Pick #3 — San Diego Chargers
Because of the trades for the quarterbacks in the spots ahead of them, the Chargers have a plethora of excellent possibilities ahead of them here.
At the least, we are looking at around four high-quality options the Chargers would reasonably choose between — options who all have a legit case to being the best non-QB pick in the draft.
Between Jalen Ramsey, DeForest Buckner, Joey Bosa, Myles Jack, and Laremy Tunsil, can they really go wrong?
Picking one of these players will either give them an immediate high-quality replacement at safety for the departed Eric Weddle (REALLY didn’t like the way San Diego handled things with him by the way, but that’s another story), an anchor piece for their defensive line, a legitimate pass rush threat off the edge, a multi-faceted weapon at linebacker, or finally have a legitimate building block for their constantly-injury-plagued offensive line.
Any would be a great addition to a team in dire need of a talent influx, but taking another look at the players and also the makeup of the San Diego roster should give a better idea of where the Chargers could (or at least maybe should) choose to go.
Despite willfully losing Weddle, the secondary in San Diego is actually pretty well set. They have a strong three-deep group at cornerback — Jason Verrett is a shutdown-quality corner, Casey Hayward is an underrated slot corner (who also can play some on the outside as well), and Brandon Flowers can still play at a decent level in the right situation — and Dwight Lowery is a decent stopgap at one safety slot; the guys for the other safety slot are unappetizing, but there are likely a couple later options in the draft that could be improvements as well. With that in mind, Ramsey’s out.
Jack is a massively intriguing defensive player, but his supposed injury concerns (many of which have been considered, to put it lightly, vastly overstated and even downright slanderous in some instances) seem likely to knock him down at least a peg or two.
Adding a dominant offensive lineman would have its advantages, but unfortunately for Tunsil’s odds, the Chargers already have a bunch of money (and multiple years to come) invested in Joe Barksdale and King Dunlap at tackle.
In my eyes it came down to Buckner and Bosa.
While having a strong pass rush can alleviate many ails for a defense, I feel as though they at least have something to work with in terms of pass rushing ability already on the roster with Melvin Ingram (84.5 pass rush grade by Pro Football Focus in 2015).
That defensive line though? Totally abysmal.
Buckner would give San Diego someone who can actually impact the game for them, instead of just essentially being a mass of lukewarm bodies standing in the way.