The San Diego Chargers had a one track mind once the NFL Draft was underway. Lock up a speedy running back that loves to carry the ball. The Chargers may have been looking to lock up CJ Spiller of Clemson but once he went to Buffalo with the ninth pick, San Diego went after the best running back on the NFL Draft board, Ryan Mathews of Fresno State.
San Diego’s draft from that point forward was a little anti climactic. They picked up some needed depth on defense and went after Jonathan Crompton, the quarterback from Tennessee, to develop under the tutelage of Phillip Rivers. Overall the San Diego draft was average at best but they already had many of the pieces they need to win the AFC West already.
San Diego Chargers first NFL Draft pick and 12th overall Ryan Mathews.
San Diego decided late last year they would let long time running back LaDanian Tomlinson go and they would be taking a running back in the first round of the NFL Draft. Most projections for San Diego were Toby Gerhart or Jahvid Best in the 28th draft position but San Diego jumped in with a trade as soon as CJ Spiller went in the number nine draft position.
Ryan Mathews a running back from Fresno State, fits the need of San Diego as a hard nosed rusher that loves to carry the ball. Darren Sproles is too fragile to handle the ball more than 20 carries a game and Mathews is th perfect fit as an opposite of Sproles. Look for Ryan Mathews to play the entire 2010 NFL season and gain more then 1200 yards rushing.
San Diego Chargers second NFL Draft pick and 79th overall Donald Butler.
Donald Butler a linebacker from Washington was drafted for added depth at the linebacker position and will definitely get playing time on special teams. Butler is more of a coverage linebacker as opposed to a smash and squash linebacker, meaning Butler does not pack much punch with his tackles. Butler will have plenty of tackling practice on special teams and will play on special teams for the entire 2010 NFL season.
San Diego Chargers third NFL Draft pick and 110th overall Darrell Stuckey.
Darrell Stuckey a free safety from Kansas is a different kind of safety than most coming out of college. Stuckey is a bit backwards when it comes to secondary players. Stuckey is not very strong at defending the pass but he is a voracious tackler in the secondary. The receiver may catch a ball on Stuckey but he will make them pay. Being a great tackler will land Stuckey on the special teams and he will play sparingly in situations during the 2010 NFL season.
San Diego Chargers fourth NFL Draft pick and 146th overall Cam Thomas.
Cam Thomas a defensive tackle from North Carolina will be a back up defensive lineman and may be used in run defense schemes later in the season. A knock on Thomas is conditioning and for his first few seasons with San Diego it won’t be an issue since he will be platooned only in run situations. Look for Thomas to play sparingly if at all during the 2010 NFL season.
San Diego Chargers fifth NFL Draft pick and 168th overall Jonathan Crompton.
Jonathan Crompton the quarterback from Tennessee didn’t light up the scoreboards in the SEC last year but he won’t be playing anytime soon in the NFL. With Phillip Rivers around to mentor him, Crompton will have at least a few years as an understudy. Crompton will hold the clipboard in his first NFL season.
San Diego Chargers sixth NFL Draft pick and 235th overall Dedrick Epps.
Dedrick Epps the second tight end drafted out of Miami will have a job to compete for with Brandon Malumaleuna leaving for Chicago. The position Epps will be shooting for, will fit him perfectly. Epps is a solid blocking tight end who doesn’t catch many passes. Epps has a chance to be a back up in the 2010 NFL season.
NFL Network NFL Draft live coverage April 22-24, 2010.
ESPN TV NFL Draft live coverage April 22-24, 2010.
NFL.com player profiles