It would not shock me in the least bit if Gerhart plays in the NFL with the Chargers.
The bulldozing Stanford product, who was the Heisman Trophy runner-up, announced Friday he will enter the NFL draft. Gerhart will likely be a second or third round pick. The fast and strong Gerhart ran for 1,871 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2009. He played well against Stanford’s toughest competition.
He will get plenty of pre-draft attention. And, while it is just a feeling, I think much of that attention will come from the Chargers’ draft room. He seems like a good fit for San Diego and general manager A.J. Smith. He is a big fan of players who produce in college.
The Chargers will also likely have a need at the position. It wouldn’t be a surprise if San Diego uses a high pick at running back. It may need a young primary back.
There is a strong chance future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson is entering his final days in San Diego. Tomlinson, 30, has seen his production slip significantly and he is owed more than $5 million in 2010. San Diego almost didn't bring Tomlinson back in 2009 and it would not be a surprise if he is not with the team next season.
The Chargers could bring back all-purpose back Darren Sproles with a long-term deal. But the tiny Sproles is a not a feature back. Sproles would still be dangerous if he were teamed with the bruising Gerhart as a change-of-pace back.
Plenty will happen in the next three months, but a Gerhart-San Diego pairing makes sense to me.