The Bolt Report
2008 AFC West Champs
                        A Very Important Disclaimer From A Broncos Fan With Chargers Tickets
The web page is in no way intended to turn any potential Broncos fans into Bolts fans (which is nearly impossible
anyway). This page is simply an informational page for those of us stuck in Southern California without access to
real football (eg, the Denver Broncos).  Let me be clear on this subject--the Broncos rule.  The Chargers are my
2nd favorite team but they're miles away from #1, while only about 2.3 centimeters from the rest of the freaking
league (although they're literally a light year ahead of the hated Raiders). OK, I'm rambling,  I'll shut up now.
2009 Home Schedule
Kansas City
     Jacko's 2008 Draft Analysis
Rd 1: Antoine Cason/CB Arizona. Although I'm sure the Chargers were praying that Mike
Jenkins would manage to slip to them, they claim that Cason was at the top of the CB
board.  And given the outrageous success of AJ's past four drafts, I'll go ahead and
assume this guy will be a stud.  I would have been tempted by Phil Merling, who went to
the Fins in round 2, but CB was a bigger need to not only fill the nickel but also allow Paul
Oliver to switch to Safety.  Cason is a 4-year starter in the Pac-10 and that says a lot.  He's
got great technique, sticky hands and isn't afraid to lay the wood--his only issue is only
decent speed.  Jacko's Grade: B+
Rd 3: Jacob Hester/FB LSU.  AJ traded way up (giving up a 4th and a 2nd in 07) to grab
Hester with whom he reportedly  fell in love with last fall.  Now as much as I think AJ is one
of the all-time best drafting GM's, this one just feels like a reach.  Apparently he is just a
classic football player and AJ reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wanted him.  He'll spell LT every
now and then, play a little FB and be a special teams demon.  But he probably could have
been had without the trade and even if we missed out on him, FB is just not a priority
position.  He'll probably end up being a freak of nature stud but I've gotta go with my gut on
this one.  Jacko's Grade: D
Rd 5: Marcus Thomas/RB UTEP.  Thomas is more of a traditional RB prospect than
Hester, so he'll give the Bolts even more depth at the position.  Not sure I understand why
AJ wouldn't grab an OT at this point--probably the single biggest need position, so you
have to assume they had this guy rated quite a bit higher.  But it's a bit of a snooze pick in
my opinion.  Jacko's Grade: C
Rd 6: DeJuan Tribble/CB Boston College. Drafting another CB is like drafting another RB.  
And although I think Tribble is a decent value at this point, I don't really get the choice from
a position perspective.  Plus if you're going to double up at a position that's not even an
extreme need, he better be high-potential, which Tribble is not.  He's just a guy in all
areas.  So I'm going to guess that AJ sees this guy as a possible Free Safety.  Otherwise, I
don't get it.  Jacko's Grade: C-
Rd 7: Corey Clark/OT Texas A&M.  Finally, the need position is filled but way too late.  At
least Clark has a high ceiling--it doesn't sound like he's played to his potential at all and
could use some better coaching.  Probably has a shot to make the team but I can't
imagine he'll take over at starting RT.  Jacko's Grade: C+

Final Analysis.  Although I expect Antoine Cason to prove to be a solid corner, he wasn't
exactly at a huge need position.  And the rest of this draft is a bit disappointing.   Jacob
Hester could have likely been had much later in the draft--AJ Smith just fell in love with him
to ensure he got him on the team.  But to give up a #2 to grab a fullback some expected to
possibly be available as a free agent is a move only achievable out of hubris.   Assuming
the bolts could have sat tight and probably still had Hester with where they were in the 3rd
round, that's a huge sacrifice.  The rest of these guys look like practice squad guys,
although Tribble could surprise.  A surprisingly weak AJ Smith draft.  Final grade: C-.
Latest News:  Coming off a season that fell below expectations--particularly during the regular
season, the Chargers are looking to bounce back in 2009.  Fueling the optimism will be the return
of Shawn "Lights Out" Merriman, who will bring his special brand of pass-rushing fury back to a
defense that sorely needs his energy.  And the dude is in a contract year to boot.  Concerns over
whether LT will be back and if so, if he'll come close to playing like the old LT lead the offensive
concerns--look for GM A.J. Smith to address the Running Back position in the draft.
What's New:  While the Bolts typically don't spend a lot in free agency (and this year in particular
has them up against the cap), I'll track the moves as they come in below.  Aside from that, we'll have
some pre-draft analysis here shortly, so come back often.
Jacko's 2009 Free Agency Analysis

The best TE in football, All-Pro Antonio Gates.
Solid young cornerback,  Quentin Jammer.
One of the very best ever, LaDanian!!
2009 Road Schedule
Kansas City
NY Giants