Here are five top lessons learned from the Chargers' 2018 draft:
1. Defense, Defense, Defense, Defense – For only the second time in franchise history, the Bolts chose a defensive player with their first-round pick of the draft. The only other time they chose four straight on that side of the ball was in 1975. But, if you think that was on purpose, you'd be dead wrong. General Manager Tom Telesco explained how the draft simply played out in a way that the best player on their board happened to be on defense:
"It's just kind of the way it fell. We had some discussions on different points on guys at other positions, but we ended up defense, defense, defense, which isn't the worst thing in the world…. We never go into a draft thinking, 'Hey, let's address defense. Let's address offense. Let's go 50/50. It just kind of plays out. The draft worked out that it was a very strong defensive class, so that helped us and there were players available there for us."
2. The Steal of the Draft – That's what top pundits are calling Derwin James, who many considered a lock to be a top 10 pick. Some even thought he could go as high as the top five. Yet after a run on quarterbacks, the safety was somehow still available when the Bolts were on the clock at 17. It's not hyperbole to say that draft experts' jaws dropped that he lasted that long. After all, this is a player that ESPN's Todd McShay described as "one of the most versatile prospects I've ever evaluated." It's safe to say Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley was just as surprised to see James still available:
"We were watching as the draft was going, and teams were making trades up. So we were hesitant, but hoping. We knew we were going to have a good player there, but to have a guy of Derwin James' caliber, athleticism, speed, football intelligence, the way he competes and really just how he is as a player, to have him be there for us was a great pick. He really jumps out on film, so we are really excited about the skillset that he offers."
3. Senior Bowl Slant – Some of the Chargers' top draft picks over the years took part in the Senior Bowl, including the likes of Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson. This year, five of the Bolts' seven picks participated in the annual all-star showcase down in Mobile this past January. Telesco explained how that was just a coincidence, yet did stress how vital the Senior Bowl is when it comes to draft evaluations:
"It wasn't something that we tried to do. It just happened. I noticed the same thing at some point in the draft. I said, 'Other than Derwin, our next picks are all Senior Bowl players.' Phil Savage who runs the Senior Bowl does a great job picking the right players for that game. Obviously, we got a lot of good evaluations of them playing and practicing against other NFL prospects. So that's a help. But it was a coincidence, a nice coincidence, that we have some kids that were four-year players at their colleges and come in here with a little experience."
4. Living the Dream – Every single player drafted by all 32 teams realized their lifelong dream of reaching the NFL. Still, few, if any, realized their dream quite like Scott Quessenberry, who grew up a diehard Chargers fan. His family owned season tickets, so he would attend games, imagining being in the very same Chargers uniform he'll now don. He idolized the likes of Nick Hardwick (whose number 61 he'll wear to honor the former center), Kris Dielman and others in the trenches. So, it goes without saying the Bolts' fifth-round pick truly is living the dream of millions of kids:
"It's unbelievable. It was getting pretty late in the draft, and I was kind of freaking out a little bit, but as soon as that phone rang, my stomach dropped and it feels great to be able to call myself a Charger. It's just incredible. Growing up watching guys like Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Kris Dielman. Their offensive line tradition there is unreal and out of this world so to be a part of it and hopefully be one of the next Pro Bowlers is unreal.To have the bolt on the side of my helmet is going to be huge to be able to honor my family. But I'm going to do whatever I can for the organization to win football games and make us better."
5. The Hammer – When the Bolts' selected Denzel Perryman in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the team described him as a hammer. That's a quality they assign to several prospects that lay the lumber on defense. Well, Chargers fans will be happy to hear that fourth-round pick Kyzir White is one of those hammers. While he played mainly safety at West Virginia, the team plans to use White at linebacker. Telesco's description of the fourth-round pick shows exactly why they feel that way:
"He was a hybrid safety/linebacker there. We see him as a linebacker for us. About 6-2, 200. Very athletic and very physical. So he has a lot of qualities we like at linebacker, and we think that he should be able to handle that projection pretty well."
Five Tips for Reducing and Preventing Neck Pain at Your Workspace, presented by Select Physical Therapy
If you are one of the millions of people who spend their work day sitting at a desk, it can be a major source of strain on your neck and back. Modifying your workspace may help keep you in a good posture while you work.
- When sitting, your hips and knees should be at 90 degree angle with your feet flat on the floor or stool.
- Your arms should be comfortably supported on armrests with shoulders relaxed and elbows at a 90 degree angle.
- The keyboard and mouse should be positioned comfortably under your hands; you should not be reaching forward for the keyboard, nor should you be actively holding your shoulders up near your ears.
- The monitor should be directly in front of you (if you work with more than one monitor, try to keep them centralized in your field of vision as much as possible) and the top of the monitor should be at your eye level.
- If you know you are going to be focused on a project for a long period of time, try setting a timer on your computer or cell phone to go off every 20 to 30 minutes as a reminder to be conscious of your posture and readjust as needed.
For more information on Functional Movement Screens, or to request a complimentary consultation with Select Physical Therapy, please visit selectphysicaltherapy.com today!