The first three rounds are in the books, ladies and gentlemen.
And AJ Smith is doing well. Very well indeed.
According to a number of so-called NFL pundits, the Chargers GM is in the midst of his best draft in years. Through three rounds, AJ has wisely focused on defense by selecting pass-rusher Melvin Ingram, defensive linemen Kendall Reyes, and safety Brandon Taylor with the 18th, 49th, and 73rd picks, respectfully.
Here are a couple of the rave reviews that those picks have garnered:
“Folks, San Diego is killing this draft. It is just slaying it. A trio of pass-rusher Melvin Ingram (No. 18), defensive lineman Kendall Reyes (No. 49) and Taylor (No. 73) is a wicked group to bring into one defense. All three players were taken later than projected and could all make immediate impacts. Major kudos to San Diego for having a strong plan.”
–ESPN’s Bill Williamson
“The Chargers also locked in a ton of value getting Kendall Reyes and Brandon Taylor. That’s D-line and safety help.”
–ESPN’s Mel Kiper
On Melvin Ingram: “Best pick of the first round. This kid will be a pass-rush star in that defense. Teams that passed on this kid will regret it.”
On Kendall Reyes: “This is a player some thought would go in the first round. He fills a need for the Chargers in their 3-4.”
On Brandon Taylor: “Another nice job by A.J. Smith. He fills a need next to Eric Weddle. He is a good player in a good secondary and might not be a star, but should be a quality starter.”
–CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco
“Melvin Ingram seems like awfully good value for the Chargers at 18th overall. Been looking to fill that spot since Merriman got hurt.”
–NFL Network’s Albert Breer
“Ingram very intriguing player. Incredibly light on feet. Chance to be outstanding pass rusher. My guess is SD didn’t expect him to be there.”
So far, so good, AJ. Can you keep it up on the last day?
We shall see.