Tom Telesco did an excellent job in the 2013 draft.
Many analyst were saying immediately after the draft that, in their opinion, the San Diego Chargers had the best draft. Many people would probably still agree. DJ Fluker had an excellent season winning All-Rookie honors playing better than every OT that was selected before him. We all know how good of a season Keenan Allen had, so far already winning PFWA’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Manti T’eo was injured early on in the season, but got a lot of playing time throughout the year. He consistently got better and seems as if his ceiling is still pretty high.
Let’s think about Manti T’eo. He is a solid young player and there is a lot to like about him moving forward. We drafted him in the 2nd round. Seemed like a steal at the time. Even though he has grown, he has also got pushed around consistently and still does not demonstrate being NFL-ready.
Back in April, Tom Telesco had the 45th pick in the draft, the 13th of the second round. Telesco made a trade with the Cardinals to trade up to the 38th pick, which was the 6th of the second round. San Diego gave up a 4th round pick, which could have been used for any such depth on defense or offense.
Kiko Alonso was named the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year this week. He was third in the entire NFL in tackles with 159. That is tremendous production for a rookie linebacker. Kiko Alonso plays the same position Manti T’eo does.
When was Kiko Alonso drafted? 46th, 1 pick after the Chargers initial pick of 45th overall.
It is always easier to look in the past and say what you would have done. Manti T’eo really did get pushed around by Alabama in that National Championship game, similar to the way he gets pushed around by Guards in the NFL. Kiko Alonso was dominates at the same position. T’eo was out for an injury most of the preseason and the first quarter of the season which had to have halted his progress.
One can only imagine if the Chargers weren’t so high on the Manti T’eo “hype”, and waited for Kiko Alonso. Would have been acceptable to take Alonso at the 38 spot they traded up to. General Managers are always going to make mistakes at times, and one can easily argue this was a mistake by Tom Telesco. Kiko Alonso is a top franchise defender you can build a defense around.
Tom Telesco had a great draft overall and there is a great deal to look forward to in the Chargers world. Manti T’eo has a lot of promise and should only get better with experience. Hopefully he can duplicate and continue his drafting success in 2014.