AFC West: Vincent Jackosn

Tom Telesco is known for his eye for talent.

The new San Diego Chargers’ general manager did not showcase that ability much during free agency as the Chargers added several low-profile players because of salary-cap concerns. The Chargers got some nice pieces, but there were not any big splashes.

San Diego splashed like the Pacific Ocean on Friday night. After the Chargers traded up to take Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o in the second round, they then drafted dynamic Cal receiver Keenan Allen in the third.

Allen was considered a major steal. He had an injury last year and a slow performance at the combine. But he was productive and most teams rated him highly.

The Chargers took Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker in the first round. After the Allen choice, ESPN analyst Todd McShay said Telesco scored three first-round talents with his first three choices.

Fellow ESPN analyst Bill Polian was Telesco’s boss in Indianapolis. He said they studied Allen closely and Polian said he and Telesco thought Allen can be a Reggie Wayne-type receiver.

Allen is a major gift to San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers. The Chargers badly need skill-position weapons. The receiving crew was lacking since the 2012 departure Vincent Jackson in free agency.

Now with Allen, Vincent Brown and Danario Alexander, the Chargers have three potential standouts along with the solid Malcom Floyd.

I truly expect Allen to make an impact as a rookie. I think this pick will be remembered as the start of something nice for Telesco's tenure.

Chargers keep Nick Hardwick

March, 13, 2012
The San Diego Chargers have figured out one of their issues on the offensive line. The team announced center Nick Hardwick has signed a three-year deal.

It is not a surprise that Hardwick is coming back. He is the anchor to the offensive line, and he wanted to return. Yet, there were some question marks, because he nearly got to the start of free agency, which opens at 4 p.m. ET.

The team will now try to sign receiver Vincent Jackson, tackle Jared Gaither, running back Mike Tolbert, defensive tackle Antonio Garay and some outside free agents. The team had about $20 million in cap room before the Hardwick deal. Terms of his deal are not currently known. Signing Hardwick is a good start to free agency in San Diego.

Meanwhile, former Chargers special-teams ace Kassim Osgood is being released in Jacksonville. The Chargers love him, and their special teams suffered when he was gone. I could see the team making a run at him.

UPDATE: The Chargers announced they have cut cornerback Dante Hughes, linebacker Everette Brown, linebacker Nate Triplett and receiver Bryan Walters. No surprises there.