Q: What's our plan at punter, Rick? – Jason P.
A: I think there are a bunch of options on the board moving forward, but the Bolts did bring in an intriguing option I'm eager to see when the offseason program rolls around in Ty Long. (Sidenote – I keep typing his name as Ty Law so if you see that, know I'm not talking about the 45-year old retired cornerback who hasn't played in 10 years.) Anyway, Long is a CFL import the Chargers signed in January, but what really makes him interesting is that he also served as the team's kicker, handling both field goals and kickoffs during his two-year stint in the Great White North. I'm gonna do a little copy-and-pasting from the Combine Q&A Tom Telesco held with fans last month, in which he made it clear the Bolts brought him in to solely punt…for now:
"He's an interesting prospect. He had a very good two-year career in the CFL. Up there he was their punter, kickoff guy and field goal kicker. And he really excelled at all three. We see him more as a punter right now, and we liked his game tape up there. He's actually a player who we did a lot of work on for the college draft when he came out a couple years ago. So we did a lot of work on him then, watched him in the CFL the last couple years, and then we brought him down and worked him out. He's got a really strong leg. He can also kick off really well. And obviously playing in the CFL, you have to get used to playing in difficult conditions, and we saw he could do that. We're looking forward to seeing him compete."
Q: I love draft trades but why is Tom Telesco against them? – Caleb Lee
A: No disrespect intended, but this is a pretty silly question in my book. Now Caleb, I know you're a big fan because I recognize your name from past mailbag submissions, but why would you think a team is "against" trading? True, the Bolts didn't make a deal in the last three drafts…but they did in the previous three under Telesco! Now, are the Bolts considering a draft day trade? It's certainly a possibility…because all options are always on the table. Still, it takes a lot to consummate a trade. There has to be a team willing to make a deal, and there has to be an advantage to both sides accomplishing their goals. Trading is probably one of the hardest things to execute in the NFL, but we're seeing more and more of it, which I personally love. But as far as the draft goes, we'll have to see what plays out.
Q: A great thank you for the mock draft tracker so I can see who my Boltz are looking at. How much weight do you put in these mock drafts? – Pete Kramert
A: Compiling the mock draft trackers are always fun, but I don't put too much stock in who is projected to go to each team. If you look at track records, only a handful of picks are usually spot on. I'll also use this opportunity though to give a big shoutout to Daniel Jeremiah who has the highest hit percentage of any pundit the last few years. Now, what I do put stock in is the general area in which prospects are projected. For instance, if there's a guy who is usually taken in the top 10, well I expect him to go to some team in that range. The same for guys going in the late teens or the mid-20s and so on.
Q: Do the Chargers get compensation for T. Williams (to Oakland) and J. Verrett (to San Francisco)? – Rod Ouanu
A: No clue…but does anyone really understand it? It's such a convoluted equation that we pretty much won't know until next year. If anyone can figure out the calculation once free agency ends, drop me a line!
Q: Which Charger do you think will benefit the most from having Thomas Davis in the linebacker room? – Don Stichler
A: Wouldn't the harder question to answer be who won't benefit the most from having Thomas Davis in the linebacker room? Because that answer is zero. I mean, we're talking about not only one of the most productive players at the position since he entered the league, but also the consummate leader. And I love the genuine excitement among his new teammates, not looking at him as competition who may cut into playing time, but as a tool to help grow their own game. Now, to answer your question, the player I think will benefit most is the obvious choice– Denzel Perryman. I chatted with him after the news became official, and he couldn't contain his excitement of paring with one of the "OGs" at the position. Now, the reason I name him is the same exact reason he cited Davis' history overcoming injuries. Perryman has missed parts of the last few seasons, so he's eager to pick his brain about conquering similar adversity.