The San Diego Chargers decided to stick with coach Norv Turner, despite a disappointing run to finish the 2011 season. Last year was no better, however, and Turner was ousted as coach following a 7-9 2012 campaign. As the franchise prepares for April’s NFL Draft, Mike McCoy is running the show. He has plenty of pieces to work with, headlined by quarterback Philip Rivers, who is expected to rebound following consecutive down years under Turner. The Chargers can make a big splash with the 11th-overall selection, and should be looking for a player who can push this franchise back over the .500 mark.
Here’s where they will be looking.
- Two Offensive Tackles: Has Philip Rivers truly regressed, or is one of the league’s worst offensive lines to blame? San Diego’s new front office won’t truly know until it makes repairs up front. Neither Jared Gaither nor Jeromey Clary can be allowed to return as the team’s starting tackles. The Chargers will have to consider trading up for Taylor Lewan.
- Two Guards: Continuing with the offensive line, Louis Vasquez and Tyronne Green are both free agents. Vasquez was stellar in 2012, while Green was a serviceable starter. They need to be retained. If they aren’t, the Chargers will have to keep adding new linemen.
- Two Cornerbacks: Starting corners Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason are free agents as well. Jammer will be 34 in June and Cason stinks, so they need to be replaced anyway.
- Rush Linebacker: San Diego spent a first-round pick on Melvin Ingram last April, but it’ll have to find a new rush linebacker unless it re-signs Shaun Phillips. Barkevious Mingo will be an option at No. 11.
- Inside Linebacker: Takeo Spikes just turned 36 and could be a cap casualty because he’s owed $3 million in non-guaranteed money in 2013.