The San Diego Chargers are a team that has been on a brink of greatness a number of times over the last several years. However, they continue to fall just short and it is difficult to know how to adjust a team like San Diego without running the risk of ruining what has worked in the past. Still, football teams change constantly and there are always ways that a team can improve. The NFL Draft is an opportunity for a team to meet current needs as well as build for the future. Unfortunately, a few bad picks can hurt teams for a very long time. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts on the 2010 NFL draft class of the San Diego Chargers.
Every first round pick of the NFL draft is scrutinized and the Chargers pick is no different. However, many “experts” believe the Chargers made a solid pick by taking running back Ryan Mathews from Fresno State. Mathews is not necessarily a superstar, but he is a strong runner who should be an every-down back. After several years of wondering about LaDainian Tomlinson’s health, San Diego finally moved on and decided to go with a rookie running back. Mathews will need to work on his pass-catching ability, but he may develop into a star.
In the third round, San Diego took linebacker Donald Butler from Washington. Butler is regarded as quick and instinctive, and should shore up the Charger’s linebackers. He may not have the football skill to become an immediate starter, but he appears to have the physical tools to develop in the next few seasons.
San Diego added another defensive player in the fourth round, taking safety Darrell Stuckey from Kansas. With Eric Weddle in the lineup, Stuckey is unlikely to become an instant starter. However, Weddle may be a great tutor for Darrell, and Stuckey may develop into an effective defender down the road as he increases his football knowledge.
The Chargers had two picks in the fifth round, and they started by selecting Cam Thomas, a defensive tackle from North Carolina. Thomas has good size, but will need to work on his balance if he is going to be an eventual starter. San Diego also took a quarterback in the fifth round, selecting Jonathan Crompton from Tennessee. Taking a quarterback in the late rounds may be a good strategy so that a future signal caller has the time to develop slowly.
Finally, the Chargers took Dedrick Epps, a tight end from Miami. Epps is a big body, but he will need to have a good training camp if he is going to compete for a roster spot. He may find a spot on the roster if he impresses the organization and the team decides to go with more two tight end sets during the season.