The sun has been shining on San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith.
After learning he'd return following a disappointing 8-8 campaign in 2011, Smith had one of the most productive offseasons of his nine-year run with the Chargers. Things got better Thursday night when South Carolina linebacker Melvin Ingram fell to San Diego at No. 18.
How unexpected was this for the Chargers? The team thought so highly of Ingram, they didn't even have him in their "cluster" of targets they expected could be available.
"I consider this a part of luck," Smith told UT-San Diego, "because when I see what I consider a bonus pick, outside our cluster, it's luck. Heâs a mean, nasty man, extremely physical with a great motor."
Smith fielded calls about giving up the pick and moving back, but as pass rushers started to fall down the board, the team's focus shifted.
"There was activity galore," Smith said. "We weren't sure a player of Melvin Ingram's quality would be there. If he fell into our cluster, that was a bonus. We put an emphasis on defense in this draft and we hoped we'd have some choices, that hopefully there wouldn't be a run on pass rushers. The run happened after we drafted Ingram."