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Chargers draft preview: QBs to consider

We begin our position-by-position look at this year’s draft by taking a closer look at the draft class.

The Chargers appear set at quarterback, with one of the best in the business in Philip Rivers as the team’s signal caller. Rivers is 32 years old, and can play at a high level for a few more years.

With the loss of Charlie Whitehurst in free agency, San Diego added veteran Kellen Clemens to serve as Rivers’ backup.

And the Chargers appear to have a developmental prospect they like in Brad Sorensen, a 2013 seventh-round draft pick that the team protected from any waiver wire claims by keeping him on the active roster all of last season.

Still, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco did not rule out selecting a quarterback in this year’s draft.

“It’s something you keep your eye on because you never know,” Telesco said. “It’s probably not in the front of your mind, but it’s in the back of our mind all of the time. That’s why we evaluate every position like there’s nobody on our roster.

“The same process we do with every other position, we do with the quarterbacks, all the way from August until now. Because you never know when that need may be there, and you never know what might happen in the draft.”

Best QB drafted since 2004: Even though technically the Chargers did not draft him, the obvious choice is Rivers. The Chargers traded No. 1 overall draft choice Eli Manning, who did not want to play in San Diego, for the New York Giants No. 4 overall draft selection in Rivers, along with three other picks. Rivers has earned five Pro Bowl invitations, and has led the franchise to five playoff appearances.

Worst QB drafted since 2004: The Chargers have only selected three quarterbacks in the draft since getting Rivers in 2004. But Tennessee product Jonathan Crompton is the choice here. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Crompton did not make it through final roster cuts his rookie season, and is now playing for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League.

QB depth chart: Starter – Philip Rivers ($13.8 million in total compensation in 2014). Reserves – Kellen Clemens ($1.5 million), Brad Sorenson ($495,000).

A review of quarterbacks San Diego might select in each round of this year’s draft:

First round, No. 25 pick: Teddy Bridgewater, 6-2, 214, Louisville

Eric’s rationale: Forget the pro day. Bridgewater is smart, accurate and takes care of the football. He would be a great fit in San Diego’s up-tempo, short passing game, and could sit and learn from one of the best in the game in Rivers, like Aaron Rodgers did behind Brett Favre.

Second round, No. 57 pick: Jimmy Garoppolo, 6-2, 226, Eastern Illinois

Eric’s rationale: An effective game-manager, throws receivers open and plays with poise.

Third round, No. 89 pick: AJ McCarron, 6-3, 220, Alabama

Eric’s rationale: He has a stronger arm than most folks give him credit for, is a good decision maker and provides leadership from the most important position on the field.

Fourth round, No. 125 pick: Aaron Murray, 6-1, 207, Georgia

Eric’s rationale: Some draft analysts believe Murray could be this year’s Russell Wilson. I won’t go there, but I do like his willingness to take chances and play-making ability.

Fifth round, No. 165 pick: Logan Thomas, 6-6, 248, Virginia Tech

Eric’s rationale: The ultimate developmental prospect, the strong-armed Thomas will make some quarterbacks coach happy on draft day.

Sixth round, No. 201 pick: David Fales, 6-2, 212, San Jose State

Eric’s rationale: Fales’ draft stock has gained steam in recent weeks. He’s accurate, shows poise in the pocket and has a good work ethic.

Seventh round, No. 240 pick: Keith Price, 6-1, 204, Washington

Eric’s rationale: Price showed play-making ability while running a pro-style offense in his first two years of college, but has durability issues.