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Draft questions: Will Chargers protect Philip Rivers?

With the 2013 NFL Draft approaching, Around The League will examine one big question facing all 32 teams. Next up: The San Diego Chargers

Will the Chargers get protection for Philip Rivers?


U-T San Diego's Kevin Acee recently opined that the Chargers should trade Rivers if they are unable or unwilling to undergo a "massive rebuild and upgrade" of the offensive line.

Rivers has authored a whopping 47 turnovers the past two years while taking 79 sacks. Those woes are directly related to an offensive line that has been decimated by injuries, retirements and the NFL's quintessential malingerer.

If Rivers truly is entering his final audition in San Diego, the front office has done him no favors with the additions of offensive tackle King Dunlap and guard Chad Rinehart -- two players who were viewed as no more than emergency starters by their former teams.

While the Chargers desperately are in need of a legitimate left tackle to protect Rivers' blindside, guard might be in even worse shape.

On one hand, general manager Tom Telesco is behind the eight ball with "The Big Three" offensive tackles likely to come off the board before the No. 11 pick. On the other hand, there is a high probability that one or both of the draft's two elite guards -- North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper and Alabama's Chance Warmack -- will be available.

If Telesco can land Cooper or Warmack in the first round and come back with a second-round offensive tackle such as Florida State's Menelik Watson or Arkansas Pine-Bluff's Terron Armstead, it will go a long way toward ensuring another contract for Rivers in San Diego.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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