The Chargers had the latest pick in the first round they’ve had in about a decade going into Thursday night’s draft, but may have still managed to come out with a very decent pick based on the circumstance.
Let’s take a look at some of the options the Chargers had on the board. The lines on both sides of the ball, particularly the interior of the defensive line, were both issues last year. After cutting ties with Jahleel Addae after an incredibly inconsistent tenure and weird season, free safety became a need. Last but not least, corner is probably a position the Chargers would like to have some insurance in, after having some injury troubles last year with Trevor Williams.
What were some of the options going into the draft? My prediction was that Jerry Tillery would be off the board and they’d have to settle for Dexter Lawrence. Boy, was I wrong there (thanks Giants!).
I liked Lawrence, and still think he’ll be a decent pro, but he isn’t the athlete Tillery is. Tillery is a little worse than Lawrence at run stopping but is undeniably way better in pass defense. One issue the Chargers faced in the AFC divisional round vs. the Pats, is that the offensive line ate Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram up.
The interior line was too weak and undynamic to the point where the Patriots only had to worry about Bosa and Ingram on the ends. Tillery fixes that to some degree, and I believe he does it better than Lawrence all around.
Jawaan Taylor is another player fans wanted, as a boost to the offensive line. Knee concerns may have ultimately dipped his draft status a bit.
Some say the team should’ve taken Taylor over Tillery, but the reason I disagree is mostly the talent that Tillery is. Telesco has always been about taking the best player over what might be a need.
Pro Football Focus has also taken a liking to this pick by the Chargers. Telesco has always tended to lean toward the analytics and high draft value, and this shows that. Falling to 28th when he was ranked seventh based on value is a nice get, almost reminiscent of the James pick.
What do the Chargers need to do for the rest of the draft? I’d say offensive line and maybe a little cornerback depth are the places to attack on the third day of the selection process. But Tillery was a fantastic start to a draft that has the opportunity to fill positions of need for the Chargers while still getting value.