The 2013 NFL Draft is over and the San Diego Chargers, with new general manager Tom Telesco at the helm, made a splash. This may be the most successful draft for the Chargers since 2005 when the likes of Shawne Merriman, Luis Castillo, Vincent Jackson and Darren Sproles were taken in the first three rounds. That draft formed the core of the teams that won four straight AFC West titles from 2006-2009. Heading into this year’s draft, the team had missed the playoffs for three straight years and had several positions that needed to be filled. In the first round, Telesco took Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker. Fluker could prove to be a Pro-Bowl lineman if he is able to carry his success at Alabama to the next level. The next two rounds proved to be even better for the Chargers and their fans.
In the second round, Telesco drafted Manti Te’o, an inside linebacker from Notre Dame. In the third round, Telesco took California receiver Keenan Allen. Te’o, who came into the draft with questions about his personal life and his ability to play at the next level after all but disappearing in the National Championship game, could prove to be a key acquisition for the Chargers’ defense. He fills a void at inside linebacker for the team and is a leader on the field, which could make all the difference for a defensive unit that has struggled at times in recent years. Allen, who was regarded by many as a first round talent, dropped to the third round due to knee trouble and a less than impressive performance at the combine. He provides the Chargers’ offense and Philip Rivers with a much-needed weapon down the field. All three players should be able to start and have a major impact for the team in the upcoming season. Although the Chargers were unable to fulfill their greatest need at left tackle, the 2013 draft class should be the start of a successful era of San Diego Chargers football under the leadership of Tom Telesco.