4/1/2015 by James Fedewa
The San Diego Chargers have holes all over their roster and this years draft can be used to fill some very important team needs. The Chargers draft plan a little different this year because there are decent and quality starters at every starting position (vs. the last two years). The starting roster looks good on paper, granting GM Tom Telesco to draft Best Player Available (BPA) prospects for depth (not immediate starters). The “holes” are San Diego’s depth…
Based on departed free agents (plus newly signed free agents) the Chargers have a few specific positional team needs:
- Running Back (with Ryan Mathews departure, they could use a stater late in the draft)
- Outside Linebacker (with Dwight Freeny and Jarret Johnson departures)
- Safety (with Gilchrist’s departure)
- Defensive Line Rotational Players
- Offensive Line Depth
- Inside Linebacker
Players to watch in the first round:
- Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska – Once a top ten prospect, just tested positive for marijuana and came to the combine 20 lbs. lighter than ideal. A very good player prospect, but may slide to the mid first round.
- Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa – arguably the best offensive line prospect in this years draft, but projects to be a guard in the NFL (and similar guard prospects can be found later in the draft).
- Alvin Dupree, OLB, Kentucky – a very good pass rushing OLB. He has speed, quick twitch, power and plays well in space. The OLB draft class is loaded and Dupree is rated 5th at his position, which can cause him to slide a little. Dupree has all the physical tools, but needs a couple more pass rush moves and needs good coaching. He’s a diamond in the rough…
- DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville – There are quality wide receivers projected everywhere in this draft. As many as 3 can go in the top ten and 6 taken in the first round alone. With this much depth at the position, teams could delay drafting highly talented receivers.
- Danny Shelton, DT, Washington – How can a man this big play this fast? Projected to be a nose tackle, but Shelton can play all three defensive line positions in a 3-4 defense (which makes him very versatile).
- La’el Collins, OT, LSU – Played left tackle in college, but projects at G or RT (and those positions can slide). Collins has plenty of talent and is a gifted althelete for a man his size. A very good “team” guy and leader.
- Landon Collins, Safety, Alabama – Collins can start day one and is a team need position heading into the draft. As talented as Collins is, he might not fit San Diego’s defensive scheme, but he would be a major upgrade at the position regardless of scheme. He a big hitter, which good size and brings nastiness, a much desired need in San Diego’s secondary (since Weddle, Varrett and Flowers are lighter players).
Players to watch in in round two:
- Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State – Run stuffing DT, could slide into the 2nd round
- Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin – More speed than power, homerun threat
- Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF – world class speed and good size (probably goes in the 1st round, but might slide in a deep WR class)
- J. Humphries, OT, Florida – Talented Left Tackle prospect that not a lot of people talk about. Better than projected (but could be pick in the 1st round)
- Jordon Phillips, DT, Oklahoma – mammoth nose tackle built like a truck
- Devin Smith, WR, OSU – high speed slot receiver
- Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota – all around pure tight end that can catch and block (imagine what the running game would look like with a true TE)
Players to watch in round three:
- Carl Davis, DT, Iowa – 3-4 DE with ideal body type for the position
- Cody Prewitt, S, Ole’ Miss – a free safety in a big strong safety’s body. A thumper with good range. Has the tools, but still a work in progress
- Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State – power runner with big play ability
- Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami – small and fast slot receiver
- Quinten Rollins, CB/S, Miami (Ohio) exbasketballer turned physical hard hitting CB. Might project to safety
- Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn – savvy well-rounded center.
- David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa – a soft handed, do-it-all, BIG back with knack for the big play.
