COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Hired as the team’s top personnel man in 2013, Tom Telesco has directed the Los Angeles Chargers to a 27-37 record during his tenure as general manager.
Since his hire, the Chargers have made the playoffs just one time -- after his first season in 2013. Telesco received a contract extension before the start of the 2015 campaign and is signed through the 2019 season.
The Chargers moved on from Telesco’s hire as a head coach in Mike McCoy after the 2016 season and brought in first-year head coach Anthony Lynn in January.
In terms of the draft, Telesco has had his share of home runs and whiffs. Although this year I believe is the most talented roster under Telesco’s tenure, the Chargers still sit at 3-5 at the midpoint of the season.
So what gives?
With ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando doing the heavy lifting, here’s a closer look at the Chargers’ draft classes in comparison to the rest of the league. If you’re not following Sando already, you should and can do so on twitter at @SandoESPN.
Sando keeps an updated database of NFL rosters. According to his research, the Chargers did not get as much production from the 2013 and 2014 draft class as the rest of the league.
The Chargers have drafted two Pro Bowlers since 2013 in Jason Verrett and Melvin Gordon. That is tied for 14th. The NFL average is 2.4
The Chargers' 2013 draft picks have made 146 starts for the Bolts, which ranks 12th. The NFL average is 128. The Chargers' 2014 draft picks have made 46 starts for the team. That ranks 30th; the average is 115.
Overall, Chargers' 2013-17 draft picks have played 19,822 snaps for the team, which ranks 30th. The average is 25,479.
However, the Chargers and Telesco have softened the blow somewhat with their success in finding undrafted free agents such as Tyrell Williams, Trevor Williams, Jahleel Addae, Adrian Phillips, Spencer Pulley and Austin Ekeler. In all, the Chargers have 13 players on this year’s active roster who joined the team as undrafted rookies.
Home runs: Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen.
The skinny: All three players have Pro Bowl potential and could be rated in the top 10 at their positions in the league. With Allen, the issue is health. But give Telesco credit for grabbing the Cal product in the third round.
Ground-rule doubles: Melvin Gordon, Jatavis Brown, Kyle Emanuel, Desmond King, Darius Philon, Jason Verrett, Denzel Perryman.
The skinny: Yes, the Chargers could have secured a productive running back later in 2015 the draft; they gave up a fourth and fifth-round draft picks to get Gordon. However, Gordon’s 3,010 yards from scrimmage since 2015 is No. 7 among running backs in the NFL. And he also has 20 total touchdowns, ranking No. 14 in the NFL since his rookie season. So Gordon has been productive. The talent is there for Verrett, but he’s obviously had trouble staying on the field. The rest have emerged as solid role players.
Bloop singles: D.J. Fluker, Manti Te'o, Jeremiah Attaochu, Drew Kaser, Derek Watt, Craig Mager.
The skinny: These players either played a lot of snaps or produced when they were on the field. Some, like Te’o and Attaochu, have had trouble staying on the field. Fluker’s play was uneven, and he struggled keeping his weight down, which is why he’s now with the New York Giants. Mager’s play also has been inconsistent, which is why he’s on the practice squad. Watt has been solid as a special teams player and in the limited time he’s been on the field on offense.
A swing and a miss: Steve Williams, Tourek Williams, Brad Sorensen, Chris Watt, Ryan Carrethers, Marion Grice, Tevin Reese, Joshua Perry, Max Tuerk.
The skinny: These players just didn’t provide the production based on where they were selected or struggled to make the 53-man roster. Tuerk is back on the practice squad, and Perry is with the Indianapolis Colts on their active roster.
Still in the batter’s box: Donavon Clark, Mike Williams, Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, Rayshawn Jenkins, Isaac Rochell.
The skinny: I put the rest of the 2017 draft class here because they need more time to be evaluated, along with Clark, who suffered back-to-back knee injuries and has yet to get an opportunity to show what he can do as an NFL player.
As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments section.