The guy who came to buy our old stove, too many people at the gym to count, a man on the way into the coffee shop and another in line at the grocery store . . .

All with the same question over the past few weeks:

Who are the Chargers going to take?

I assumed they didn’t want to know each of the seven picks the Chargers would exercise in the NFL draft but just the first round. And, still, it has been impossible to answer succinctly.

First off, how should I know? A team lying about which players it likes is almost as much a part of the draft lead-up as evaluating the players.

Second, a team making its first selection after 24 other picks have been made is at the mercy of too many variables to have any confidence the guy they really want will be around.

“You always think it’s going to be hard,” Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco said recently. “Even (picking) at 11 last year, you’re like, ‘There are 10 people in front of us.’ ”

What we do believe we know, based on conversations with people inside Chargers Park and around the league, is that when the draft’s first round begins at 5 p.m. PT today, the Chargers will be hoping against hope that one of their two or three highest-rated cornerbacks is available when their turn comes with the 25th overall selection.

We can also have confidence that if one of those cornerbacks has already been picked, the Chargers will pick a player at another position -- or perhaps trade their pick away.

As we discussed the possibilities last week, Telesco would not divulge names but noted that if the players the Chargers deem worthy of taking at 25 all come off the board, “we’ll move out or maybe try to move up.”

Don’t consider the latter likely at all based on the Chargers’ volume of needs and lack of capital to trade. But trading down to acquire more picks is certainly possible.

We can’t read too much into anything that anyone affiliated with a team says this time of year, but the Chargers could well be part of what is expected to be a wild first round.

The top quarterbacks available in this year’s draft come with enough questions that teams in need of that premiere position might wait until after their first pick to grab one. With the Cleveland Browns believed to be eyeing a QB at 26, the spot after the Chargers, that could prompt any one of five or six teams with picks early in the second round to offer multiple picks to swap places with the Chargers to steal a quarterback ahead of the Browns.