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Chargers draft 13th in CBS Sports way-too-early mockby Michael Peterson on May 27, 2020 at 10:12 pm
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images Will wide receiver be the top need in 2021? CBS Sports writer R.J. White decided it’s never too early to write another 2021 mock draft because...well...what else is there to do right now. Based on season win-total projections from SportsLine, White has the Chargers picking 13th in next year’s draft. At that spot, the Bolts could be in play for one of the draft’s top offensive tackles or cornerbacks. But against my expectations, White has the Chargers selecting Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross with their first-round pick. Here’s what he had to say about the pick: “The receiver run could certainly happen earlier than this, considering the talent of the players who could be in this draft class. Ross would be a great addition for a Chargers team that has Keenan Allen scheduled to hit free agency in 2021 while Mike Williams plays on an expensive fifth-year option.” This isn’t the first 2021 mock I’ve seen this year that has the Chargers drafting a receiver in the first. One of the first mocks done immediately following the 2020 draft had them drafting Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle who’s got plenty of speed to burn. Surprisingly, it seems like plenty of media members feel as if the Chargers won’t be able to keep Keenan Allen and Mike Williams together for the foreseeable future. Whether they believe Allen will be too expensive in free agency or the Chargers potentially not giving Williams a second contract, they’re banking some sort of movement amongst their WR room. If the Chargers were to draft Ross, my guess is that they would be moving on from Williams because Ross is essentially coming out of Clemson as the same type of receiver. At 6’4 and 205 pounds, he’s a little leaner than Williams but dominates with his size, nonetheless. As a true freshman in 2018, Ross averaged a hair under 22.0 yards per reception and totaled an even 1,000 yards on 46 catches with nine touchdowns. As a sophomore this past season, Ross increased his catches to 66 but say his yardage slip down to 865 while adding another eight scores in his first 14 career starts. He also earned honorable mention All-ACC honors, as well. 74 YARDS!! Justyn Ross to the HOUSE! pic.twitter.com/kCIP1tJmfF— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 8, 2019
Bolts land Kris Dielman in 2003 NFL re-draftby Michael Peterson on May 27, 2020 at 6:37 pm
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images Heading into the 2003 NFL Draft, the Chargers were coming off a 8-8 season under Marty Schottenheimer where they finished 3rd in the AFC West and missed the playoffs entirely. Second-year quarterback Drew Brees struggled in his first season as a starter, throwing 17 touchdowns to 16 interceptions so the offense was unsurprisingly led by LaDainian Tomlinson who rushed for just under 1,700 yards and 14 touchdowns. With defensive stalwarts like Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison on the wrong side of 30, linebacker Donnie Edwards stepped up and had one of the best years of his career, snagging five interceptions and leading the team with 129 total tackles. The Chargers ended up picking 15th in the 2003 NFL Draft but opted to trade back to pick #30 and draft cornerback Sammy Davis. With the other pick, the Bolts also picked up safety Terrence Kiel. In a recent re-draft exercise by Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon, he believes the Chargers would have ended up with offensive guard Kris Dielman, who was originally signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent. “If (the Chargers) could do it all again, they’d stand pat and take Troy Polamalu or Antonio Gates,” said Gagnon. “But with both of those studs long gone, they can at least grab another one of their undrafted success stories from 2003.” Dielman spent his entire nine-year career with the Chargers from 2003-2011. He started 97 games and made the Pro Bowl four-straight years from ‘07-’10. During his six-year prime from ‘05-’10, Dielman missed just three games total and was one of the key presences along that offensive line that helped Tomlinson achieve all his records with the Bolts. “The Chargers, of course, did not win a Super Bowl during the Dielman era, and it would be even harder without Gates. But Dielman helped them win five division titles, so the smart move would be to reclaim him.” Players like wide reciever Anquan Boldin, defensive end Osi Umenyiora, and cornerback Marcus Trufant all went later in the first round and all would have been huge gets for the Chargers, but seeing how the offensive line has turned out since Dielman’s retirement, I’m completely okay with them grabbing him in the first like this.
B/R pegs Joe Reed as the Chargers’ hidden gemby Michael Peterson on May 27, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images Whether it’s on offense or special teams, there’s room to make a splash. Good NFL teams hit on the first few picks of their draft more often than not year-in and year-out. The great teams, however, also manage to nail their day three picks more consistently than the rest of the competition. Managing to find impact players among the weeds is one of the best ways for NFL teams to get better at an accelerated pace. It also allows them better cap flexibility in the future when players making the league minimum are getting the job done over veterans making twice or three times as much. The Chargers look to have one or two of these types of players from this year’s draft class. If you are Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski, then you believe that player for the Bolts is wide receiver and kick returner Joe Reed. After being drafted in the fifth round, Reed told reporters that he was going to be utilized in a variety of ways on offense, on top of competing for return duties. He’ll obviously see time at wide receiver but just like he was utilized at UVA, you may see Reed line up in the backfield with Austin Ekeler and receiver a carry or two. At 6’0 and 220 pounds, Reed is built similarly to the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel and he will likely be used in the same way. Reed adds the same type of versatility that Ekeler originally brought to this offense. It’s the same kind that forced the hand of the Chargers coaching staff and made them find more ways to get him the ball. Being able to line up in a variety of formations with the same personnel gives an offense and edge over the defense in that they don’t have to substitute players on and off as much. They can catch defenses in heavier personnel when they come out with two backs and a tight end but due to their players, the Bolts can audible to empty sets and spread everything out like that. “If the Chargers are truly creative, the 2019 Jet Award winner can come in and serve in a similar role as Cordarrelle Patterson, Percy Harvin or Josh Cribbs,” Sobleski said. “He may never be a full-time wide receiver, yet he can impact a game through a variety of roles.” "Joe Reed is dangerous and Joe Reed is GONE" ENOUGH SAID. #GoHoos (@UVAFootball) pic.twitter.com/b1EyFNNNDZ— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 10, 2018 During his four seasons with the Virginia Cavaliers, Reed accumulated 1,465 receiving yards, 172 rushing yards, 3,042 kick return yards and 22 total touchdowns, including five on special teams. He left Virginia as the only player in college football history to record over 3,000 yards on kick returns while averaging over 26 yards per return. His career-average was 28.7. That’s pretty gnarly. If Reed becomes the star we all think he can be on special teams, then his contributions on offense won’t need to be as spectacular for him to be viewed as a draft diamond. For the team’s sake, I hope it’s both, but some consistency on returns would be welcomed with very, very open arms.
