ranked RB  by Jaybird

Nolan Nawrocki and Mike Wilkening of ProFootballWeekly.com report: Northern Illinois RB Michael Turner has also lined up at fullback at times this week (at Senior Bowl practices)
Vic Ketchman, of jaguars.com reports: Michael Turner, 5-10, 237, of Northern Illinois has do-it-all talent. He's a powerful inside runner who has the speed to get around the corner and beat defenders. Turner has major upside potential, but there are questions about his intensity and his passion for the game. He looked slow at the Senior Bowl and, though his talents will attract a team in the third round, he represents significant risk.
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Krause 6-2½, 244 4.64 - - - - - - -
Krause
Nebraska-Omaha

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Ryan Krause will succeed in the NFL. I am sure he will wind up with a team as a possession type of WR and do very well. He has the tools and attitude to succeed, has no baggage to contend with , has been durable through out his career, and surprisingly productive for a team known for grinding it out on the ground. I wonder what kind of stats he would have had in a high-octane offense? His workouts at the combine will be critical, especially his 40 time.
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Bingham DT 6-03.1, 303 5.12 - - - 33 - -
Bingham
Nebraska

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Bingham is a solid prospect.  After recovering from a broken foot in 2000, he has proven very durable, and has shown he is willing to put in the work needed to improve his game. He has a chance to be drafted late.
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Olivea T 6.03.1, 306 5.12 - - - - - 8-9
Olivea
Ohio State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Here is a man who may eat himself out of millions of dollars and a chance to play in the NFL. He is a huge behemoth of a man with a high amount of body fat and not enough speed and technique. He needs to get to work converting some of that fat to muscle to improve his speed and agility. He would be best playing at around 300 to 310, increasing his speed, and moving to ROT or possibly OG in the NFL.  In addition to this weight concern is the fact that he suffered a broken ankle in 2001. Easy to add up, broken ankle + excessive weight = trouble. He cannot expect to just overpower players in the NFL with bulk and strength alone. Speed rushers will eat him alive with his poor technique and slow feet. With his short arms the big boys using good techniques will make him realize he will not be able to bully them around either.  Shane certainly has a lot of upside but will he realize it before he finishes his career waiting for his next Big Mac at the local drive thru? I hope so. I love his attitude, playing downright nasty, and his 100% effort on every play. What a shame it will be if he doesn’t realize his potential. I will be anxious to see what his figures are at the combine, as I am sure many GMs are also.
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Joseph T 6-5 7/8, 345 5.33 - 5.09 8.26 29 29" 8-0
Joseph
Miami

#9 ranked OT  by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: Carlos Joseph is still developing the techniques, which will eventually lead him to being a top quality starter at OT in the NFL. He started out on the defensive side of the ball so has limited exposure to the OT position compared to many others in his draft class. However, he has shown with his great natural skills and athleticism that he has all that is needed to succeed.
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Welker (WR) 5-8¾, 195 4.61 - 4.01 - 7.09 - 30" 9-5
Welker
Texas Tech

Jaybird: below 4th round

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Welker is described as quicker than fast.
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Floyd (WR) 6-4, 214 4.44 - 4.18 - 6.66 - 38" -
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Pollard DE 6-02, 265 4.84 1.65 - - 22 30" 9-4

 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

San Diego
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 30 Davis, Sammy CB 6-0 186 Texas A&M
2 46 Florence, Drayton CB 6-0 198 Tuskegee
2 62 Kiel, Terrance FS 5-11 204 Texas A&M
3 80 Van Buren, Courtney G 6-6 353 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
4 112 Wilhelm, Matt ILB 6-4 245 Ohio State
5 149 Scifres, Mike P 6-2 236 Western Illinois
6 188 Milligan, Hanik FS 6-2 201 Houston
7 229 Pinnock, Andrew FB 5-10 265 South Carolina

