From the moment he was hired in 2013, General Manager Tom Telesco vowed the NFL Draft would be the lifeblood of the Bolts.
True to form, the Los Angeles Chargers have unearthed top young talent since Telesco’s arrival, beginning with Keenan Allen his first year to Jason Verrett in 2014 and Melvin Gordon in 2015.
Still, nothing to date compares to the haul yielded in 2016, led by the recently crowned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa.
With the Scouting Combine on the horizon, many outlets are reassessing last year’s draft. It should come as no surprise that NFL.com named the Chargers one of the top rookie classes in the league, giving them an A- grade. The Bolts tied the Kansas City Chiefs for the best mark in the AFC, and only rank below the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys who were each given an A+.
Here is what Around the NFL writer Conor Orr had to say about the Chargers 2016 draft class:
“Drafting Joey Bosa third overall was a massive boom-or-bust proposition, but it paid off for the Chargers, with Bosa winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and leading the team with 10.5 sacks despite missing four games. He might be the player who finally unlocks all the untapped potential across that defense — it’ll be a thrill to see him paired with new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in 2017. Hunter Henry was sixth on the team in receptions but first in touchdowns (eight). The rookie tight end seemed to pair perfectly with QB Philip Rivers. Linebacker Jatavis Brown added some serious energy to the middle rounds and led the Chargers with 64 solo tackles on top of 3.5 sacks. His presence alone could make someone like pending free agent Manti Te’o expendable this offseason. Eventually, the Bolts will get a look at third-round center Max Tuerk, but anything he gives them at this point should be considered a bonus.