The San Diego Chargers entered 2014 after being sent home by the Denver Broncos in the 2013 Divisional Round. The Chargers had high hopes for head coach Mike McCoy’s second season despite losing offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt to the Tennessee Titans.
Well, the Chargers certainly started out well. After losing to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, the Chargers rebounded by beating the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks 30-21 in Week 2, the beginning of a five game winning streak over which the Chargers outscored opponents 147-73.
Unfortunately for the Chargers and their fans, things went downhill quickly after the winning streak. The Chargers dropped their next three in a row to the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and Miami Dolphins. The loss against the Dolphins was the low point in the Bolts season: Philip Rivers was unable to lead the team to a single point as they got stomped 37-0 in Miami.
The Chargers only lost three more games the rest of the season (vs. New England Patriots, vs. Denver Broncos, and at Kansas City Chiefs), but that would prove too many in the competitive AFC. The Chargers finished ahead of only the Oakland Raiders in their division, missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
The Chargers could definitely use some help to get back to their winning ways in 2015, and what better way to improve a team than drafting some young talent. The Chargers have a bunch of holes to fill on both sides of the ball; and after going 0-4 in their division (excluding the two wins against the Raiders), the Chargers will need a lot of help this season if they plan to compete with the Broncos and Chiefs. Here are the San Diego Chargers biggest needs heading into the 2015 NFL Draft:
Running Back: Ryan Matthews has been a reliable back for years, but he has lost his spark as of late. On top of that, Matthews has been injured a lot more often over the past few seasons. Matthews is a free agent this offseason, and the Chargers don’t seem to be interested in keeping him in San Diego for another season. Getting a running back that’s ready to start out of the draft is not out of the question, and the Chargers should still have Danny Woodhead in 2015. Look for the Chargers to take the best running back available in the middle of the draft to supplement Woodhead, and maybe even take the majority of the carries out the backfield.
Offensive Line: On top of drafting a running back, the Chargers should bring in some big guys to help him out. The Chargers had the third worst rushing offense in the NFL this past season; and sure, they had some injuries at running back, but the offensive line definitely deserves some blame for that. The Chargers had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2014 as well, and not being able to succeed on either side of the ball in the NFL means no playoffs. The Chargers have to face Von Miller and Demarcus Ware twice a year, so if they don’t fix the offensive line before Week 1, Philip Rivers will be on the ground more than not in 2015. The Chargers should probably look to use their 1st round selection on a lineman this year. They don’t exactly have an early pick, but there will be plenty of talent left when they’re on the clock. If the Chargers don’t make a huge improvement to their running back with this draft they will most likely be sitting at home come January once again.