With the Chargers currently in the middle of its final organized team activities (OTAs) in San Diego, MP reporter Art Garcia Jr. was able to catch up with General Manager Tom Telesco and ask him some questions about his 2017 draft class.
Art Garcia Jr: What are your thoughts on the draft overall?
Tom Telesco: It was productive for us. We ended up having three offensive players with our first three picks, it’s just kind of how things worked out. We think these three guys can come in and really help us with Mike Williams at receiver and the two young guards, but overall we like how it worked out for us.
AG: I want to go over each pick and have you give me a quick synopsis of each guy starting with your first pick out of Clemson, receiver Mike Williams.
TT: With him, he’s what we call a high-impact, high-quality guy. He has the potential to be a playmaker at this level with his size, his strength, his ball skills and his athletic ability.
AG: And your second pick Forrest Lamp?
TT: Forrest Lamp was a four-year starter at left tackle for Western Kentucky and he’s tough, smart and athletic. We’re going to move him inside to guard right now and we’ll see where his career takes him.
AG: Many scouts felt your third round pick, Dan Feeney, would be drafted higher, tell me about him.
TT: Feeney is very similar to Lamp — he’s tough, he’s smart and he’s athletic. He’s played at a high level in the BIG 10 … he’s been one of the best linemen in the BIG 10 in the last couple of years. He’s just a solid, tough and talented football player.
AG: And the safety out of Miami, Rayshawn Jenkins?
TT: He’s a big safety at 6-feet-2-inches, almost 220-pounds, but pretty balanced between he can come up and tackle in one game (where) he’s physical and aggressive, but he also has some ball skills in coverage. So we think he’s kind of an accomplished strong safety and free safety but we’ll see what the coaches think and see where his best fit is.
AG: And how about the other defensive back, Desmond King out of Iowa?
TT: Yeah, he was a corner in college, he’ll play corner for us and maybe some safety — we’ll see kind of how that goes. He was really a productive player in college and in his high school career — he has the state of Michigan record for most interceptions in a career. He goes to Iowa and I don’t know if he has the record for interceptions there or not, but he has a lot of interceptions, so he just as a knack for being around the football. He’s another guy who’s tough, he’s smart and he tackles very well, and he just plays the game with great instincts.
AG: And you finally draft an offensive tackle in the sixth round, what caught your eye about Sam Tevi?
TT: Tevi was a defensive lineman originally in college then he moved to the offensive line. He can play left tackle, right tackle … he’s big, smart and he has really good feet for a big guy. So we’ll see where he fits but he kind of has maybe a role as a swing tackle where he can play both sides.
AG: How about you final pick, the defensive lineman out of Notre Dame?
TT: Isaac Rochelle is a really big defensive end who is really good against the run. He’s about 298-pounds, real productive at Notre Dame, he’s blue collar tough and was really productive against the run. We think he can play some defensive end and maybe some defensive tackle for us.
The Endzone: Looking to add more talent to the secondary, Telesco signed former Panthers free safety Tre Boston. Starting 10 games last season, Boston had two interceptions and established a career-high 53 tackles in his third year in Carolina. Having visited both the Bills and Steelers in addition to the Chargers, Boston says the comradery he has felt after a few days of practice reinforces his belief that he made the right decision.
“It didn’t really matter the money given out to me or really the situation, I knew God was going to put me in the best situation possible,” Boston said following his second day of OTAs. “I’ve been here, now day two, and I feel like I’ve been here all offseason with these guys — they’ve really embraced me after two days and it’s been unbelievable. So I know God is good and he has a plan for me.”
Entering his fourth year in the NFL, Boston sees a lot of similarities between this Chargers’ team and the Panthers’ team that were in the Super Bowl just two years ago.
“Defensive wise, they are two different schemes, but we have ball players on both teams” Boston said. “I see a lot of the Panthers team in this team when it comes to playmakers, guys who are in the brotherhood and guys who care about each other. This team can be very special based just off the guys’ character alone.
“Today we had a good practice, the DBs got a couple of picks … the DBs man, if we keep going, no predictions right now but we’re going to be something nice.”
When asked what he brings to the Chargers, Boston described himself as a dynamic playmaker who is energetic and flies around at a high tempo — a guy who loves the game with a high passion. A player who can’t wait to get out on the field with his teammates and start making plays.
Although the secondary has leaders in Casey Hayward, Jason Verrett and Jahleel Addae, Boston feels he doesn’t necessarily have to become a leader, but wants to assume a leadership role to help this team get to the top.
“For me, I want to become a leader on this defense,” he said. “I want to help these guys accomplish what the team wants to accomplish and that is to make the playoffs first and go on from there. But we have to play up to a playoff caliber extent and we have to do that everyday — there are no (taking) days off.
“I’ve been to the big show and I’ve lost it, so I know what it takes and I know how to get it done. It’s amazing to be part of this team and I hope I can be a part leading it.”