Chatter about Rivers unfounded; Gordon final first-round pick of San Diego era

Posted: 04/30/2015 in football
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

All that bluster about Philip Rivers being dealt to the Tennessee Titans turned out to be unfounded chatter.

Turns out it was allegedly started by a writer at UT San Diego – which is typically the first sign there is little validity to a report.

When you aren’t properly aligned with inside sources – and the general manager doesn’t trust you – you tend to swing and miss more often than Mike Trout in the playoffs.

The San Diego Chargers never intended to trade their productive quarterback for the No. 2 overall pick and the chance to draft Marcus Mariota. The Titans didn’t deal the pick at all and went ahead and selected Mariota.

The Chargers are on their way to Los Angeles and they really need to have a solid season before moving to the land of smog. San Diego has failed to make the playoffs in four of the past five seasons – a pitiful fact when you consider the talent the franchise has had – and relocating after a losing season wouldn’t help prompt the fickle Los Angeles area to rejoice over the team’s arrival.

So Rivers is badly needed to be at the helm and not a novice rookie that may or may not be prepared to start in the NFL. The tough part will be convincing Rivers to sign a contract extension but there is something about making $20 million a year that causes one to do something they might not originally be thrilled about.

Don’t think so? Offer me $200,000 a year and you’ll be surprised at the places I’m suddenly ready to call home.

That includes Arkansas and North Dakota … yikes, did I just type that?

Anyway, the Chargers kept their quarterback and moved up to No. 15 overall to select running back Melvin Gordon, the standout from Wisconsin.

The pick is solid – and will forever be known as the final first-round pick by the “San Diego Chargers” – but I don’t understand why the Chargers dealt two future draft picks to the San Francisco 49ers to move up two spots. Sounds like there was some fear the 49ers might trade the pick elsewhere and another team would land Gordon.

Regardless, Gordon should be a much better NFL player than the departed Ryan Mathews and also is a much better option than journeyman Donald Brown. Gordon averaged 7.8 yards per carry in his college career and rushed for a then-record 408 yards in one game last season against Nebraska, breaking a mark set by LaDainian Tomlinson.

You might recall Tomlinson. The Chargers haven’t had a bona fide back since the future Hall of Famer left town.

Gordon should solve that problem. There are questions about his receiving ability but let’s face it: The Badgers weren’t telling a guy averaging nearly eight yards per carry to go run flare routes. You hand the ball off to a guy like that.

There is a reason why the guy rushed for 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. He can play.

He should be a force over the next six to eight years. Of course, the question will soon become where he plays those games.

For now, he goes into the books as the final first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers. And quite a good one at that.

 

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