Players to watch in round four:
- Marcus Hardison, DT, Arizona State
- Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
- Daryl Williams, OT, Oklahoma
- Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford
- Jeff Heuerman, TE, OSU
- Adrian Amos, S, Penn State
- Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska
Players to watch in Round five:
- Jordon Hicks, ILB, Texas
- Max Valles, OLB, Virginia
- Craig Mager, CB, Texas State
- Tyeler Davison, DT, Fresno State
- Clayton Geathers, S, UCF
Players to watch in Round Six:
- Hayes Pullard, ILB, USC
- Laurence Gibson, OT, Virginia Tech
- Ibraheim Campbell, S, Northwestern
- Shaquille Mason, C, Georgia Tech
- Xzavier Dickson, OLB, Alabama
**Predicted Chargers Mock Draft (1.0):
- Alvin Dupree, OLB, Kentucky (gets into the rotation quickly)
- Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (Telesco wants a RB in the 3rd or 4th round, but Gordon is BPA at this point)
- Carl Davis, DT, Iowa (depth player, but can develop into a very good player)
- Adrian Amos, S, Penn State (stock is climbing from recent pro day)
- Jordon Hicks, ILB, Texas (depth and special team guy)
- Laurence Gibson, OT, Virginia Tech (Coach Joe-D’s new toy to develop into a pro LT – new swing tackle)
|3/26/15 by James Fedewa|
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State||Winston has maturity issues, but he is young which is fine. He’s done with the freshman antics and he is worthy of a #1 overall selection. Winston can lead a team to a championship and has leadership qualities. If Jameis can continue to grow, and stay out of trouble, he will have a very long career in the NFL (throwing to a dangerous group of Tampa receivers).|
|2||Tennessee Titans||Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon||The Titans could go defense here (Williams), but Mariota is a premium QB prospect and fits the new age of flex NFL QB, and can be an All Pro within a couple of years. He should be be better than Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Kaepernick.|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Leonard Williams, DT, USC||Williams is the best defender in this years class, and could potentially go #1 overall. The Jaguars defense just got a whole lot better.|
|4||Oakland Raiders||Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama||Cooper is the complete reciever. He can catch everything, run every route, has good footwork and can run away with it. Cooper is and has been the top WR in this draft.|
|5||Washington Redskins||Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida||Mega Motor Speed Pass Rusher. You can’t teach speed or heart, Fowler has that, plus pure talent. A great compliment to Kerrigan (bye bye Orakpo)|
|6||New York Jets||Shane Ray, DE, Missouri||The Jets 3-4 Defense did well last seasons, but their OLB’s are square pegs in round holes. Ray is the best edge rusher in this class (in a very deep class). His size makes him a better prospect than the other small speed OLB’s in this years draft|
|7||Chicago Bears||Vic Beasley, OLB/DE, Clemson||Beasley will can fit into the OLB rotation very well in Chicago’s new 3-4, and can bring some much needed pressure on opposing QB’s.|
|8||Atlanta Falcons||Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky||Atlanta hasn’t had a premier pass rusher in 5 years and has been a top priority for way too long. Bud as all the tools to be a star, but he’s a little raw and needs some good coaching. But his overall quick-twitch talent in unteachable and very valuable.|
|9||New York Giants||Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa||Scherff has the potential to be a Pro Bowl guard, or a very good left tackle. Very good left tackles are what you try to draft (with the first OL taken in a draft). He’s a perfect if for the NYG, to protect Eli.|
|10||St. Louis Rams||Kevin White, WR, West Virginia||The Rams defense looks great. The Rams offense doesn’t. Time to invest in a real WR and White is a good one (real good one).|
|11||Minnesota Vikings||La’el Collins, OT, LSU||The Vikings have drafted too much finesse the last few drafts. Collin’s will bring some meanness back to the O-line. He will be plugged into a guard spot, but could develop into a future Left Tackle.|
|12||Cleveland Browns||DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville||Parker has great hands, and no WR in Cleveland does. Drop balls killed Manziel’s rookie year ( so did Gordon). Parker has ideal size, sprinter speed and great hands.|
|13||New Orleans Saints||Danny Shelton, DT, WA||Saints have wholes on offense and defense but their biggest need is DL. Shelton can play anywhere in a 3-4 D line, which is extremely valuable.|
