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Mailbag: A Busy Offseason and Deep Draft

Posted Apr 28, 2014

Ricky Henne's latest mailbag addresses a busy offseason and the excitement over a deep draft.

Q: With the NFL Draft two weeks away, how busy are things at Chargers Park? – Aleks Stojanovich

A:  It’s incredibly busy around the facility, and not just for the draft.  The majority of players returned and are participating in the offseason conditioning program while the coaching staff is busy preparing in their offices upstairs. But you’re right that the biggest buzz is surrounding the upcoming draft.  With an additional two weeks of preparation, General Manager Tom Telesco and the scouting department are dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on a year’s worth of evaluations.  We should get a better gauge of the process on Wednesday when Telesco addresses the media for his annual predraft press conference.

Q: Great coverage on the schedule. You guys killed it. Now that we've known it for a few days do you have any new thoughts on it?– Daniel Lin

A:  After what’s been nearly a week to digest it, what has increasingly stood out is how unique it is.  As pointed out in my five lessons, there really are a ton of oddities to the Bolts’ 2014 slate of games.  For starters, opening up against the same Arizona Cardinals team we finish the preseason season with is as bizarre as it comes.  Facing two NFC West teams in a row to start the year and not playing an AFC West opponent until Week 6, the latest such date since 2001, is strange.  There is yet another Thursday night game in Denver, and then to top it off the Bolts finish the season with two straight road games including a second consecutive season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Still, no matter who the Chargers play, I think the biggest take away is the Bolts’ mantra that it doesn’t really matter who the team plays or when they play them. They’ll approach each game the same way.  Head Coach Mike McCoy has always said and will continue saying the next game is one of 16 with each taking on the same level of importance.

Q: I love your draft profiles. The problem, dude, is that each day there is a different guy I want us to take. What are your thoughts on all the prospects together? – Paul Barters

A: I totally get where you are coming from.  When doing the research for the profile series I find myself drawn to a number of these prospects, imagining what each would look like wearing the Bolt on their helmet.  As a result, I agree with most analysts and pundits that this is an extremely deep draft.  You always want to be drafting late in the first round as it means you had a successful season the year before.  However, the downside to that is there usually isn’t as much buzz for players when picking in the 20s as opposed to earlier in the round.  This year, that honestly is not the case.  Many believe all prospects being selected on the first day of the Draft would be top 10 selections most years.  So that is certainly music to Chargers’ fans ears and should make May 8th an exciting day.

Q: Manti Te'o seems to be having a very quiet offseason. With OTAs underway, has there been any update on what the 2nd year ILB has been doing in the offseason? – Jarred Braxton

A: Many have asked about last year’s second round draft pick.  Te’o has been back at the facility working out in the offseason conditioning program.  I’ve been meaning to chat with number 50, so be on the lookout for more on Te’o in the next week or two.

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