By Tom E. Curran
Last season, the Chargers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005. They were a team that - for a large portion of 2010 - showed how untrustworthy that generally accepted statistics are; they led the league in yards gained on offense and yards allowed on defense for much of the year while losing five of their first eight. So how'd they look so good in yards gained and allowed? Their special teams were so bad that opposing offenses often didn't have to take the field. And when special teams wasn't letting them down, turnover and short fields were. The aim of General manager A.J. Smith in this year's draft was to attack the defensive side of the ball. San Diego spend four of its first five picks on defense. Needing defensive line help, San Diego got Illinois defensive lineman Corey Liuget with the 18th overall pick. Smith said the run on quarterbacks pushed Liuget down to the Chargers. San Diego went to the back end of its defense with Marcus Gilchrist in the second round (50th overall). He's seen as a very good cover corner and has return skills. He's expected to be a hybrid cornersafety. The selection of third-round linebacker Jonas Mouton from Michigan was panned as a "reach." Skinny receiver Vincent Brown from San Diego State (5-11, 184 pounds) was a third-rounder. So was USC corner Shareece Wright. He had a solid 2010 after injury-marred seasons in 2008 and 2009. That caused his value to slip. Local boy Jordan Todman of UConn went to San Diego in the sixth round, an apparent boon for the Bolts since Todman is expected to be a pretty good complementary back in the league and Darren Sproles could be a free agent when the lockout ends. SUMMARY: Meh. Uninspiring. San Diego went with players in areas of need and got some help for the back end of its defense. The best pick may end up being Todman, who never should have slipped all the way to the sixth round.