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Why trading down makes sense for Telesco

4/19/2014

Good morning. As we try to predict what player or positional need the San Diego Chargers could fill with the team’s No. 25 overall selection in this year’s draft, there’s a chance general manager Tom Telesco could trade out of the first round all together.

And while that doesn't make for an exciting experience for fans attending Chargers draft parties on Day 1 of the draft, scooping up an extra pick could help Telesco fill in depth for this year’s team, especially with no compensatory picks this year.

At No. 25, the Chargers sit in front of a QB-needy team in Cleveland at No. 26. So San Diego sits at one of potential trading points of the first round, particularly if a team such as Jacksonville, Oakland or Houston didn’t get their quarterback at the top of the first round, and now wants to trade back into the end of the first round to draft someone such as Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Derek Carr.

As ESPN Jaguars beat reporter Mike DiRocco indicates, Jacksonville had Bridgewater back for a second visit. The Louisville quarterback fits Gus Bradley’s offensive system. And from Bradley’s experience in Seattle with Russell Wilson, he understands how important it is to have good leadership and a strong work ethic at the quarterback position.

But the Jaguars probably will not pull the trigger at No. 3 on Bridgewater. Jacksonville has 11 picks overall, including the seventh pick in the second round (39th overall), so they have enough draft ammunition to trade back up into the first round to select someone like Bridgewater.

The Jaguars probably will not use all 11 picks, and they can afford to lose a pick in order to get the player they want.

Getting ahead of a team that needs a quarterback, such as Cleveland, would be advantageous for Jacksonville. And Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has a good relationship with Telesco from their time working together in Indianapolis.

Actually, the two have known each since their high school days at St. Francis in Buffalo, N.Y., and played college together at John Carroll University, where Telesco played receiver and Caldwell played linebacker.

Both the Chargers and the Jaguars probably run similar draft boards, so putting a deal together should not be too complicated. According to this draft chart, the Jaguars could trade their second round pick (39) and third-round selection (No. 70) for San Diego’s first round selection (No. 25).

The trade would give San Diego four picks in the sweet spot of this year’s draft, at 39, 57, 70 and their own third-round selection at No. 89. According to ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay’s top 150 draft prospects, the Chargers could still fill the team’s most obvious needs in the second round.

Cornerbacks such as Nebraska’s Stan Jean-Baptiste or Lindenwood’s Pierre Desir are still available. Interior offensive lineman such as Nevada’s Joel Bitonio and Xavier Su’a-Filo likely will be on the board.

Pass-rushers such as Auburn’s Dee Ford or Oregon State’s Scott Crichton could be available in the second round.

Or San Diego could get a playmaking receiver such as Indiana’s Cody Latimer or Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews at this point of the draft. By trading down, the Chargers could give themselves an opportunity to add three impact players in Day 2 of the draft.