Okay, as promised, I´m back with another mock draft. For my last one, I assumed the General Manager sticks to his first round pick at No. 11 and thus decides not to trade down.
For this piece, I presume exactly the opposite; i.e. he´s looking for a trade partner, gives up his 11th overall selection, and collects some extra picks. And he finds his trade partner in Rick Spielman, General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings.
It makes sense for both teams. If, e.g., left tackle Lane Johnson and maybe also the top guard prospects Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper are already gone within the top ten, I don´t see why Telesco shouldn´t take the chance to collect some extra picks (we all know, the Chargers have a bunch of holes in the roster).
The Vikings would also benefit from this deal. They´ve been quite busy in free agency and made some interesting moves, for example trading away wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks. So this means, they now hold two late first round picks (23rd and 25th overall) and a couple of late round picks, of which they aren´t necessarily in need. Actually they only have two big needs: a stud wide receiver and a great defensive tackle. And with the 11th pick they´d get from the Chargers, they could go for, for instance, wide receiver Tavon Austin, and with their second pick in the first round they could upgrade their defensive line via picking e.g. defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. I think they have to get ahead of the St. Louis Rams at No. 16 and the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 17 in the draft, as both of those teams will likely be interested in the best wide receiver prospect available (the Rams lost Danny Amondola and the Steelers lost Mike Wallace). Additionally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could snatch away Tavon Austin at No. 13.
By using the NFL Draft Value Chart – a point value system, based on each draft pick position, that is used by NFL General Managers and coaches when making trades on draft day – I figured out three possible ways to trade away the 11th pick to the Vikings:
Draft trade Chargers – Vikings, possibility No. 1:
Trading away: 11th (first round), 76th (third round), 110th (fourth round)
Receiving: 23rd, 25th (first round), 120th (fourth round)
I don´t like that trade too much as we wouldn´t receive any extra picks.
Draft trade Chargers – Vikings, possibilityNo. 2:
Trading away: 11th (first round), 145th (fifth round), 221st (seventh round)
Receiving: 25th (first round), 52nd (second round), 83rd (third round), 213th, 214th (seventh round)
We would collect two extra picks along with a late second and third round selection.
Draft trade Chargers – Vikings, possibility No. 3:
Trading away: 11th (first round)
Receiving: 23rd (first round), 52nd (second round), 102nd (early fourth round), 189th (sixth round), 229th (seventh round).
I like this trade the most. We would receive four extra picks and the better first round pick (23rd overall). And I don´t see that much more value in a late third round pick – which we would receive in option No. 2 – than in the early fourth round pick we would receive via this trade.
So for this mock draft I chose the last option. And unlike for my last one, I won´t consider the free agents I suggested to go after in a previous article.
Alright, now let´s get to work.
ROUND 1 – Pick 23 / from Vikings
Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia: When trading down, it´s obvious that the offensive line won´t be addressed with the first selection, as all the top tackle and guard prospects very likely will be gone within the first 20 picks. And if the top inside linebacker prospect of this year´s draft, Alec Ogletree from Georgia, slips through the top 20 and is still available at No. 23, then Tom Telesco just has to go for that steal. The Chargers cut Takeo Spikes, and Demorrio Williams isn´t re-signed yet, so we need a starter (and also could use some more depth) at that position. Although he couldn´t stand out at the Combine, Ogletree has the potential to be a stud pass-coverage linebacker in the NFL. He moves well, is very fast, and covers a lot of ground. This would be great first pick for the Chargers.
ROUND 2 – Pick 45
Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama: I know, we´re in desperate need of an O-Line upgrade. But I´m sure Tom Telesco will pick the highest value regardless of position. And currently we only have Cam Thomas, a former fifth-round pick with only five career starts, at nose tackle. We need to address this position with a high draft pick. If Jesse Williams is available with the 45th overall pick, then I don´t think Telesco will pass on him. And if he isn’t there in the second round for the Chargers, then maybe nose tackle Johnathan Hankins will be; either way I´d rather take one of those guys than a second tier offensive tackle here.
ROUND 2 – Pick 52 / from Vikings
Terron Armstead, OT/OG, Arkansas Pine-Bluff: So finally, that crazy dude picks an offensive tackle. Yes, he does. Tom Telesco will see the Miami Dolphins (or maybe the New York Giants) steal away left tackle/guard Kyle Long, so he´ll look out for the next possible option for that position on the offensive line. And that could be Terron Armstead out of Arkansas. I guess we all watched or heard about the show he put on at the Combine. The 6’5″, 306-pound tackle ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering time of 4.71 seconds, which found it´s way into the history books as the fastest time an offensive lineman has ever posted at the NFL Combine. Armstead lines up at left tackle, but he´s also capable of playing guard.
ROUND 3 – Pick 76
Justin Pugh, OG/OT, Syracuse: Well, we would be very lucky to get Justin Pugh here. He surely is worth a second round pick, but as he clearly needs to add weight and strength in order to get to the next level, some teams may pass on him and thus he could be available for us in the third round. Pugh (6´5”, 297) earned All-Big East honors in each of his three college seasons. He played left tackle in Syracuse’s no-huddle system, but in his last games it became more evident that his best position is probably inside at guard.
