Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Team Needs
The Chargers will be playing in a new city in 2017, and will be playing in the smallest stadium in the NFL, counting on a high demand to sell fewer tickets at a premium. There is a new coaching regime in town but the ownership and management of San Diego doesn’t appear to be much better suited to putting together a winning product. WIth $20 million in cap space the Chargers will likely sit out free agency and focus on acquiring new talent through the draft. Although Travis Benjamin was adequate and Ty Williams appears to be a real find in the draft the Chargers simply cannot trust Keenan Allen to stay healthy any longer. As such they should look to add another receiving prospect now, since Allen will need to remain on the roster for another year at least. Getting his replacement a year early would ease the transition and should Allen remain healthy Benjamin could be cut without too much worry. The point is the Chargers need another receiver.
Primary Needs: S, WR, OLB
Secondary Needs: ILB, OG, OT
Free Agency Strategy: Short of Antonio Gates retiring and freeing up another $5 million it's tough to see where the Chargers are going to get a lot of extra money from and with 18.5 sacks in the last two seasons Melvin Ingram isn’t going to come cheaply. It seems likely that Ingram will be playing elsewhere in 2017, therefore creating the primary need at outside linebacker. Manti Teo could be brought back if the team is happy with him as he is unlikely to strike up a high paying starting job in free agency. It’s tough to see the Chargers doing much else in free agency before June first.
Draft Strategy: Either Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams would make great selections at safety for the Chargers. If they really like Jabrill Peppers it is not inconceivable that he could be selected in the top 10, though that seems to be a projection. Mike Williams would be an intriguing prospect at receiver, although he would be a luxury at this point in time. The value for outside linebackers will be better in the second round when one or two of Takkarist McKinley, Carl Lawson, Tim Williams, and Charles Harris might still be available. At safety, Budda Baker would also be a nice addition. Raekwon McMillan and maybe Jarrad Davis, would be nice options at inside linebacker, while Dan Feeney could be considered at guard. In the third round Dede Westbrook would merit a look at receiver.