Pickin’ Bolts: Chargers Scenarios and Left Tackle – Need or Want?

(AP Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher)

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Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

In case you hadn’t heard, there was a pretty big trade recently that affects the top of the draft…I wrote about how the Chargers could be impacted by that trade.

So knowing what we do, let’s look at a few scenarios; a few options the Chargers could or should be pursuing with their first three picks.

Before we get into who the Chargers might draft, let me explain a little bit about my predicting style or thoughts. I try to be very conservative in my predictions. For instance, some people have suggested that the Chargers should trade back to seven or eight (which could happen) and draft Myles Jack. Myles Jack is THE flavor of the month.

He probably is going to be drafted at 4-6 overall. It would be extremely unlikely that Jack would be available after #6 so I never consider drafting him when I look at scenarios where the Chargers have (hypothetically) traded with the 49ers. Having established that, let’s look at the scenarios:

We’re going to assume that Los Angeles is going to draft a QB (they didn’t trade up all that way to get a punter). And for our purposes it doesn’t matter which one.

Another quick note before you read the scenarios (ha, as if you haven’t looked ahead): this is list is by no means exhaustive but it tries to look at players and positions the Chargers need and would like to upgrade. Thanks, and enjoy.

Scenario 1:

1-3 (3): Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi

2-4 (35): Jonathan Bullard, DE/DT, Florida or Chris Jones, DE/DT, Mississippi St.

3-3 (66): Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame


Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Scenario 2:

1-3 (3): Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida St.

2-4 (35): Jonathan Bullard, DE/DT, Florida or Chris Jones, DE/DT, Mississippi St.

3-3 (66): Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame


Scenario 3:

1-3 (3): DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon

2-4 (35): Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

3-3 (66): Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame


Scenario 4:

1-3 (3): DeForest Buckner, DE/DT, Oregon

2-4 (35): Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana

3-3 (66): Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame


Scenario 5:

1-3 (3): Jalen Ramsey, CB/S Florida St.

2-4 (35): LeRaven Clark, OT, Texas Tech

3-3 (66): Bronson Kaufusi, DE/DT, Boise St.


Obviously those aren’t the only prospects the Chargers could or should draft but I think it’s clear the Bolts intend to draft a Center; they didn’t sign one in free agency and no one thinks Chris Watt and/or Trevor Robinson are legitimate answers. Additionally the obvious other big needs are a 3-4 DE and possibly a tackle.

Left Tackle: Need or Want?

Now let’s talk about the Chargers’ Left Tackle position. In 2013 the Chargers brought Dunlap in to solidify the mess they had at LT. Dunlap played well in 2013 and again in 2014 and parlayed that into a solid contract-extension. But in 2015 he suffered concussions and other injuries (playing only 7 games). This cause the Chargers to re-think their LT position and they convinced Dunlap to restructure his contract. The thing you need to realize about the contract restructuring is this: had the Chargers cut Dunlap, they would have taken a cap hit of about $3.3million. Now Dunlap’s base contract is – wait for it – $3.3million. He does have bonuses based on playing time but it’s telling that if the Chargers cut Dunlap he costs as much as if they keep him and he rides the bench. That’s not a situation that describes a legitimate NFL starting left tackle.

Having described that, don’t let anyone tell you the Chargers are set on the OL except at Center. They need a Center and a Tackle. I have a hard time believing that if the Chargers are sitting at #3 and if there aren’t overwhelming trade offers to move back and if Tunsil is on the board, that they will not pick the big, highly-rated OT.

Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PickinBolts.

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