NFL Draft

Chargers Rumor Mill is Spinning


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April 1, also known as April Fool’s Day, is not just a day for pranks. It is also the unofficial kickoff of “lying season,” when NFL teams start emitting copious amounts of misinformation designed to throw rivals off the scent of their true draft plans.

For example, this time last year everyone was abuzz about San Diego’s plans to visit with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, the consensus No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft. Not only did the Chargers decline to pull the trigger on a rumored trade with the Titans, but the franchise went on to sign Philip Rivers to a four-year, $83.25 million extension.

This year, the meetings that have everyone chattering are those that took place between the club and UCLA LB Myles Jack at the NFL Combine and UCLA’s Pro Day.

“They really envision me as a DB,” Jack told the San Diego Union Tribune. “Even at my Pro Day, toward the end, they kind of jumped in and had me do DB drills. They really envision me there. … They feel like I can fill that spot Eric Weddle was at. Obviously, they want me at a lower weight, but with my skill set, they can see me in the slot, covering and running.

“Like they were saying, the NFL is moving to mostly sub-packages. So I think that’s where the Chargers see me fitting in, a sub-package type of deal where I’m coming in and playing nickel and the safety-type role. They have plans for me. If they draft me, then I think that’s the role I’ll be playing in.”

This should be considered the Chargers doing their due diligence more than anything else. It is Tom Telesco’s job to thoroughly vet every top-10 prospect (Jack is certainly that), a process that includes determining how each player would best fit in San Diego’s schemes.

Telesco is not afraid of taking players who lack a true position. D.J. Fluker (first round, 2013) and Chris Watt (third round, 2014) are both offensive linemen who play multiple positions, while Craig Mager (third round, 2015) is a cornerback whose future may be at safety.

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About Michael Lombardo

Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for and has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports, Football Insiders and MySpace Sports.

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