Tag:San Diego
Posted on: April 19, 2011 8:12 pm

San Diego Chargers Draft Preview


   2010 record: 9-7, second place AFC West 

2011 draft rundown

   Seven total picks (round): 18 (1), 50 (2), 61 (2), 82 (3), 89 (3), 183 (6), 201 (6), 234 (7)

Top needs:

   Defensive End: Jacques Cesaire and Travis Johnson are only adequate, plus could be free agents.

   Linebacker: Stephen Cooper and/or Kevin Burnett won't be back, Donald Butler can only play one spot, and there hasn't been much production across from Shaun Phillips.

   Safety: The team can't depend on signee Bob Sanders to stay healthy, and Eric Weddle may be the next free agent unwilling to work with GM A.J. Smith.

   Running Back: If Darren Sproles doesn't return, a complementary running back to Ryan Matthews is needed.

   Wide Receiver: The team put the franchise tag on Vincent Jackson, and Malcom Floyd flashed in 2010, and Patrick Crayton did not light the world on fire before his wrist injury.

 First round focus

  18th overall

  --In the middle of the first round the Chargers won't have their pick of the elite prospects in the draft, but have a chance to pick a rising star. Free agency may take a toll on the team's front seven, which didn't perform to expectations in 2010; finding a young, athletic five-technique end or linebacker seems a reasonable place for General Manager A.J. Smith to start. Though receiver and safety are also team needs, the value at those positions may not match the value of their selection.

 Five names on Chargers' board
  --DE Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
  --OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
  --DT Corey Liuget, Illinois
  --OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri
  --OLB Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: February 10, 2011 8:04 pm

Cam Newton Media Workout Video

Marty Caswell of XX1090 AM radio in San Diego shot nearly 15 minutes of video of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton's Media Day workout Thursday. The link to the video is below.

The video has been cut up. The first seven minutes of the video are actually some of Newton's post workout question-and-answer session with the media. For those only interested in Newton's throwing, it begins at approximately the 7:03 mark.

I'd recommend listening to the interview, however. Though none of the hard questions were posed to Newton -- about the pay-for-play scandal that hung over his head while with the Tigers, etc. -- we are allowed some insight as to how he handles questions from interviewers. As we've seen in prior interviews, Newton is poised and funny, at times. He also resorts to cliches, on occasion. Is this nerves or is Newton going to struggle with the significant expansion in terminology of an NFL offense? This, much more than how well he throws in shorts, is a concern he'll need to address for teams during interviews at the Combine.

In the workout itself, Newton demonstrates good timing and efficiency in his drops. He has a smooth, over the top release and generally good accuracy. He does throw some balls a bit high, at times, especially during the early crossing routes. He shows the ability to stick some of the sideline throws, as well as demonstrate his great touch on the deep balls.

Among the more impressive things Newton does is adjust when Trent Dilfer requests some different throws. The willingness to do this -- and do it well -- no doubt contributed to Dilfer's and Warren Moon's rave reviews of the workout.

Newton does look good in on this video. The reality, is however, is that he should. Having personally been on hand for two stellar workouts that moved Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford into the top five of their respective drafts, I can tell you that I cannot see enough on this video to put Newton on par with either of those workouts.

I hope the positive press Newton is receiving from this workout encourages him to throw at the Combine. I hope to watch him in person there -- as I'm sure do the talent evaluators for 32 NFL teams. 

Video Link 
Posted on: January 11, 2011 8:47 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 12:54 pm

'Fairley' dominant game won't push DT to No. 1

For those who have watched Auburn's Nick Fairley dominate the competition all year long, last night's performance against Oregon in the BCS Championship game was no surprise. Even the comparisons to the Detroit's Pro Bowl rookie Ndamukong Suh used by ESPN announcer Kirk Herbstreit had been used before.

The reality is, however, many had not seen Fairley play until last night's game -- including some NFL general managers.

The 6-5, 299 pound Fairley was his typically disruptive self, posting five tackles, including three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Oregon tried beating with with traps, double-teams and having QB Darron Thomas "read" him in an effort to slow down the big fella and nothing worked consistently.