|14||Miami Dolphins||Jaelen Strong WR Arizona St.||The Dolphins need to find some playmakers and a #1 WR. Strong looks the part and should be more productive than Wallace ever was in Miami.|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State||The 49ers will draft BPA, always do, regardless of need. But this year, finding the best CB prospect at #15 is unheard of, AND they need CB’s too.|
|16||Houston Texans||Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford||Building a good offensive line is the smart move and Houston usually drafts very “safe”. Peat is a very safe pick as he could play guard or tackle.|
|17||San Diego Chargers||Randy Gregory, DE/OLB, Nebraska||The fall of Gregory is San Diego’s jackpot. Gregory failed a drug test at the combine (pot), weighed in 20 lbs. underweight (blamed on illness) so some GM’s might want to avoid Mr. Excuses. The Chargers lose 2 OLB’s this offseason and Gregory can be included with a young trio of outside pass rushers (w/ Ingram and Attaochu)|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida||The Chiefs could go TE here, but it’s a little too early. With the three WR’s already taken, KC can’t wait till round two to find a receiver that they need now. Perriman is a quick riser and Reid likes quick recivers.|
|19||Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo Bills)||Jordan Phillips DT Oklahoma||Browns got their WR earlier, now it’s time to stuff the run and get some BEEF on the D line|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Shaq Thompson OLB Washington||Assuming Philly doesn’t go QB or DL here, Thompson can play LB or SS. He’s a wild card, just like Chip. Perfect fit.|
|21||Cincinnati Bengals||T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh||Cincy doesn’t have a lot of “needs” but getting younger on the OL is a very safe route.|
|22||Pittsburgh Steelers||Marcus Peters CB Washington||The Steelers secondary is OLD and time to get young.|
|23||Detroit Lions||Eddie Goldman DT Florida St.||With Fairly and Suh gone, Detroit needs new big bodies on D|
|24||Arizona Cardinals||Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia||A top RB might be the perfect pick here, or even their future QB.|
|25||Carolina Panthers||D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida||Panthers need a OT, badly and they couldn’t be happier with Clemmings sliding to them at 25|
|26||Baltimore Ravens||Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma||Ravens have lost two WR in this offseason, and if you’re going to play Flacco $20 million per year, you better supply him weapons|
|27||Dallas Cowboys||Landon Collins, SS, Alabama||Replacing DeMarco Murray will be a hard task, but Jerrah likes to made bold picks. Collins is the best safety in this class, and will improve the secondary day one|
|28||Denver Broncos||Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami||Broncos lost LG Franklin, and they need to replace him for one last SB run for Manning|
|29||Indianapolis Colts||Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest||OL might be a safe pick, but a talented CB trumps all that. Johnson has teh tools to be a great CB.|
|30||Green Bay Packers||Arik Armstead DE Oregon||Green Bay should draft more OL protection too, but the offense is loaded and the D Line needs attention Armstead is a prototypical 34-DE (if Philly doesn’t get him first)|
|31||New Orleans Saints (via Seattle)||Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota||After trading Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks, the Saints need a TE and Brees (& the city) will embrace a “true” TE (who can actually block and catch, with a great attitude)|
|32||New England Patriots||Malcom Brown, DT, Texas||The Pats lost both starting CB this offseason, so CB is the target, but Brown is too good to pass up.|
By James Fedewa – 3/6/2015 (@JAMFED)
Free agency is starting to launch and NFL teams are scrambling to resign their own players before they officially become Free Agents. Rumors and front-runner gossip are beginning to swirl too, as in “where will Ndamukong Suh go” and “who’s going to get Vince Wilfork…”
2/27/2015 – by James Fedewa (@jamfed)
By James Fedewa – 2/19/2015
The Chargers and Raiders announced a possible joint-venture today, mutually perusing a $1.7 billion stadium option in Carson, California. A “super” stadium / mega-complex that both teams could call their home. Initial football fan thoughts have been very negative, regarding two divisional rivals, that share a mutual hate for each other, splitting the same home field. But moving one of those two teams to the NFC West makes this move a very interesting scenario and discussion, which could be a very smart business move for the Raiders, Chargers and the NFL.
