NBC 7’s Ben Rosehart discusses how Wednesday’s Eagles-Browns trade affects the Chargers in this commentary.
The San Diego Chargers are basically already on the clock even though they don’t technically own the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Before the Eagles handed the Browns five picks to move up from 8th to 2nd in the upcoming NFL draft, I’d say the chances of Jared Goff and Carson Wentz being the first two selections were pretty high. Let’s say 67%.
But now that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman admitted his franchise plans to take a quarterback (and I mean did you see how many picks they gave Cleveland?) it’s pretty much like 99.97%.
Cleveland sent the 2nd overall pick and a 2017 4th rounder to Philly in exchange for the 8th overall pick, a 3rd and a 4th rounder this year and a 2017 1st rounder and a 2018 2nd rounder.
So with Goff and Wentz presumably off the board, all indications are that the Chargers can take any position player their hearts desire.
What should the Bolts do?
DeForest Buckner would drastically help the defensive line. With free agent addition Brandon Mebane clogging up the middle and Cory Liuget back on the edge, that trio could vastly improve the defensive unit.
Buckner is a versatile, towering player who stands 6’7” and led the Pac-12 in sacks.
In addition to putting pressure on quarterbacks, he also routinely batted down passes with his long arms and big frame – an underrated talent that can be super annoying for opposing signal-callers.
Florida State safety Jalen Ramsey could be an even better playmaker than Eric Weddle.
But if you look at where the Chargers added free agents this off-season it makes me wonder if they are leaning towards selecting Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil or trading down a few spots to pick Ronnie Stanley out of Notre Dame.
The Chargers did not add any big-name offensive lineman in free agency and only re-signed right tackle Joe Barksdale and backup Chris Hairston.
Mebane is a former Seahawks defensive tackle, Dwight Lowery (Colts) and Casey Hayward (Packers) are defensive backs and Travis Benjamin (Browns) is a speedy wide receiver/kick returner.
Maybe the Chargers are banking on their current lineman actually staying healthy this season.
That didn’t work out so well the past two years and the unit as a whole has played subpar ever since Nick Hardwick retired.
DJ Fluker dealt with serious concussion issues last year and King Dunlap and Orlando Franklin struggled to stay on the field.
It’s not exactly breaking news that the Chargers need to change something about their O-Line to better protect Philip Rivers and help reestablish that ground game.
But San Diego did hire former Vikings assistant Jeff Davidson as the team’s new offensive line coach and added Dave DeGuglielmo to help him.
If Buckner is who the Chargers really want, then I’m curious to see if the team will try to make it look like they want Ramsey in an effort to dangle the 3rd pick to the Cowboys (who appear to be very interested in Ramsey and RB Ezekiel Elliott). They might be able to drum up more trade interest with some misdirection.
Perhaps the Bolts could drop down a spot to pick up an extra draft pick or two and still select Buckner.
Wouldn’t it be something if the Bolts traded their pick to continue this domino effect at the top of the draft?
If only it were as easy as 1-2-3.