The All-American finished his junior season with an eye-popping 60 tackles including nearly half of them behind the line of scrimmage (24 for a loss of 106 yards) and 11.5 sacks.

And yet for as dominant as Fairley was last night, he isn't likely to have moved himself into position to be taken with the first overall pick.

Why? There are two reasons.

For one, scouts are rightfully afraid that he is a bit of a one year wonder. Fairley did little to stand out in his first season at Auburn after transferring from Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Mississippi. Starting two of 13 games, Fairley posted 28 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss.

There is no denying Fairley's talent - I've had scouts tell me he's the most gifted player in the country - but few teams have been willing to gamble a high first round pick on a "one year wonder" at defensive tackle since some high profile busts of similar players in the early part of the decade. The Browns (Gerard Warren), Jets (Dewayne Robertson) and Saints (Johnathan Sullivan)  each devoted top six picks to flashy SEC defensive tackles whose stock was based largely off of one dominant season and that tantalizing thought of "upside."

More importantly, Fairley is simply a poor fit for the 3-4 defense Carolina may incorporate if they do hire San Diego's defensive coordinator Ron Rivera as is being widely reported.

EDIT - Rivera played and coached extensively out of the 4-3 alignment during his time with the Bears (player and coach) and Eagles before becoming the Chargers defensive coordinator --

Fairley's best attribute -- his explosive burst upfield - makes him a prototypical fit as a three-technique defensive tackle in the 4-3 alignment -- just as he was being used last night (and all year long) by Auburn. His long arms make it possible that he could make the transition to the 3-4, but it would be a waste of his talents to put him at defensive end in the odd man front, especially considering that the "money" man in this alignment is at nose guard. Fairley, for as dominant as he is, is special due to his quickness, not extraordinary strength -- a requirement to play the zero technique in the 3-4.

Of course, with Carolina expected to strongly pursue any trade offers out of the No. 1 pick, a teaming built around the 4-3 and willing to gamble on Fairley's upside could still make him the No. 1 pick.

As always, for the best in NFL draft coverage, be sure to check out NFLDraftScout.com.

Posted on: March 10, 2010 7:06 pm

Husky defenders surprise at UW Pro Day

Washington inside linebacker Donald Butler made a strong impression at the Senior Bowl, earning himself a late invitation to the Combine after being passed over initially.

Then he surprised scouts in Indianapolis with his strength; leading all linebackers with 35 repetitions of 225 pounds. A sprained ankle suffered in Mobile kept him out of the rest of the drills, however.

Healthy, Butler helped himself Wednesday in Seattle, running in the high 4.6s to low 4.7s, according to those in attendance, and leading all participants with a 35.5" vertical jump.

While Butler may have solidified his reputation as one of more unheralded inside linebackers of this class, the player who helped himself the most was clearly pass rusher Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.

Scouts (and I, as well) had often characterized Te'o-Nesheim as a try-hard, limited athlete with little to offer NFL teams in terms of upside. He leaves UW as a four-year starter and the team's career leader with 30 sacks. However, he helped his cause with a solid performance at the Combine, ranking among the best defensive linemen in the vertical jump (37), 3-cone drill (6.91) and short shuttle (4.18).

At the Washington Pro Day Wednesday, Te'o-Nesheim proved both bigger (6-3 1/2, 267 pounds) and faster (4.63) that scouts expected.

Considering his straight-line speed and the surprising agility he's shown during drills, a number of teams are beginning to look at Te'o-Nesheim as a rising prospect for the 3-4 rush linebacker position. I felt that he could be successful in this role due to his pass rush ability and instincts. There are few players in the country who play with greater and more consistent hustle and intensity that he did throughout his career.

The Combine and Pro Day drills often identify workout warriors whose film doesn't back up the athleticism they show in shorts.

For Te'o-Nesheim, who I once characterized as a likely priority free agent,  the surprising athleticism he's showing during these drills could really boost his stock -- perhaps to the middle rounds.

Seattle, San Diego, Cleveland and Indianapolis were among the teams represented at Washington's Pro Day.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com