The Chargers were pleased to shore up the defense with their first two picks in the NFL Draft and focused solely on the offense on day two. After the selection of Darren Sproles, they picked three offensive linemen, starting at offensive tackle and working their way inside with a guard and center.
Darren Sproles was the pick in round four, a 5-foot-6 running back who doubles as a returner.
Although snaps are limited at running back with LaDainian Tomlinson toting the rock, the Bolts would like to be creative with Sproles.
“I think at the outset Darren Sproles is an outstanding running back,” head coach Marty Schottenheimer said. “It’s our expectation is we’ll have him involved in both the offense as well as the return game.
“At this juncture, our hope is what we’ll do is find various packages we can use him in. He is really a unique runner.”
The Chargers have now selected a back in three consecutive drafts, beginning with Andrew Pinnock in 2003, Michael Turner last year and Sproles this year.
The Bolts then secured three offensive linemen in rounds five through seven, beginning with tackle Wesley Britt, following with guard Wes Sims and ending with center Scott Mruczkowski.
“It’s very important for the running game and passing game to bring in some terrific football players,” General Manager A.J. Smith said. “They’re big guys.”
Britt from Alabama, a towering 6-foot-8 offensive tackle was taken in the fifth round. Injuries slowed his ascent up the draft board, fracturing his fibula at the Senior Bowl.
Britt started 44 games in his career, playing both the left and right tackle position. The right tackle position figures to be his final resting spot in the NFL.
“Wesley is a guy we think has an opportunity to come in and create a very competitive situation for us in the offensive line,” Schottenheimer said. "He will work at the tackle position.”
Sims, 6-foot-4, 317-pounds, spent the majority of his time at left tackle for Oklahoma but will move inside to guard in the NFL.
Playing in the Big-12, Sims protected the blindside of Jason White and played against some of the top competition in the country, starting every game for the Sooners over the last three years.
“Wes Sims will work at the guard position, although he has some experience at tackle as well as center,” Schottenheimer said. "He’s a guy who we think is accomplished as both a run blocker as well as a pass protector.”
Scott Mruczkowski of Bowling Green, a 6-foot-4, 321-pound center, was the final pick of the draft for San Diego. He has spent time at both guard and center during his career and his versatility piqued the Chargers interest.
Mruczkowski started 48 straight contests for Bowling Green, a school record, and didn’t allow a single sack as a senior.
“Scott Mruczkowski has played guard and center and our expectation is he will be at center,” Schottenheimer said.