2012 was a season to forget for San Diego. After three consecutive years of missing the playoffs, Norv Turner will be relieved of his duties as soon as tomorrow. A.J. Smith will likely join him as well.
Although Philip Rivers had another down year, signs are pointing towards keeping him as the face of the franchise, along with Antonio Gates. It could be the last season as a Charger for other players, like Quentin Jammer, Takeo Spikes and Antoine Cason.
If A.J. Smith is fired, the next coach will not be selected until a GM is. Jimmy Raye, director of player personnel for the Chargers, is the leading candidate for the job.
Organizational moves will be made, so let's focus on position needs in the upcoming draft.
It's come to the point that a five-year-old could point out the Chargers' biggest weakness: the offensive line. After that, the focus should be on the cornerback position, with Jammer and Cason fading.
Overall, the biggest needs, in order, are: OL, CB, LB, DT, SS, RB.
Before people jump the gun and want the Chargers to draft a wide receiver, remember: Vincent Brown will be back next season. Danario Alexander will most likely return as well with Malcom Floyd and Micheal Spurlock. San Diego should be in good shape there.
Round 1: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Behind Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews and Taylor Lewan are the next best offensive tackles. Both Joeckel and Matthews attended Texas A&M and will go in the first round. Of course, if Joeckel falls to the Chargers, it's a no-brainer, but that isn't likely.
Jake Matthews is quick off the snap and is a very good pass blocker, but even better run blocker. He is 6'5'', 305 pounds, which is the ideal size for an offensive lineman. Matthews has the ability to play at either left tackle or right tackle, so whether it be Gaither or Clary, one of them should be out of a starting position.
Round 2: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
In an article I wrote earlier this month, I stated that the Chargers should sign Marcus Trufant in the offseason and select his brother in the draft. San Diego would get a veteran leader at cornerback, who would also speed up his brother's learning process.
Trufant is 6'0'' and runs a 4.49 40. He isn't the fastest guy available, but consistency is more important.
He's better in zone coverage than in man, but his tackling needs improvement. All in all, San Diego needs better cornerbacks, and it should start with the Trufant family.
Round 3: Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida
Takeo Spikes may have played his final game in the NFL today, so the Chargers are in desperate need of another middle linebacker. Donald Butler has become a stud recently, showing great promise for years to come. On the other side, Jonas Mouton has done nothing to entice coaches or fans.
Bostic is a big-bodied linebacker that really showed up this season. He had 65 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and three sacks in 2012.
San Diego needs a strong core of linebackers in 2013 so its defense can play the way they did this season.
Round 4: Damion Square, DT, Alabama
Antonio Garay was nonexistent this season, having only played in half the games. Aubrayo Franklin, who filled in quite nicely at nose tackle this season, is 32 years old. San Diego must draft a player for the future.
Damion Square had a nice season for Alabama. He is very athletic and fast for his position. His athleticism allows him to move to defensive end if needed.
Round 5: John Sullen, OG, Auburn
At 6'4'', 336 pounds, John Sullen is a big guy.
Sullen struggles in run blocking, but his pass protection is outstanding. He must work on his quickness off the snap, but that area will improve at the next level. John Sullen would add depth and competition on the Chargers front line.
Round 6: Earl Wolff, SS, North Carolina State.
Atari Bigby failed to stay healthy this season, and Brandon Taylor tore his ACL late in the year. San Diego can't roll with Corey Lynch in 2013. Earl Wolff is an interesting talent that the Chargers should keep their eye on.
He's a speedster, running a 4.43 40-yard-dash. He excels at tackling, using his elusive speed and athleticism to be a big hitter. Wolff was a converted safety, playing cornerback in high school.
Round 7: Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State.
Oh, how the Chargers have missed Darren Sproles. Sproles brought a dangerous aspect to San Diego's offense. Since his departure, Philip Rivers has not been the same. Rivers has thrown the most passes to running backs in the NFL this season, so another Darren Sproles type back could be useful.
Robbie Rouse is 5'7'', but with the strength of a 6'5'' player. He only runs a 4.52 40-yard-dash, so his speed will not jump at you, but his quick moves will. His ability to break tackles and make fast decisions is the reason he is the all-time leading rusher at Fresno State.
San Diego would then have two Fresno State running backs on the roster.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!