Ironically, just last week I did an article about how the NFL Draft is hyped up rather needlessly and that it’s not as good as some make it out to be. But I’m still generally concerned regardless with the choices my team makes in the draft. Even though you can’t predict how a player will ultimately turn out, you can still try to make the best decision based on what little you do know and what positions you need young players at the most.
The Chargers’ first-round selection was Mike Williams, a WR from Clemson and one of DeShaun Watson’s targets, who was also a first-rounder. In a draft that was supposed to be loaded with defensive talent that would all be going first, an unexpected run on offensive talent was made instead; perhaps due to the Bears’ strange trade that let them land QB Mitchell Trubisky. The Chargers did go after such an offensive player; Mike Williams was thought by some to be the best WR available in the draft.
Of course, being the best WR in a draft class before you’ve been drafted and being the best WR five years later can be two totally different things. Plus, one can’t help but be slightly nervous about how two other WR’s named Mike Williams (one of them a first-rounder too) in the last 15 years have turned out.
But in terms of need at the position? It’s not a bad pick. At WR currently, the Chargers have Keenan Allen as the #1, but he’s proven to be very injury-prone. Beyond that, they have Tyrell Williams (who just have a 1,000-yard season) and the decent slot receiver Dontrelle Inman… and not much else, since Travis Benjamin appears to be an FA bust and Stevie Johnson was cut. So it certainly doesn’t hurt to add some depth, assuming Mike Williams turns out to be good at all.
Could they have filled another position need elsewhere? Sure. They could’ve gone after one of the apparent many DE’s or safeties that were taken in the first round instead. But you can’t fault them for addressing another position that they might need some help at if Keenan Allen gets injured again. Or someone else, for that matter. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have lots of weapons when you’re at the bottom of the division and trying to make a return to the playoffs.
Of course, the Chargers could just as easily look back on this in hindsight in a few years with shame if Williams doesn’t pan out and wish they’d taken someone else instead. One might think that he’s bound to be successful; how could he not be, right? Again, we have no way of knowing. See the article I linked to earlier for a more detailed explanation of that.
At the end of the day, though, they didn’t pick a player with a questionable background or with PR issues. And they picked a player at a position that could stand to have some help there. I’m satisfied enough with the decision, ultimately. Hopefully it will pan out in the end.