Photo via Ric Tapia/ AP Images
ESPN’s NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had high praise for the Los Angeles Chargers’ haul in the 2017 draft, giving them an ‘A’ grade.
Los Angeles started out by drafting former Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams, which Kiper thought was a great pick for general manager Tom Telesco stating he got the “top-ranked receiver at No.7” and it was “the Chargers’ top need,” per Kiper.
L.A. did an excellent job at recognizing what the draft had to offer as well as who they had under center, choosing to arm their aging franchise quarterback Philip Rivers to the teeth with protection and weapons. Telesco followed that by upgrading his secondary over the following two days.
In addition to needing a pass catcher, the Bolts needed major help protecting Rivers. Consequently, L.A. grabbed Kiper’s “Nos. 1 and 3 ranked guards in Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney.”
Lastly, the Chargers got it right with former Iowa safety (and projected nickel cornerback in the NFL) Desmond King.
He was another elite college player who slid in the draft likely due to his 4.6 second 40-yard dash. King posted 14 career interceptions, won the Jim Thorpe Award and brings the versatility “to end up at safety or slot corner,” per Kiper — yet fortunately fell into Telesco’s lap in the fifth round.
Kiper was spot on when it came to all of the picks, however, he neglected to discuss how the Chargers failing to address their need on the interior of the defensive line. Given that Kiper penalized other teams for not filling needs in his draft grades, this makes his analysis inconsistent at best.
Los Angeles did pick up former Notre Dame defensive tackle Isaac Rochell in the seventh round, but not many are expecting a seventh-round pick to make much of an impact.
To those people, NFL history has a lesson to teach, as it is a league which constantly sees fourth-to-seventh round players make up the vast majority of their rosters.