ROUND 4 – Pick 102 / from Lions through Vikings
J.J. Wilcox, SS, Georgia Southern: In a previous piece, I actually suggested bringing back Quentin Jammer and move him over to strong safety. He would come in at an affordable price, as he won´t get a starting job as cornerback in the NFL and his re-signing could give Brandon Taylor time to get healthy and develop into a starter. I still think this could be nice option, but for this mock draft, I´ll assume it won´t happen. Darrell Stuckey also has to be put onto the list of considerable starters at strong safety. But he´s grown into a very important part on the special teams; so I don´t want him to leave that unit in order to prevent unnecessary disturbance. This means we have to bring in a guy who is capable of starting at strong safety. Maybe it´s a little bit late to draft an potential starter, i.e. interesting prospects like Shamarko Thomas will likely by gone, but if J.J. Wilcox is still available this early in the fourth round, then the gamble paid off. And if he isn´t able to take on the starting role immediately, then we still have an insurance policy with Darrell Stuckey. So, the Bolts have options here.
ROUND 4 – Pick 110
Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida State: Maybe also a little bit late to address this position. Antwan Barnes is already gone and Shaun Phillips most likely will follow him. Maybe Melvin Ingram and Larry English are able to take on the starting job, but the Chargers are desperately in need of an upgrade at outside linebacker. Brandon Jenkins went down with a Lisfranc injury during the first game of last season and wasn´t able to make a comeback. But Jenkins has first round talent and had he stayed healthy we probably would be talking about whether or not he´ll be selected within the top 20. He is a speed edge-rusher coming around the corner and finished the 2011 season with 41 tackles, a team high 12 tackles for a loss and eight sacks. This would be an awesome fourth round pick.
ROUND 5 – Pick 145
Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois: In my last mock draft I picked up corner Will Davis here in the fifth round. But if he´s not available with the 145th overall pick (and that most likely will be the case), then Terry Hawthorne out of Illinois would be a great alternate selection. He´s coming off a serious concussion and that could hurt his draft value. He is very physical and did very well in man coverage. After missing one game, Hawthorne returned to action and had 44 tackles and six passes broken up last season. He maybe has to get stronger and more disciplined, but he has great speed and is very physical in run support. The fact that he also brings along some experience as a return man on special teams makes him even more valuable. There are some durability concerns, but he is a sleeper pick and would be an absolute steal here in that late round. If he´s not available, then Tharold Simon would be a solid pickup here too.
ROUND 6 – Pick 179
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State: The Chargers already added Danny Woodhead and Fozzy Whittaker this off-season. Danny Woodhead is a great pass catcher and also solid in pass protection. Fozzy Whittaker went undrafted last year due to a (season-ending) knee injury and hasn´t seen any on-field action in the NFL yet. If Ryan Mathews goes down, we need a capable runner who is able to help Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown in the ground game. And Kerwynn Williams could be just that. He has great speed, vision, and hands, but has his problems in protecting the quarterback; as we already have Brown and Woodhead to take on that job, this wouldn´t be an issue. Williams also is an experienced kick and punt returner, and with his secure hands and elusiveness, he brings along the required ability to be a reliable force on the special teams.
ROUND 6 – Pick 189 / from Vikings
Conner Vernon, WR, Duke: If we´ve already lost Danario Alexander in free agency, then this pick would be too late. This means I presume and hope DX will wear a Chargers uniform in 2013. If we get Connor Vernon this late in the sixth round, then it would be a great selection to add some depth for the receiving corps. He is not an explosive athlete and had one of the slower 40-yard dash times among wide receivers at the Combine. He also couldn´t stand out in the Senior Bowl, but he had a great season for Duke in 2012 making 85 receptions for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns. Also nice to know about Vernon: he became the ACC’s all-time receptions leader by the eighth game of 2012. This would be a solid pickup in the sixth round.
ROUND 7 – Pick 221
Mike Purcell, DT, Wyoming: I already picked up nose tackle Jesse Williams with the 45th overall pick in the second round. And on Wednesday, Tom Telesco added depth to the defensive line by signing defensive end Jarius Wynn. But we could still use another backup for Williams or Cam Thomas. Mike Purcell was very consistent throughout the 2012 season, recording five or more tackles in 11 of 12 games. He´s coming from a small school in Wyoming, but would bring along the physicality that defensive coordinator John Pagano is looking for. Nice steal in the final round!
ROUND 7 – Pick 229 / from Vikings
Tanner Hawkinson, OT, Kansas: With the last pick I want to add depth to the offensive line. Tanner Hawkinson is a former tight end with good arm length and patience as a pass blocker. He looks like a developmental prospect at right tackle but also could be moved inside to guard. Hawkinson is quick, athletic, and matches up well with pass-rushers, but needs time to improve as a backup.
So this was my second mock draft here on Rock The Bolt. Of course, I like this one better as we received more picks to fill the holes on the roster. And again, both teams, the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings, would benefit from this deal.
Thank you for staying with me ´til the end and feel free share your thoughts in the comments section.