Going into the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers knew that they would need help on defense. The goal for the draft was to fill their needs on defensive line and the secondary. Once they solidified those needs then they could move on to bringing some depth to the offensive line and maybe a back-up receiver. With these goals in mind, the Chargers set out to draft the right pieces. They flew right under the radar of analysts and drafted the perfect pieces for the 2012 season.
In the 1st round, General Manager A.J. Smith had a plan in mind. The plan was to trade up with the Buffalo Bills to the 10th pick in the draft and draft Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama. Unfortunately, Barron was the 7th pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After missing out on Barron, Smith chose to sit back on the Chargers 18th pick.
That decision paid off and the Chargers drafted Melvin Ingram, defensive end/outside linebacker, South Carolina. Ingram was a gift for the Chargers since he was projected as an 11-13th pick. Ingram measures at 6’ 2” and weighs 264 lbs. His position is defensive end and outside linebacker so he is versatile to play both. Most analysts say he has short arms but he makes up for it with speed, agility, and strength.
In the 2nd round, the Chargers had the 49th pick. The Chargers drafted Kendall Reyes, defensive tackle, University of Connecticut. Reyes measures at 6’ 4” and weighs 300 lbs. Reyes is a good pick for the Chargers because he is versatile for defensive tackle and defensive end. He will be huge threat on the front line.
In the 3rd round, the Chargers had the 15th pick. They traded up for the 10th pick and picked up Brandon Taylor, safety, Louisiana State University. Taylor measures at 5’ 11” and weighs 209 lbs. Taylor is a fast safety who can make big plays on pass but also come up with big tackles on a run. He is a great pick up for the Chargers especially because of his LSU secondary coaching.
In the 4th round, the Chargers had the 15th pick. They drafted Ladarius Green, tight end, Louisiana-Lafayette. Green measures at 6’ 6” and weighs 238 lbs. Green was drafted to add some depth to the tight end position led by Antonio Gates.
In the 5th round, the Chargers had the 14th pick. They drafted Johnnie Troutman, offensive guard, Penn State. Troutman measures at 6’ 4” and weighs 325 lbs. Troutman was drafted to fill some guard depth with the retirement of Kris Dielman.
In the 7th round, the Chargers had the 19th and 43rd pick. They drafted David Molk, center, Michigan and Edwin Baker, running back, Michigan State. Molk measures at 6’ 1” and weighs 298 pounds. Baker measures at 5’ 9” and 210 pounds. Molk will add depth to the offensive line and Baker will add depth to the backfield.
The Chargers filled all the needs for their team at the NFL Draft. They will have to compete with Peyton Manning in the AFC West and now they have some good defensive players to have a rushing attack and a solid secondary. They have a schedule with an abundance of good quarterbacks and the Chargers will bring as much pressure as they can. A.J. Smith is doing a great job so far in free agency and the NFL Draft especially with his job on the line this season. Now it will be time for Coach Norv Turner to have the best season for this all new Chargers team. If Coach Turner and GM Smith want to keep their jobs then it’s going to be Super Bowl or bust this season.