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2013 NFL Draft Fallout: San Diego Chargers

The 2013 NFL Draft transformed 32 NFL rosters. Around The League will examine the aftershocks in our Draft Fallout series. Next up: The Oakland Raiders

The Big Question: Did the Chargers play it too safe?

We didn't learn a lot about new San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco during free agency. He got rid of a lot of unnecessary veterans and stayed away from quick fixes. If there was a takeaway from Telesco's first draft, it's that he doesn't necessarily swing for the fences.

San Diego's first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft was a right tackle, D.J. Fluker, who many thought would be better suited playing guard. Fluker improves the Chargers' nastiness, but he's a right tackle who doesn't pass protect that well. You don't want to be the one drafting a player at the end of a positional run because of need. Even if Fluker pans out, that's not a high ceiling for such a high pick.

The Chargers traded up in round two for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. Forget the sensational aspects to the Te'o story. Is he a unique talent? There are questions -- even inside the Chargers -- regarding whether Te'o has the ability to play three downs. I tend to agree with the evaluation of NFL Films' Greg Cosell: There are a lot of guys like Te'o in the league. They aren't hard to find. That makes him a safe enough pick, but not overly inspiring.

If Fluker and Te'o start for the Chargers for the next five years, this criticism will look silly enough. But Telesco's first draft is hard to get excited about at the top.

Three Takeaways

  1. Third-round wide receiver Keenan Allen has a chance to play right away and could very well be the team's No. 1 receiver in 2014 if he pans out. That may say more about the Chargers receivers than Allen, but he was a great value in the third round.
  1. Even with Fluker, San Diego's offensive line could be among the worst in the league. Telesco should be given time to turn this team around because there's just not a lot of top-tier talent.
  1. You can't fix everything in one draft, but I was surprised the Chargers didn't take a running back. Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown are all very year-to-year, so they could have a brand new backfield in 2014.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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