Tom Telesco will sit in the Chargers War Room, encamped there Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The clock is ticking on him and Coach Mike McCoy, as well as his aging quarterback Philip Rivers. The Chargers have missed the playoffs 4-times in the last 5-seasons. They have just 1-playoff win in the last six years.
Roster-wise, they right now look to be a team sitting on the outside of the playoffs again. They lost a host of veteran free agents, including their power running back, two starters in the secondary, plus the retirement of four other veterans. Years of experience have departed, in addition to the talent gone on the field.
You cannot rate an NFL draft crop till a couple of years in. Telesco’s track record when with the Indianapolis Colts, was to build thru the draft, with an occasional free agent acquisition.
Ranking his first two drafts is easy, based on who is playing, and who has not yet.
The 2013-draft and its letter grades:
(1) DJ Fluker (A)…has been everything you would want as a young player. Has missed only 1-game, has taken virtually every snap. Has shown ability to play guard and tackle. A cornerstone, an anchor, a leader.
(2) Mantei Teo (C)…twice has been injured with foot issues. Showed some improvement late in his sophomore season, but still seems too small to be a force at inside linebacker, and a step slow. Definitely not a difference maker, considering the price they paid to trade up to get him.
(3) Keenan Allen (B)..a pleasant surprise as a rookie, a bit of drop-off in production his second year, but a player at this next level. Must have quality on the other side though to be the big play receiver they need.
(5) Stevie Williams (D)..injuries wrecked his rookie season, learning curve second year steep. Good athlete but hasn’t show ability to make plays.
(6) Tourek Williams (C)..can play special teams, but has not done much as an every down player. Just a guy.
The 2014-draft grades:
(1) Jason Verrett (B)..enormously gifted athlete but has had surgeries on both shoulders. Potential seems spectacular with all his athletic abilities. Might be best corner they have drafted since the days of Gil Byrd. Can be a star if he stays on the field.
(2) Jerry Attaochu (C)..has shown flashes as a pass rusher, but not not much, and had nagging injuries as rookie. Will need to play and contribute this year.
(3) Chris Watt (B)…will be the starting center, hoping to follow long line of centers (Macek-Hall-Hardwick) the franchise has had. Versatility important in that he could play guard if team drafts another center. Future front and center.
(5) Ryan Carrethers (D)..big transition from 1AA football to NFL. Had to play last year because of injuries, but did not do much. Unproven.
So Telesco enters the draft on Thursday night with a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 2.3 on the 4-point scale, surely not good enough. He drafts 17th, 48th and 83rd in the opening three rounds. He could get a couple of “A” players with his first two picks.
He needs to get a couple of “A” players, because with a 33-year old QB, and holes on the roister, the GM and the Coach cannot afford too many more years of non-playoff football.