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Chargers Draft Grades: What the Experts Have to Say
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In the immediate aftermath of the NFL Draft, fans are eager to see what experts and top pundits have to say about their team’s selections. While it is far too soon to know how any team’s crop of players will pan out, many around the league believe the Los Angeles Chargers had one of the best drafts of the weekend.
Here is what a few of them had to say.
DRAFT GRADE: A
The newest team to move to Los Angeles needed a fresh start, and this class will help. We speculated before the draft whether the Chargers would draft a future replacement for Philip Rivers, instead they seem intent to make him better than ever. Keenan Allen has played only nine games over the past two seasons, which is why I pegged receiver as the Chargers' top need. Los Angeles got my top-ranked receiver at No. 7 in Mike Williams, a potential perennial Pro Bowler who can be thrown to even when covered. He made Deshaun Watson better last season, snagging errant throws and taking them to the house. The Chargers just need to get Allen and Williams on the field at the same time. That's a strong, young core, along with former undrafted free agent Tyrell Williams and tight end Hunter Henry. Philip Rivers has to be thrilled, and fantasy experts agree.
After cutting D.J. Fluker, guard moved up to a need, and Los Angeles went with two interior linemen on Day 2. It got my Nos. 1- and 3- ranked guards in Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. Lamp, a four-year starter at left tackle for Western Kentucky, could end up as the Chargers' starting center when the 2017 season begins. Former Jim Thorpe Award winner Desmond King could end up at safety or slot corner -- he had 14 career interceptions. That was good value in the fifth. Isaac Rochell isn't much of a pass-rusher, but he can help in the running game.
Favorite Pick: Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky (pick No. 38)
I had Lamp rated as the top offensive lineman in the draft, and the Chargers, who had a massive need at both guard and tackle, saw the Western Kentucky product fall to them in the second round. Lamp plays with great toughness and he dominated Alabama pass-rushers Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson this past season. He's good athlete and should be a plug-and-play starter at guard in Los Angeles. The Chargers also found good value by drafting Desmond King (our No. 77 player) with the 151st pick.
DRAFT GRADE: A
The Chargers took WR Mike Williams at No. 7, which is an exciting pick and will help Philip Rivers keep that passing game cranked up. They might not have needed him, per se, but his talent is huge. The players they did need came in Rounds 2 and 3, in the form of G/T Forrest Lamp (No. 38) and G Dan Feeney (No. 71). A fantastic Day 2 haul that should go a long way toward fixing a long-troublesome, oft-banged up line. Rayshawn Jenkins (No. 113) and Desmond King (No. 151) back-to-back on Day 3 also should help. Keep a close eye on King, whose playmaking skills alone should have gotten him off the board much earlier.
Day 1 grade: A-
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: B+
Overall grade: B+
Mike Williams is a physically dominating receiver who will make life easier for Philip Rivers. He has enough speed to make plays (and) Keenan Allen's injury forced the team's hand, as well. It will be interesting to see where second-round pick Forrest Lamp plays for the Chargers; he would be an excellent center. It was an excellent value pick. The Chargers again bolstered the interior of the line with Dan Feeney, who will play guard to protect Philip Rivers and block for Melvin Gordon. Hitting two interior linemen that early is a bit of a knock, as they need safety and linebacker help. The Chargers' safety group needed an upgrade. Desmond King (fifth round) and Rayshawn Jenkins (fourth) should help in that effort. Finding an aggressive swing tackle in Sam Tevi in the sixth was nice, and adding versatile 3-4 lineman Isaac Rochell in the seventh was a solid pick.
Draft Grade: A
The Chargers were clear with that they wanted to do — they are making the push in 2017. Mike Williams, Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, and Sam Tevi will help the Chargers' offense this season. Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King are tremendous Day 3 values that will fit Gus Bradley's defense to a T.
MMQB’s Peter King:
OFFENSIVE PICKS OF THE WEEK:
Forrest Lamp (second round, 38th overall) and Dan Feeney (third round, 71st overall), guards, L.A. Chargers. GM Tom Telesco knew he had a major weakness in his offensive line, and I’ll be surprised if both of these men are not starting by midseason.
Day 1: Williams brings a big-bodied option to the Chargers offense as he can go up and get it during contested situations and he uses his body well to move the chains. He can be a good possession receiver at the minimum but it’s his downfield ball skills that will allow him to create big plays as well. QB Philip Rivers has no problem letting his receivers make plays in contested situations, and that’s where Williams excels as he caught 17 of 29 targets on contested catches, one of the highest percentages in the draft class.
Day 2: The Chargers added valuable pieces to their offensive line, starting with Lamp who ranked among the top-five offensive tackles in the nation in each of the last three years for Western Kentucky. He’ll likely move to guard for the Chargers. Feeney will get a chance to compete at guard as well as he was one of the better pass-protecting guards in the nation, allowing only two sacks, four QB hits and 19 hurries on 1,239 attempts over the last three years.
Day 3: Jenkins spent 58.4 percent of his snaps in the box last season and that’s where he’ll likely play in the Chargers’ scheme. He needs to do a better job of tackling after missing 26 of his 144 attempts over the last two years. King was one of our favorite picks of the draft as he’s an excellent zone corner with a good feel for the position. He’s allowed a passer rating of only 48.1 into his coverage over the last three years and he’s missed only 11 tackles on 197 attempts. Rochell will compete for snaps on early downs after grading at 83.2 and 80.0 against the run in each of the last two years. Read