No one knows the draft better than Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout who has become a preeminent expert over the past decade for NFL Network.
He also boasts an intimate knowledge of the Chargers as he just finished his first season as the Bolts’ radio analyst.
Thus, Jeremiah’s opinions obviously carry a lot of weight, never more so than when those two passions intertwine and he discusses what the Chargers may do in the draft.
We’ll check in periodically with him over the coming week at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he’s already offered some noteworthy opinions before a single workout has even taken place.
That includes some quarterbacks he believes the Bolts would be wise to target.
Now, let’s make things clear – Philip Rivers isn’t going anywhere. He tied his personal best with a 105.5 passer rating on the year, completing 347 of 508 passes (68.3 percent) for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns. He became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history with 10 seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards as he led the Chargers to a 12-4 record and his eighth Pro Bowl honor.
Few respect Philip Rivers more than Jeremiah, as the QB clearly has a lot left in the tank following an MVP-caliber season. Nonetheless, fans and pundits naturally wonder when the Bolts may look to add a QB for the future with Rivers turning 38 in 2019.
So, should the Chargers opt to select one in the first round, Jeremiah has some ideas at who may fit the bill with one of their first picks.
“Late in the first round, I think (you) potentially could be in the Daniel Jones, Drew Lock range,” he said. “I don't know that the Chargers will be able to see either one of those quarterbacks if (they) got to the second round.”
Jones and Lock are two well-known prospects who many believe are surefire first-round picks. However, Jeremiah was quick to name another prospect who has flown under the radar, but may be a great fit for the Bolts.
“An interesting name would be Jarrett Stidham, who is going to need some time to develop, but just in terms of a skill set (he’s) just got a big arm,” he explained. “He's a great athlete. Able to move around a little bit. He just needs to be a little more consistent. He missed too many lay-ups when you watch him on tape, but arm strength, athleticism (are impressive). By all accounts, he's a great kid. I've enjoyed my interaction with him.”
For those who aren’t familiar with him, Stidham is a 6-2, 210-pound passer who earns high marks for his cerebral approach to the game and ability to make all the throws. He started the past two years at Auburn, bursting onto the scene in 2017 when he completed 246 of 370 attempts (66.5 percent) for 3,158 yards, 18 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He followed that up with another solid campaign in 2018 as he completed 224 of 369 passes (60.7 percent) for 2,794 yards, 18 TDs and only five picks. As a result, he was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he continued to turn heads.
Jeremiah believes Stidham needs a bit more seasoning, which is why a couple years learning from a future Hall of Famer in Rivers seems like an ideal situation.
“Having Philip in place for a couple more years, I think you could maybe take a shot on somebody like (Stidham) who could be a developmental guy you (could) get in that third round range,” he continued. “But it wouldn’t stun me if he found his way into the second round. But I would say the third round would be more of that sweet spot for him.”