Here we go again.
We’re about to watch an NFL draft with very few impact players available at the top yet with great depth at certain positions.
At least, that’s what we’re hearing.
Of course, it’s a variation of what we hear more years than not.
Perhaps the best part of the draft finally being here is that the lead-up to the draft is finally over.
If there had been in 1983 round-the-clock coverage via ESPN, the NFL Network and this thing called the World Wide Web, Dan Marino would have surely been subject to even more scrutiny and dubious criticisms than he was. And John Elway? His refusal to play for the Baltimore Colts would have been dissected for its evidence of character flaws.
The draft has come a long way in the 30 years since then. Heck, it’s come a long way in the past 10 years. It lasts three days now, because there is demand for it to be so. The four-month period leading up to the last weekend in April is a season unto itself.
There is so much information. Yet, we seem to know so very little.
This year, actually, may be the most difficult to predict what will happen at the top as any in recent memory.
“We do this for a living every day, and we really don’t know who will go in the first 15, which is a little different,” Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco said. “Usually the first four or five you can pretty much pinpoint and then after that you have to do some educated guessing. But this year, I think from a fan standpoint should be really exciting. For us, it probably means just more preparation than usual because it’s hard to get a real good feel for what may happen in the first 15, certainly the first 10.”
You know what comes after 10?
It’s not a trick question.
The answer is 11, which is where the Chargers pick in the first round on Thursday night, their highest pick since 2004, should they execute it.
Here’s the deal: Every team in the top 10 arguably needs an offensive tackle, which is the Chargers’ greatest position of need. Several of the teams also need a guard, which is the Chargers’ second-biggest need.
The accepted wisdom has the three best tackles – Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson – gone way before 11. There are scenarios that have the top two guards gone as well.
Here we go again.