-0-“Chargers–Front Office Report Card”
Thursday-NFL Draft Day…the draft is the lifeline to your franchise.
History has shown us, teams that put together brilliant drafts, year by year, are the ones that become great franchises.
In modern day football, look no farther than what Chuck Noll did in turning around a (1-13) Steelers franchise…in the 1970s. It was more than Terry Bradshaw.
Look at the accomplishments of Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones in the early days of the Dallas Cowboys…a special era in the 80s. All those trades that netted them Troy Aikman-Emmitt Smith-Michael Irvin and more.
And then there is the Patriot Way under Bill Belichick…all those rings with a 6th round draft pick-Tom Brady-at quarterback.
Even the Chargers, under John-Butler-AJ Smith strung together three very good draft, though it never resulted in the team getting to a Super Bowl.
So as the sun comes up on the Chargers, the jury cannot give the current leadership of John Spanos-Tom Telesco a good grade for their drafts. Despite inheriting Philip Rivers, the team has won only two playoff games in a decade plus, dating back to 2008.
A look back at the drafts they (Spanos-Telesco) have authored:
2020..QB Justin Herbert had a brilliant rookie season as the team fell apart around him. He and LB-Kenneth Murray had rock solid first seasons. WRs-Joe Reed-KJ Hill made some plays in brief opportunities. Grade (B)
2019..A strong defensive draft, though plagued by injury issues. DT-Jerry Tillery has proved to be a two position starter. LB-Dru Tranquill was a starter till he got hurt-but played well. S-Nasir Adderly has shown flashes. The jury is still out on OT-Trey Pipkens. Grade (B)
2018..S-Derwin James has excelled but has had 2-major injuries in 3-years. LB-Ochenna Nwasu will be a fulltime starter-but we have to see if he is a difference maker. Justin Jones-Kyzer White have been part-time starters-but seem just to be guys. Grade (B)
2017..WR-Mike Williams is getting paid a ton of money (15M) but has not been an every down-every game guy. Needs to be targeted more-needs to produce more-needs to become a complete player heading into his 4th year. Show us you deserve that kind of money. The rest of the draft was a washout, and they are all gone. Forrest Lamp-Dan Feeney-Rayshawn Jenkins-Desmond King-Sam Tevi-Issac Rochelle. Thought they would be foundation players, but they are all somewhere else. Look like wasted picks. Grade (D)
2016..Joey Bosa-big production-big contract-history of getting nicked. TE-Hunter Henry is gone after 1-year of franchise tag money and a bunch of injuries. The rest of the draft failed, Max Tuek-Josh Perry-Jatavius Brown-Drew Kaster-DJ Watt..Five gone from that draft…Grade (B)
2015..Melvin Gordon had strong seasons but they cut him loose-have not replaced him. Denzel Perryman played alot but not a big difference maker. The rest failed, Craig Mager-Kyle Emanuel-Darius Philon..Grade (C)
2014..Jason Verrett-Jerry Attaochu wrecked by injuries. No one else made it. Grade (F)
2013..OG-DJ Fluker plateaued-and became a journeyman. LB-Mantei’Teo-disappeared. Keenan Allen saved the draft and is the most underrated receiver in the game. Wasted alot of picks. Grade (C).
The scoreboard shows a (62-68) record since John Spanos and Tom Telesco took over. It shows them having failed on the hirings of Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn as head coaches. It shows just two playoff wins even with a Hall of Fame quarterback (Rivers) leading the franchise.
The Chargers have had 14-winning seasons in 36-years of ownership under the Spanos flag. Despite Justin Herbert, now a new coaching staff takes over, and a new learning curve for alot of new players.
They may have 9-picks in this year’s draft and a chance to get quality starters at #13 and #47, and yes they have 4-of top 100-picks in the draft. But they have alot of holes to fill, and alot of learning to do under a new coach described as ‘Rhodes Scholar’ intellect.
But what about their draft history? I have given them 4-Bs….2-Cs…1D…1F. Not very good considering how high they have drafted.
Great point average for Spanos-Telesco…(2.1GPA) over their 8-seasons..just a shade over a “C” grade.
Considering what they had inherited, Rivers-Tomlinson-Gates-the franchise has underachieved.
Surely not Chuck Noll-Jimmy Johnson standards. Not even equal to the fired AJ Smith. Surely not Belichick like.
They better hit it right, or someone else will be doing the drafting in future years.