A-

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

Sammy Davis was one of my 12-to-watch.  He will be a solid corner for a long time in the league.  The Chargers now have a good young pair of corners with Davis and Jammer.  Florence is another corner with a big upside.  He is a big corner who can run but will need some time to develop.  Kiel will be the Chargers starting strong safety by the end of year.  He is a better option than Beckett.  Van Buren has massive size and is strong but needs work.  An intriguing prospect but a slight reach in round three.  Wilhelm was also one of my 12-to-watch.  He is an over-achieving, high-effort player who showed more athleticism than most scouts thought he had during his on-campus workout.  He may be the linebacker that ultimately starts in Seau's spot and he should have a long, productive career.  Scifres is a solid punter who can also kickoff.  Milligan has skills but needs work.  Not a bad prospect to take a chance on in round seven.  Pinnock is more of a one-back than a true blocking fullback.  He could be a backup to Tomlinson rather than an option at fullback.
Davis ProFootballWeekly.com reports Texas A&M CB Sammy Davis, who said he’s going to work out at the Combine. The 5-11, 186-pound Davis’ draft stock is on the rise after a good Senior Bowl
AllProScouting.com reports Sammy Davis ran a 4.41 forty at the combine.
Draft2003.com reports, Sammy Davis, Texas A&M -- Ran 4.46 in the 40... 40" vertical and 18 reps of 225 pounds... great combination of physical numbers from a kid that makes plays both on defense and special teams...
Florence Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports,  Observations from one AFC general manager:, "the cornerback from Tuskegee, (Drayton) Florence, I like a lot. Good size, a mean streak, played at a small-time level school but doesn't back off and isn't awed by all this. He has the size you want and he moved better than I felt he would. I haven't seen him enough yet on tape but, when I get back home, he's a player I want to do a little more digging on."
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports Drayton Florence from Tuskegee ran only once (4.37) as he said he had a tight hamstring, but he did work out afterwards.
Kiel Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports Texas A&M's safety Terrence Kiel ran a 4.45 forty at the combine and helped himself quite a bit.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Kiel worked out nearly the same as he did at the Combine, running 4.47 and 4.53.
Wilhelm WORKOUT NUMBERS Great Blue North (GBNReport.com) reports, according to the The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State MLB Matt Wilhelm ran in the high 4.5's.  Wilhelm's athletic demonstration was a bit of a surprise. (Gil Brandt of NFL.com had these numbers:  6-3 7/8, 243-pounds  4.68 and 4.66 forties, jumped vertically 39 inches, jumped horizontally 10-foot-1, ran the short shuttle in 4.15 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.61 seconds).
Pinnock WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Pinnock weighed 255 pounds, which was 10 pounds less than at the Combine. He ran 4.75 on Turf and had a 32-inch vertical and a 9-foot, 6-inch broad jump.

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT Shop the San Diego Chargers Official Online Store

GRADE : B


Jammer is a great player but I thought an OT or WR Stallworth would have been a better pick in this spot.  Jammer is good but is he in the Deion Sanders category?  Time will tell.  OG Fonoti was agreat pick in round two.  Tomlinson will love him.  Likewise, Caldwell was a solid pick and he, maybe even more than Gaffney, should break the Florida WR jinx.  He could be a better option as a starting WR than Dwight who is a perfect third down slot receiver.  OLB Leber is has skills and can develop behind Edwards for a couple of years while playing special teams.  TE Pelle is sort of an Alexander clone which makes sense since Alexander is being counted on in this offense but gets hurt a lot.  WR Charles was a good pick and an interesting prospect.  All he does is get open deep and is a big target.  He could developwith more coaching.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team.

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 5 Jammer, Quentin CB 6-0 204 Texas
2 39 Fonoti, Toniu G 6-4 349 Nebraska
2 48 Caldwell, Reche WR 6-0 194 Florida
3 71 Leber, Ben OLB 6-3 244 Kansas State
4 103 Peelle, Justin TE 6-4 255 Oregon
5 142 Charles, Terry WR 6-3 207 Portland State
6 178 Anderle, Matt OT 6-6 327 Minnesota
7 216 Burford, Seth QB 6-3 241 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Click here to go to 900 Football Links prospect news to check out more info