The dominos are beginning to crumble in front of the San Diego Chargers as the 2003 NFL Draft shapes up. Two straight years, General Manager John Butler saw the pieces of the puzzle fall right into place, exactly as he planned. As a GM, you attempt to plan for every move, anticipate ahead of time and react quickly to the changing faces in the NFL. Sometimes you react quickly and the plan does not need to be mended, other times the plan has to be rewritten and the team will still come out ahead, and yet other times, you sit back and watch as the carefully laid out plan is torn up, ripped to shreds and there is no more glue left to recreate the structure.
This year it appears that luck has run out.
Kyle Turley became a St. Louis Ram this past week and promptly signed an extension. Before the move it was thought the Rams would head into the Draft thinking offensive line. With the need to preserve quarterback Kurt Warner, offensive line was beyond a need, it was a must.
They allowed 46 sacks in 2002, saw two quarterbacks leave with injury, and missed the playoffs despite having All-World running back Marshall Faulk. The situation with Orlando Pace bears watching, but beyond that they have solidified the line instantly with this trade, a trade the Chargers should have made. The real kicker is the trade was for a 2004 draft pick and would not have constrained the Chargers Draft plans this year. Can you imagine how New Orleans will feel if the Rams go deep into the playoffs?
Without trying to sound like a broken record, the Chargers should have made this deal, maybe they would have had to wait to give Turley the extension he received, until say after June 1st, but he would have waited after saying he wanted to come back home (home being California). He went to San Diego State University and longed to surf again off the La Jolla shores. Of course he could hardly turn down the offer the Rams gave him.
Maybe Pace leaves the Rams before the Draft, which will spin a different web that could either hurt or help the Chargers. If Pace is dealt, the Rams may look for more offensive line help in the first round but other dominos may fall. Pace is by far the best tackle in the league and will surely command a first rounder back. They may decide to keep him for the year and see what happens next year. The implications of any deal are vast, and we cannot explore them all so we will leave the winds of change to destiny.
What we do know is the Rams have told Marcus Trufant the WILL select him if he is available at spot 12. "The Rams' defensive coach said if I was still there when they picked that they would draft me. The Rams have the 12th pick in the first round," Trufant stated to a Texas newspaper.
We all know how much the Chargers fans and management would be thrilled with Trufant falling into their laps in April. Unfortunately it appears the dominos are falling all around and we are caught in the path of destruction, falling from the grace we knew the last two Drafts into a position we may not want to be…
…choosing a player not first on our Drafting charts.
Denis Savage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the following link: Chargers Update Article
Got something to say? Talk about it on the Chargers Message Boards
Thanks to Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview we have a clearer understanding of just who the San…