Rob Gronkowski, TE - Arizona
Pick made by chad72:
The Chargers' 2 pressing needs were an RB and a 3-4 Nose Tackle since LT & Jamal Williams left. The best nose tackle who would be of value here would be Terrence Cody of Alabama. But the Kansas City Chiefs snagged him right before my pick, thanks a lot sanders_fan89.
At this point, I felt Cam Thomas, the next best nose tackle would be a reach. I have some mid round nose tackle candidates in mind but I would prefer not to reveal their names should this draft continue to the next round. So, I had to go deep into their roster.
Yes, they did trade Antonio Cromartie to the Jets but then they have 2 starters in Jammer and Cason on the outside and have signed Vasher and Strickland for the nickel. They have 6 able bodies at least to play CB, and thus after all these signings a CB pick would have been for depth alone thus taking Kareem Jackson and Patrick Robinson out of critical consideration for me.
Then I focused on 2 defensive tackles one of which would be excellent value - Brian Price and another one of acceptable value Tyson Alualu. But both of these players would be playing DE in this 3-4 and not DT, the DE position for the Chargers is by no means lacking to warrant an early round pick.
Then came the next position that was lacking last year, resulting in the Chargers' rushing rank last year (ranked 31st in the league), the Right Tackle position. Vladimir Ducasse would be the next best right tackle in the draft, and he would be a reach as well at this pick and this drafted is loaded with mid-round RTs.
The Chargers could use help with their ILB position but this draft has a lot of OLBs than ILBs, especially for the 3-4. Daryl Washington was too light for the 3-4 and Koa Misi was considered (would be a reach here) but the Chargers do not need an OLB as bad as they need an ILB.
Then, I looked at the TE position and as you can see, the Chargers are only 2 deep when it comes to the TE position, that is a precarious position to be in - just Antonio Gates and Kris Wilson. We all know Gates is a tough customer and has had to endure injuries and play through them in the playoffs a couple of seasons ago and this kind of depth (just being 2 deep) is definitely detrimental to the long term success of this Chargers' offense by increasing the chances of injuries with more minutes for the TEs on the roster. The TEs are normally more involved in running plays dealing with bigger LBs and safeties than the WRs as well thus increasing their chances for injuries. So, I saw a need for critical TE depth with potential starter qualities in Rob Gronkowski from Arizona that met value and need at this pick.
Blessed with great size, good athleticism and soft hands, Rob Gronkowski is a true threat on short and intermediate routes and a better blocker than Gresham or most of the other tights in this class. If not for the injury concerns (missing the 2009 season due to back surgery), this all-around performer would be a first round cinch. But now team doctors will have the final say on how far he'll fall. He uses his hands well to fight defender jams at the line of scrimmage during passing plays, has soft hands and understands where the holes in the zone are and settles nicely. He is tough to bring down after the catch due to his toughness, strength and determination. A legitimate in-line blocker. Provides a solid pop to the defender off the snap and works to sustain. I did think about Jimmy Graham of Miami but then he is more raw than Rob Gronkowski in the fact that Jimmy Graham was more of a basketball player (ding, ding, ding, they have another one like him named Gates) learning the nuances of the TE position more and has a lot of talent that is not polished yet. Hence my pick is Rob Gronkowski. His NFL comparison is Jason Witten of the Cowboys.
How will he impact the 2010 Chargers?
He will flourish as the 2nd TE giving a much needed breather for Gates and can be used in 2 TE sets as the run blocking TE as well, something the Chargers could use easily. Needless to say, he will be another target for Rivers that relies on his separation and finding spots in the zone as opposed to being a jump ball WR or TE like the Chargers have mostly, the Chargers could use him in that mix.
Gronkowski's Scouting Report from Mocking the Draft
First Round pick for the Chargers: Ryan Mathews
The, and Cassieper, are on the clock...
|1||St. Louis||Jimmy Clausen||QB||Notre Dame||TouchdownColts|
|2||Detroit||Russell Okung||OT||Oklahoma St.||coltsfan723|
|3||Tampa Bay||Ndamukong Suh||DT||Nebraska||TheAngelsColts|
|4||Washington||Sam Bradford||QB||Oklahoma||Colts Homer|
|5||Kansas City||Eric Berry||S||Tennessee||sanders_fan89|
|6||Seattle||Gerald McCoy||DT||Oklahoma||shake n bake|
|11||Denver||Derrick Morgan||DE||Georgia Tech||JPBarnett|
|12||Miami||Dez Bryant||WR||Oklahoma St.||fpacheco|
|13||San Francisco||Joe Haden||CB||Florida||BlueVol03|
|14||Seattle||Charles Brown||OT||USC||shake n bake|
|15||N.Y. Giants||C.J. Spiller||RB||Clemson||gizzardfanny|
|16||Tennessee||Jason Pierre-Paul||DE||South Florida||Addai Another Day|
|17||San Francisco||Mike Iupati||G||Idaho||BlueVol03|
|18||Pittsburgh||Kyle Wilson||CB||Boise St.||LV Steelers Fan|
|22||New England||Jared Odrick||DE||Penn State||skywalker|
|23||Green Bay||Trent Williams||OT||Oklahoma||bracketismyboy|
|28||San Diego||Ryan Mathews||RB||Fresno State||chad72|
|29||N.Y. Jets||Golden Tate||WR||Notre Dame||diagenesis|
|32||New Orleans||Carlos Dunlap||DE||Florida||palco|
|33||St. Louis||Ricky Sapp||DE||Clemson||TouchdownColts|
|35||Tampa Bay||Everson Griffen||DE||USC||TheAngelsColts|
|36||Kansas City||Terrence Cody||DT||Alabama||sanders_fan89|
|38||Cleveland||Jonathan Dwyer||RB||Georgia Tech||2ndBlueGeneration|
|40||San Diego||Rob Gronkowski||TE||Arizona||chad72|
|52||Pittsburgh||LV Steelers Fan|
|60||Seattle||shake n bake|