Good morning. In this ESPN Insider piece, longtime NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. provides his annual draft grades a day after the draft is completed. Always a good read, Kiper provides a thorough break down of each team’s haul heading into the 2014 season.
And San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco received good marks from Kiper. The Chargers received an overall B grade for this year’s haul of six draft picks.
Kiper: “They didn't have many picks, but I think the Chargers came out pretty well. I really like Jason Verrett, a competitive cover man who won't shy away from contact. San Diego gets the added bonus of grabbing a CB that would have been the ideal fit for division rival Denver a handful of picks later. I had OLB down as a need, and the fact that Jeremiah Attaochu was there had to be a pleasant surprise. Chris Watt is a good interior blocker and could be used soon, and Ryan Carrethers gives them the depth they needed up the middle on defense. Marion Grice has really good hands out of the backfield and Tevin Reese, while undersized, is an absolute burner who could find a role given the lack of a similar player. The Chargers didn't have a special draft in terms of value, but they added pretty solid pieces and crossed needs off the list. Because they had only six picks they lose a little value, but they worked the board well.”
In this ESPN Insider piece, draft analyst Todd McShay points to Georgia Tech edge- rusher Jeremiah Attaochu as his favorite player from San Diego’s draft. McShay: “Tom Telesco aced the test last year, with an outstanding draft class, and I feel as though he did another good job this year. TCU corner Jason Verrett has a chance to start and was a good pick at No. 25 overall, but I'm going with Attaochu here. I love his motor and versatility, and I think that the Nigerian is really starting to put it all together. Most importantly, he can convert speed to power -- a skill that is essential to being a successful pass-rusher in the NFL.”
ESPN’s John Clayton says this year’s draft, with defensive backs going early and players like Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix falling to the third round, shows the shift of emphasis to securing faster, rangier athletes to defend spread offenses in the NFL.
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com writes that the Chargers have closed the gap with Denver in the AFC West, giving San Diego an A-minus grade. Rang: “Like Denver, San Diego did a very nice job of filling some holes with a limited number of picks. What Jason Verrett lacks in size, he makes up for with quickness, instincts and tenacity. One of the long-time NFL scouts I trust most graded Verrett as the top senior prospect in the country, regardless of position. I love the schematic fits and value that the Chargers found with outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu in the second round, guard Chris Watt in the third and nose guard Ryan Carrethers in the fifth. Former ASU running back Marion Grice offers a very specific skill-set as one of the elite pass-catchers at the position as does big play wideout Tevin Reese - whose speed is better described with his propensity for long touchdowns rather than just his 40-yard dash time.”
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated gives the Chargers a B grade. Burke: “Loved the start, which featured CB Jason Verrett at No. 25 and OLB Jeremiah Attaochu at No. 50. The rest of San Diego’s work was a little humdrum, albeit need-based humdrum that landed G Chris Watt and 337-pound NT Ryan Carrethers. Seventh-round WR Tevin Reese should have a chance to speed his way to playing time, if he proves a viable deep threat during camp and into the preseason. I wish I could say RB Marion Grice will have the same chance. Unless he wins a kick-return job, though, the talented back will be stuck behind Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown in the backfield. If that happens, the Grice selection will not have made much sense.”
Chargers safety Eric Weddle was voted No. 92 by the players on NFL Network's Top 100. It’s his first time on the list. Check out the video.
Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego writes that Telesco’s draft philosophy is apparent – smart, productive players who love football.
Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that former Chargers defensive tackle Byron Jerideau will get a tryout with the Atlanta Falcons.