On this post first-round edition of Chargers Weekly, team reporter Chris Hayre and Matt "Money" Smith were joined by two of the Chargers' beat reporters to break down day one of the draft. Jeff Miller from the Los Angeles Times and Daniel Popper from The Athletic gave their reactions and analysis on the Bolts selecting Zion Johnson with the 17th overall pick and talked about what's ahead for days two and three of the draft.
Download and subscribe to the Chargers Podcast Network wherever you listen to podcasts. Some of the questions and answers from the latest edition of Chargers Weekly are below.
Reaction to Johnson getting drafted?
"He's a guy who's going to slide in right away and Tom Telesco said yesterday said 900-to-1,000 snaps. He's a durable player, strong, they feel likes he's proficient as a pass protector, he's great in the run game, comes from a pro-style scheme at Boston college so they feel like the transition is going to be really easy. His head coach was an NFL coach for close to a decade, his offensive coordinator was an NFL coach for close to a decade.
"His offensive line coach at BC is now the offensive line coach in Miami, so you feel like the transition is going to be easy. So, it makes sense in that regard and if you look historically this is where plug-and-play guards have gone…the priority for this organization clearly since Brandon Staley has arrived is building this offensive line and creating not only protection in front of Justin Herbert, but a unit that can be dominate in the run game as well and it's clear two straight first-round picks spent on offensive linemen."
"Tom Telesco said it last night, I mean he's the starter. It's just like Rashawn Slater last year, he's the starter. [Johnson] arrives as the starting right guard and unless something goes horribly wrong, he's not going to be budged from that spot. When the GM, especially Tom Telesco who is openly saying this guy is going to play 900 to 1,000 snaps if he does what we expect him to do, you can't get more of a ringing endorsement for a rookie than that.
I mean this is an hour after they picked him, so they obviously believe in this guy…they probably look at it and say man this guy as good as he is right now, as quickly as he's climbed to this point, if he can make another jump like that in the next year or two they might have their right guard for the next decade. "
Matt "Money" Smith:
"There's a number of boxes that were checked, no matter where you pick you can't afford to miss on your first rounder…that checks one box, this is one of the safest, cleanest players in the draft. Two, we talked about at 17…this is where the guard gets picked this is where the top interior lineman gets picked whether it's [Cowboys guard Zack] Martin or any of those guys, you typically see it between 15 and 20. Because kind of the top tier of those different prime positions tend to be gone and so if you want elite you get elite at a maybe a second-tier position…
"When you now think about [Matt] Feiler, [Corey] Linsley and Johnson I mean that's pretty damn exciting and then you've got Slater on one side, you can cover up one side…I'm fine with the pick no question about it because of what it does for that pocket to keep the pocket intact with those three guys, that's impressive for Justin Herbert."
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