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Top Pre-Draft Takeaways from GM Tom Telesco

General Manager Tom Telesco held his annual pre-draft press conference on Friday, holding court for nearly 30 minutes regarding the upcoming NFL Draft.

Here are the top things we learned about the team's plans, process and player evaluations:

  • The Chargers had received a lot of interest from teams looking to trade up to the third overall pick, but those conversations have occurred less frequently since the Philadelphia Eagles moved up to number two.  That being said, Telesco isn't opposed to trading back:

"Since Wednesday afternoon our phones have not been as busy as they had been the last  couple weeks….The option is still there.  We feel like we're in a very good spot.  Obviously there is going to be a great player there for us to take, but if there is a trade there for us that makes sense for us we can move back and acquire some picks either this year, next year or both. That'll be a great option, too.  We'll kind of see how it plays out."

  • Should the Bolts stay put and not trade back, the GM explained the type of player he expects to get third overall:

"You're looking for difference makers and impact players.  Obviously it's a very general term, but when you put players in tiers, especially in the first round, there are 32 first round picks this year that will be drafted.  The draft rooms I've been in have never had 32 players graded as first round players.  Usually you're in the 15-22 range that you feel are first round players, which is probably around where it is….You like when you are in the top 10 (because) you can get impact players."

  • Jalen Ramsey is someone many pundits predict the Chargers may select.  The GM gave his overall assessment of the dynamic defensive back:

"He's a versatile player that plays either side of corner, nickel or safety.  He can do a lot of different things, is a great athlete, a good person and a good worker.  So he's pretty easy to identify as one of the top players this year."

  • Laremy Tunsil is another player some believe the Bolts could target, and Telesco offered high praise for the talented offensive tackle:

"Almost all college linemen coming out are going to take some time to develop technique, which is nothing new.  He's such a rare athlete, (he) can get away with some things at the college level. A lot of skill position players can do the same thing.  They may be faster and more athletic than their competition, and a lot of times these players are so talented they are able to rely on their athletic ability much more than technique.  Then you get to this level where everybody you're facing is so much better, there is more technique.  So he has some development to do, but no more than any other linemen in this draft, and probably some other position groups as well."

  • Myles Jack is a talented player that others believe could be taken third overall.  While listed at linebacker, Telesco commended his versatility:

"He's unique, but that's what scouting is all about.  Look at the traits of the player, look at his ability and fit him into what you do.  He's so unique because you can play him at inside and outside linebacker,  play him in some nickel corner, slot him out as a corner, back as a safety and he was a great running back his freshman year.  Those are all pretty good traits to have, especially with roster flexibility."

  • Many consider defensive end DeForest Bucker a natural fit for the Chargers defense, and the GM doesn't disagree:

"He plays end in a 3-4, and he can pass rush inside.  He has all the measurables you look for in that position."

  • It's only natural that each draft features a position deeper than others, and Telesco revealed which position that is in 2016:

"When you talk to your scouting staff, you tell them you've got to be able to find someone late in every round.  This year, defensive line has a very big pool of players, which is nice."

  • While there are many pieces to the puzzle, Telesco said depth at a position comes into the equation when deciding which direction to go between players:

"If you are looking at two positions, and maybe have two players rated pretty close together, and that one position, if you don't take him there's really no one below him we like, and at the other position there are three or four more guys maybe later that we feel really strongly about, that would definitely play into who you'd take when….  And then usually, if you like both, you take one and then you sit there (crossing your fingers) hoping like crazy that guy's still there for you. "

  • So when all is said and done, do the Bolts know who they will be picking?

"We're in pretty good shape. We're going to use these last six days and all the time allotted to us. We'll see what the trade options are, too. We feel like we're in a pretty good spot."

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