If you are a Chargers fan, your biggest rival are the Raiders. Same applies with the Broncos and the Chiefs, who call the Raiders their largest Rival. 75% of the AFC West hate the Raiders the most, which is outstanding, considering the Raiders that have been the worst team in the NFL over the last ten years. Yet the Raiders are still the largest rival and most hated team in the AFC West.
In contrast, the mere words “San Diego” generally makes people smile. The beach, the warm weather, the lifestyle, the fun… it’s a vacation city. If the Chargers dropped their team name and just went with their city name, the team would still have a large fan base. Would you be a fan of The San Diego’s? YES! Granted, a city does not necessary make a team (but it could in San Diego). Other than the actual team, what creates and generates an overall team? THE FANS. Chargers fans are generally a very nice bunch, which makes it easy, fun (and some what mild) to root for the Chargers.
So which team would join the NFC West? The Raiders or The Chargers?
Could the Raiders sell out a stadium in Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis? Probably (San Francisco for sure because of the Bay Area Oakland fans, but one of those city will be moved to the AFC West).
Could the Chargers sell out a stadium in Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle or St. Louis? This is debatable, but probable. San Diego fans could travel to Phoenix and San Francisco fairly easy, and Seattle is an old rival from when they were in the AFC West. If any teams FANS would be more accepting of a team moving cities, it will be a mild (and loyal) Chargers fan. Losing the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos rivalry would be devastating for those Charges fans though, but Chargers fans might like a mix up (like Seattle did not too long ago)…
To keep the most rivalries in the AFC West, the Raiders would be the logical team to stay in the AFC West, but which team leave the NFC West? St. Louis Rams? And that’s another debatable geographical oddity for the NFL. Best case scenario for the real fans and the NFL to leave everything alone and move the St. Louis Rams to Carson instead. (sorry St. Louis fans, L.A. is the real home for the Rams)
2/17/15 – by James Fedewa
The 2014 season is finally over and what a long and tortuous NFL season it was. The Chargers had their ups and their downs with some very good pinnacles. Overall it was a great season and it felt good to be a fan. Just missing the playoffs, with a “win you are in” scenario on the last game of the season was epic, but it just didn’t quite finish like Chargers fans wanted it too, but lets move on an look forward to the new (and next) offseason.
So what might fans expect with the Chargers this offseason? There are three major decisions with current San Diego tier one free agents: CB Brandon, OT King Dunlap and RB Ryan Mathews. All are quality players that fill primary needs of the team.
- Brandon Flowers excelled this season, but might demand a big payday salary (again). San Diego might be willing to pay that bill as he played very well, but he turns 29 this season is a smaller cornerback that will probably miss about 3 games per year (on average). Flowers is very zone scheme oriented, but can be a pro-bowl player. Prediction: San Diego will fight to keep him on the roster and pay $31 million, 4 year contract with $17 million guaranteed.
- King Dunlap played admirably on a very weak Chargers offensive line. Sure he was noted as the best linemen on the Chargers roster last year, but it does not mean its payday time for San Diego’s left tackle. Prediction: San Diego gets away with bargain with a three year, $13 million contract, $8 million guaranteed. Reason being, Dunlap is a concussion away from retirement, he is not prototypical (too tall), as he is very (zone blocking) scheme oriented, a liability in the run game and has only excelled in one solid season in his career. He has earn a starting job, but he probably only has two more decent years in the league. King is a product of his coach, so he should stay with his coach (and recruiter), OL Coach Joe-D.
- Ryan Mathews can be a superstar, when healthy. He has the tools, the speed and now the experience that should vault him directly into super stardom, but his “potential” always seems to foreshadow reality. Mathews just cannot stay on the field, as injury concerns make him unreliable. He still has a long career ahead of him, but it probably will not be in San Diego. San Diego will offer him a contract, but it will be minimal and he will probably get a better offer somewhere else. If Mathews can find a team with a very good O-Line, he could be right back in the Pro Bowl. IMO: I expect him to go to a warm weather or dome team that has a good set of backup running backs. If Minnesota or Dallas (if they lose their starters) can pick up Mathews, then he can be a top tier RB. My prediction: Ryan follows Norv Turner to the Vikings, three year $11 million contract, $5 million guaranteed (and Adrian Peterson is released).
