Unlike (recent) seasons past, the Los Angeles Chargers and their fans have a lot to cheer about this off season. The reasons begin, but thankfully don’t end with last years NFL Draft first round selection DE Joey Bosa. Let’s cut to the chase. You want your first round draft pick to be a difference maker. Check. When you pick near the top of the NFL Draft you want your pick to be a stud. Check. Ideally, picking in the top five you want the term “blue-chip” to apply to your guy. Check. To be clear, Bosa checks all the boxes for a top-five, difference-maker, stud, blue-chip NFL player. But the Charger front office wasn’t done hitting home runs in 2016.
In the second round TE Hunter Henry somehow fell into their laps and the Chargers didn’t hesitate as they rushed the card to the podium. The heir apparent to All-World TE Antonio Gates look for him to explode onto the scene this season. Yes, he is that talented. Center Max Turek in the third kept the ball rolling talent wise then they snapped up a starting MLB in the sixth round via Jatavis Brown and I don’t even want to begin to tell you how important FB Derek Watts was last year to a rejuvenated RB Melvin Gordon. Let’s get real. It’s been a long time coming, but the Chargers nailed the draft in 2016. That’s good news. The great news is … they (again) weren’t done.
Flash forward to the 2017 NFL Draft. In the first round 6’4″ Clemson WR Mike Williams was available. The Boltz didn’t blink as they made the right call getting Philip Rivers a MUCH needed downfield threat. OG Forest Lamp in the second will start and perhaps solidify they burgeoning offensive line. OG Dan Feeney in the 3rd has an outside shot at starting as well yet regardless will join last years Max Turek in the rotation which due to OL injury concerns is vital.
Safety Rayshawn Jenkins in the fourth and Safety Desmond King in the fifth was a perfect confluence of need and talent. The club didn’t hesitate and continued their decisive, effective drafting. It’s understandable why Boltz faithful were perhaps stunned. Drafting excellence hasn’t been standard operational procedure for many years but make no mistake about it, this is what the Chargers have accomplished, NFL Draft excellence.
This offseason the team is slotted to play in LA vs San Diego. That’s not ideal but for many long time fans, it’s close enough. What is ideal and admittedly strange is a genuine sense of offseason-optimism that may be strange to feel for long-time fans, but is entirely valid. Unlike the bitter drama of last years move from San Diego Philip Rivers and Chargers Nation are in the midst of a FUN off season. I believe it’s going to be a fun regular season as well. Talent will do that for you.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over