Need plus talent available equals the Chargers drafting an offensive lineman with the No. 11 pick. That's how three experts see it. U-T San Diego's Eddie Brown has the Chargers taking Alabama guard Chance Warmack. Over at ESPN, Todd McShay links the Bolts to Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson, and Mel Kiper Jr. lists North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper as the man. Feeling left out, I'll add a few points: • I'm a believer in drafting the best player available. So, even though the offensive line needs a talent infusion, the Chargers need to do homework on non-blockers as well. Reaching for a first-round pick is a good way to remain out of the playoffs. If Chargers scouts conclude that, say, a pass-rusher is a better player than a blocker, and by more than a little, I say, "Take him!" Draft strategy is a topic that I'll revisit. Two months ago, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had strong comments about "best player available" when I asked him about Pittsburgh's draft philosophy. • The Raiders would be wise to trade down, and the Chiefs would be nuts to take a quarterback first overall, unless the NFL returns Andrew Luck to the draft. • The Chargers are hoping teams above them over-draft quarterbacks. Time for them to begin a whispering campaign lauding Matt Barkley (our scouts love him!), Mike Glennon (the next Joe Flacco!) and Geno Smith (too smart, too accurate to fail!). To get started, Tom Telesco may want to have a word with former boss Bill Polian, a clearinghouse for draft dope.
Mocks peg OL for Bolts top pick
San Diego Union-Tribune | Feb 8