Chargers Daily Links: What’s your week one game day outfit going to be?by Michael Peterson on May 27, 2020 at 1:49 pm
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Your source for all Chargers and NFL news from around the web. It’s never too early to start looking ahead to anything involving the 2020 season, especially with recent steps having been taken that are showing tangible progress being made towards professional football being played in the fall. So for today, let’s chop it up about something I’m sure we have all took some time to think about at one time or another this offseason. What apparel/merch are you planning on rock for the first Chargers game of the season? What’s your week-one fit looking like so far? I can’t for sure answer this question because I have yet to purchase my first of the new jerseys since they sold out before I could make my initial choice. As of now, I’m privy to the navy alternate and the away whites. I’ve been waiting for them to have an icy white with the powder blue and the new unis gave me just that. The navy just looks so hard, though. I think I’m picking between Joey Bosa or Derwin James for either of those. I’m also only purchasing the $150 stitched versions and most of those are sold out right now, including the styles and players I was considering. I reached out to our commerce guy here at SB Nation to see if he could get a word from Fanatics on when they will potentially be re-stocking, but that has yet to be answered. So for me, it’s up in the air, but don’t I’m not mulling it all over in my head. Yeah I know I may or may not be able to go watch it in a packed bar and the only person who may see me on game day is my wife, but I’ll be damned if she doesn’t get blown away by whatever ensemble I decide to put on. So now you tell me, what are you guys planning on sporting come week one? What can’t you wait to finally put on? What are you, if at all, waiting for to come in the mail? Also, here’s some links for you. Chargers News: Jason Reed discusses the best trade in franchise history with the Philadelphia Eagles (Bolt Beat) Gavino Borquez predicts the Chargers’ offensive line depth chart (Chargers Wire) Daniel Popper speaks with WR K.J Hill about his motivation heading into 2020 (The Athletic) Jason Hirschhorn highlights Anthony Lynn’s low chances to win NFL Coach of the Year (Sports Illustrated) Photos of the Chargers’ new helmet around Los Angeles (Chargers.com) NFL News: Brad Gagnon re-drafts the 2003 NFL Draft (Bleacher Report) Gilbert Manzano caught up with former XFL QB Josh Johnson (O.C. Register) Jared Dubin ranks the NFL’s top triplets (CBS Sports) R.J. White posts a very-early 2021 NFL mock draft (CBS Sports) The Miami Dolphins are opening a drive-in theater at Hard Rock Stadium (ESPN)
NFL allowing head coaches to return to facilities next weekby Michael Peterson on May 26, 2020 at 9:14 pm
Teams could potentially start training camps as early as June. According to insiders who spoke with Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson, NFL head coaches could potentially return to facilities next week. Following that, players could potentially return for minicamps starting as early as mid-late June. Per Robinson, the decision to allow players to come back in some way, shape, or form is all “depending on COVID-19 data and whether a handful of franchises get a ‘go ahead’ signal from state governments to resume full operations.” Sources: #NFL head coaches could return to team facilities as early as next week, with full-squad minicamps potentially on the docket for mid-to-late June.Story: https://t.co/6yLVEdkYSo pic.twitter.com/Y200OZjVWP— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) May 26, 2020 A different source for Yahoo Sports has said that the dates of June 15 and June 27 have been tabbed as a preliminary window for potential full-squad minicamps. If minicamps were to take place on the 27th, which is roughly two weeks later than when normal minicamps take place, training camps would then get pushed deeper into July. According Cleveland Browns center and President of the NFLPA, J.C. Tretter, the Players Association would need to agree to any kind of reopening plan before players would return to the facilities. Players: our union has not agreed to any reopening plan. Any reports about coming back to work are hypothetical. You will hear from the NFLPA when there are new developments.— JC Tretter (@JCTretter) May 26, 2020 Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had some confident thoughts on the matter in a recent interview with CNBC. “I think there definitely will be a football season this year,” Ross said. “Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? Right now — today — we’re planning to have fans in the stadium. … We all miss our sports. The NFL, I think, will be ready to go. I know we’re all looking forward to it. I know I am.”