Three of the Chargers top free agents: 2 resigned, 1 replaced.
Note: at this current moment, Philip Rivers is also a free agent, but expect him to be a lifelong quarterback in San Diego
New Beer Review Pelican Brewing Company’s RED LANTERN IPA
(Red India Pale Ale, Oregon, Coast) 1/17/15 – review by James Fedewa
Very full and hoppy aroma that smells like a little slice of hop heaven, which got me a little excited about this new IPA. Great deep bronze tone with nice full head. The first gulp grabs all the true and initial IPA features, but waiting for a hoppy after bite, it finished with a smooth maltiness, which was a little surprising. It’s piney smells were only at the front end of this IPA and it smooths out considerably. The end smoothness made me think that this beer lacks high ABV (right at 6.4), so it finishes very light. Maybe it’s a sessions IPA, so l should be drinking a few more of these, right now…
B++ (it would’ve gotten an A if there was a little more bitter hoppiness at the end) Very good-lite IPA…
**I typically write my beer reviews on an APP called Pintley but this beer wasn’t on it. And I haven’t been keeping up with either my football or beer reviews because of starting a new job last month. Once the new job starts rolling and I start using public transportation, I can start writing more… Granted, American Idol is starting, which my wife loves, so I’ll be writing about football and beers a little more too (as I’m not a big fan of Idol).
12/25/2014 – by James Fedewa
I’m not going to write an article today, because today is my last day of work (for my real job), and I have a ton of things to closeout. But I do need to write something and this will not be OBJECTIVE, as this is MY (quick) opinion…
First of all, I hate the New England Patsies, just because they have had the Chargers number in several big games in the past. I also know and work with too many friends from the New England area who are Patriots fans and they sure love their team and like to gloat. But I think SD can handle the Patsies this year (as long as San Diego can score touchdowns and not too many field goals).
The less we see Chargers kicker Nick Novak, the better. But do not forget about CB’s Revis and Browner. They could tie down Keenan Allen and Floyd on the outside. But that could lead to a big game for Chargers tight ends Antonio Gates and LaDarius Green
Chargers: 31 (Gates 1TD, L.Green: 1TD, Floyd: 1TD, Mathews: 1TD, 1FG)
Patriots: 23 (Gronk: 1TD, Vereen: 1TD, 3FG)
*Rivers goes 28-33, 3 TD, 1 INT
*Brady goes 29-41, 1TD, 2 INT
*Brandon Flowers gets 1 interception
*Donald Butler get 11 Tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception (and sneaks away with player of the game
*And Rivers takes the new nickname: The December Man (while wearing a bolo tie)
11/14/2015 – by James Fedewa
The San Diego Chargers have a sturdy 5 – 4 record coming into week 11 of the 2014 season, which is probably a better start than what most Chargers fans would expect after the first nine games. Philip Rivers started the season red hot, a possible MVP candidate, yet he has cooled off quickly (especially vs. Miami two weeks ago, where Rivers was doused from an ice bucket challenge).
In the past, the Chargers have always been better in the second half of the season and are notoriously slow starters in the first half, so a 5 – 4 record is an accomplishment within itself. Yet three game losing streaks are no strangers to the Chargers either and San Diego will find themselves in several must win situations again this season.
Playoff aspirations are still very high in San Diego and looking forward, their odds do not look bad. The Chargers are coming off a bye week and have several key players returning from injuries (including playmaker Ryan Mathews, defender Manti Te’o and rookie pass rusher Jerry Attaochu). All three players are extremely talented and ready to explode for a team that desperately needs them.
The bye week could not have come at a better time, with rested and healthy players, but the added bonus this week is that the Chargers host the winless Raiders. Oakland played well in the team’s first meeting back in week 5 (which was the Chargers last victory) and San Diego should handle the Raiders again for the win. San Diego cannot look beyond each week’s opponent from now on, as every win is a necessity in the second half on the season (especially home wins) and Rivers has a very good second half track record in his tenured career.
