The new regime in San Diego came into this draft with a lot of needs to fill, and they did a great job addressing them. In fact they came away with three players that were each projected as top 15 picks at one time. Alabama OT D.J. Fluker and Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o will both step in as starters from day one. Cal WR Keenan Allen will have to earn his spot in a somewhat deep group, but he is talented and should get plenty of opportunities. The Chargers finished out the draft by adding depth on the defensive side of the ball and a developmental project in Southern Utah QB Brad Sorensen.
Fluker is a powerful run blocker and will prove to be beneficial to Ryan Mathews, that is if Mathews can manage to stay healthy. Fluker is also a solid pass protector, so he should allow Philip Rivers to have more time in the pocket and let Antonio Gates release as a pass catcher more frequently.
Allen is a very talented player and an absolute a steal in the third round. Even though the Chargers are deep on the outside, Allen should quickly rise to the top of the depth chart and will be the perfect compliment to Denario Alexander down the road. Keep Allen on your radar, he’s got loads of upside and will be a popular sleeper pick this summer. As with any rookie wide receiver, it’s tough to expect a ton out of the gates, but Allen has the talent to succeed if given opportunity.
Te’o is a polarizing player with plenty of detractors after his tumultuous senior season, but he is also a proven winner and leader. Just put on the game tape, this guy is always around the ball, that takes hustle and recognition, two things that are hard to teach. I’m not saying that he will be the next Ray Lewis, but Te’o will have a positive impact on the Chargers defensive unit in his rookie season.
|2||38||Manti Te'o||LB||Notre Dame|
|6||179||Tourek Williams||LB||Florida International|
|7||221||Brad Sorensen||QB||Southern Utah|