TUSCALOOSA AL - OCTOBER 02: Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide intercepts a pass intended for Trey Burton #8 of the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
With the 18th pick in the 2012 MHR Community Mock Draft, the San Diego Chargers select:
Dre' Kirkpatrick, cornerback, Alabama
Chargers' GM: Broncologist
GM Explanation: I believe are the Chargers' biggest areas of weakness are: Pass rushing OLB, SS, RT, CB and G.
Pass rush has probably been the biggest topic of discussion for the Chargers. Larry English has turned out to be a bust and the LB corps hasn't been a dominant pass rush unit since Shawne Merriman's prime. Courtney Upshaw was a beast at Alabama but lacks explosiveness and speed and is a DE/OLB tweener. I see him as a good all-around OLB in the Patriots mold. Whitney Mercilus and Nick Perry have been mentioned as 1st round pass rushers but I worry about Mercilus being a one-year wonder and his ability to transition to the OLB position. I have similar transition questions about Perry. I think with Shaun Phillips back healthy, Jarrett Johnson signed as a FA and Antwan Barnes providing sacks as a passing-down specialist, the Chargers can hold off and get better value drafting a pass rushing OLB in the 2nd round.
Eric Weddle is a good safety but the SS spot has been a revolving door since Rodney Harrison left. Mark Barron would've been a strong candidate if he were still on the board. I don't think Harrison Smith is worthy of being drafted at #18.
On the OL, Jerome Clary is one of the worst right tackles in the NFL yet continues to get the support of the team. Guard Kris Diehlman retired so Cordy Glenn is a possibility as a 1st round replacement, although Ty Green filled in capably for Diehlman last year.
For me, at this slot it comes down to CB. Quintin Jammer is getting older and may need to transition to safety soon. Antoine Cason is at best an okay #2 CB. Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins are still on the board, and I see a significant drop-off after these two. While both have had character concerns, I like Kirkpatrick's size and consistency. He can compete for a starting job immediately and eventually become the Chargers' #1 CB.
Commissioner's Analysis: This is a very interesting selection. The Chargers are almost certain to pick defense in the first round, and I think Kirkpatrick is a top 10 talented player, so this would be great value. That being said, I feel like the Chargers have created a pattern of reaching for need rather than taking value players. Don't get me wrong, this would be a great pick, and Broncologist has superb reasoning, I just don't know if the Chargers would make it. We've seen them go after guys like Ryan Mathews and Larry English the last couple of years, picks that were considered massive reaches. If the Chargers make this pick, it would end their streak of poor value, in my opinion.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3. Minnesota Vikings: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
6. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
8. Miami Dolphins: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
10. Buffalo Bills: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
12. Seattle Seahawks: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
14. Dallas Cowboys: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
16. New York Jets: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
18. San Diego Chargers: Dre' Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
On the clock...Chicago Bears (pmmojo)