San Diego Chargers Draft Needs

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The San Diego Chargers finished 2012 with a 7-9 record. It marked the end of the Norv Turner era, which will be remembered as a time where the team failed to meet expectations. The organization has replaced Turner with former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Typically when you seen a change at head coach, several big moves follow in the offseason. That hasn’t been the case in San Diego. The Chargers biggest additions to date have been CM Derek Cox, RB Danny Woodhead, OT King Dunlap, OG Chad Rinehart and DE Jarius Wynn. Not exactly a bunch of names that make you think this team is going to turn the corner in 2013, but they could still make some noise in the upcoming draft. Here’s a look at the five positions I feel the Chargers need to address this April.

Offensive Tackle:

The Chargers have released Jared Gaither and there top priority this offseason has to be adding more protection for quarterback Phillip Rivers. The ideal situation for San Diego would be for Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson to fall to them in the first round with the No. 11 overall pick, but there’s a chance Johnson will be off the board. If this is as big of a priority as it appears to me, don’t be surprised if the Chargers trade up to make sure they get one of the top three tackles in this year’s draft.

Offensive Guard:

Not only do the Chargers need to improve on the outside of their offensive line, but they could use some upgrades inside at the guard position. They already lost Louis Vasquez in free agency. While they added in Chad Rinehart and Rich Ohrnberger, those two aren’t going to make the front five any better than it was a year ago. If they can’t grab a tackle with the first pick, I think it’s a no-brainer that the Chargers go after Alabama’s Chance Warmack or North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper. Not using their first round pick on an offensive linemen would be a mistake.

Cornerback:

San Diego lost starting corner Antoine Cason to the Cardinals and Quentin Jammer is a free agent. The Chargers secondary is looking weak and they need to take advantage of a strong corner class to add in some help. I think they need to take the best corner available with their second round pick, which looks like it will be either Houston’s D.J. Hayden or Boise State’s Jamar Taylor.

Safety:

The Chargers have one of the top free safeties in the game in Eric Weddle, but they lack someone to team up with Weddle in the defensive backfield. San Diego needs to be active in the draft for a strong safety. The draft class at safety looks pretty strong on paper and their figures to be help to found in the second or third round. Much like I think the Chargers need to use their first round pick on an offensive linemen, it would be wise for them to get the best defensive back available with their second pick.

Inside Linebacker:

This was a toss up between nose tackle, as the Chargers could certainly use an upgrade over Cam Thomas. However, with the team deciding to not bring back veteran Takeo Spikes, they could use some help. Jarret Johnson figures to hold down one of the starting spots, but I’m not sold on Gary Guyton or Donald Butler being capable of starting and playing at a high level in 2013.

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