Tuesday, May 7, 2013
San Diego's plans at LT
By Tim Kavanagh
UPDATE: ESPN AFC West blogger Bill Williamson checked in with Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. regarding the Chargers' plans to use Dunlap as their starting LT in 2013. Read ahead for his thoughts, as well as buzz on the long-term plans at the position.
For the most part, the San Diego Chargers' experience with Jared Gaither as their chosen one at LT didn't go so well. This offseason, they've done a little work to address the deficiency, so where do things stand as the offseason rolls on?
After swinging and missing with Bryant McKinnie, the Chargers appear poised to venture forth with King Dunlap as their starter at the position, according to Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego. It's possible that Dunlap can function well enough -- with some help from RB Danny Woodhead -- to keep Philip Rivers relatively clean, but it would seem logical that they'll upgrade at the position in 2014, either through the draft or free agency.
Branden Albert and Ryan Clady will technically be free agents at that point, though both of those players are reportedly working on long-term deals with their current teams (the ones that franchise-tagged them earlier this offseason). In addition to those two, another name to keep in mind is Jared Veldheer, the Raiders' starter at the position who is entering the final season on his deal in 2013.
As for the 2014 draft, ESPN's Todd McShay has five OTs in his list of the Top 32 prospects: Cyrus Kouandjio, Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, Antonio Richardson and David Yankey. Kouandjio would offer the benefit of being collegiate teammates with 2013 first-round pick D.J. Fluker.
Matt WilliamsonWhat does King Dunlap offer the Chargers?
"[Dunlap] has great size, but he is heavy-footed and can really struggle to play low enough due to his extreme height. At best, he is a right tackle athlete and not suited to playing on the left side. But he actually didn't play as terrible last year as many assume ... With his size and long arms, he can be one of those OTs that take an extra step to get around in protection -- that might be his greatest asset."