(B & W:)
If all goes well, San Diego wins out, finishes the season 12 – 4 with and start the playoffs with a BYE. Worst case scenario, San Diego loses out, finishes the season 5 – 11 and the San Diego front office and coaching staff face the firing squad. With seven more games in 2014 and four more home games, it will be safe to say that San Diego probably finishes the season with an impressive 10 – 6 record, with a hopeful wildcard berth.
Looking beyond all-wins or all-loses scenarios, what if (two polls):
*ALL OR NOTHING!
Week 8, the San Diego Chargers fly to Denver to play their biggest game of the season. The odds of the Chargers winning are slim, but any given “Thursday” can change that. Winning of course is the objective every week, and if the Chargers can create a win, then fantastic. San Diego already has the blueprint to victory from their last (regular season) win in Denver to defeat the Broncos, but what if head coach Mike McCoy planned a loss, how would it look?
First, the Facts:
- The Denver Broncos – the new arch rival of the Chargers
- Prime Time Thursday Night Football – the big stage
- Peyton Manning – Future Hall of Famer, Quarterback legend
- Division Rival, Chargers are currently 1 – 1 in the AFC West
- On the road (away game in Denver) – Advantage Denver, a very hostile environment
- It is a Short Week, which tends to lean in the favor of the home team
- Playing against their biggest AFC Threat (other than the Colts, Ravens & Patriots in most current power rankings)
No one plans losing, and a winning attitude is half the battle of a team’s success. If San Diego wins the game, then mental momentum still favors the Chargers. But if San Diego plans a loss, what would McCoy’s blueprint be? How can a loss help the San Diego Chargers the next time they play (long term)?
Let’s continue to bullet point this (the Chargers Blueprint for expecting a loss):
- A fans “loss” mentality is always awkward (and could be loftier) than a coach’s perspective. Example, if a team loses the game, but knocks out the opposing quarterback (or any star player), then overall (by a fans perspective of course) the loss is still considered a psychological tie or abstract draw. So, a blueprint of this “abstract” could be the all-out blitz on the quarterback. Every play, every down, bring the heat and knock Payten Manning down. This will help the Chargers not only in this game, but future games. Game Plan: Bust the Manning! This method starts with pressure right up the middle (probably within the nickel defense). So all eyes on Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes applying pressure, right up the middle. Anything from the outside (Freeney, Attaochu, Johnson, T.Williams, Law) is just a blindside bonus.
- Keep the team fresh: Instead of playing heavy doses of starters and having them be on the field most of the time, the Chargers need to rotate heavily. Usually coaches prefer their best players on the field (most of the time) which gives you the best chance of winning the game. And sure, it sounds great, but fatigue leads to injuries so fresh and renewed matters. In order for the Chargers to prevent injuries and use the blueprint for a loss, San Diego needs to keep their team fresh and fast, expect a heavy dose of substitutions.
- Earning Quality Experience (a young man’s game): Professional Football is driven by strength and speed, which is prime for the team’s younger players. It is time to get the rookies, 2nd year and 3rd year players heavily involved into the rotation.
- Practice what you do well even MORE. Exotic and creative schemes always throw opposing teams off and can be confusing, but a blueprint to lose is not scheme related. It is repetition at doing the job, with the best options, multiple times. And please avoid the “trick play” unless it is a decoy.
Of course The Chargers want the victory, as do the fans. San Diego will try everything within their power to win, but this game is not a must win game as much as we might think it is. No one ever won a Super Bowl in October and looking forward into the second half of the season, how could this loss (or win) still equivalent a team victory? San Diego can still lose this game, and come out victorious.
Denver is favored to win (again). Percentages are against the Chargers, and most predict the Chargers winning would be a 30% longshot. A 7.5 point underdog and the over/under is 51.5 points.
Rivers has a winning regular season record at Mile High Stadium in Denver (6 -2)
The home team on Thursday Night Football has won 4 of 7 games.