|NFL DRAFT: Chargers keep Turner, pick Davis|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 April 2007 13:31|
After failing to trade Turner, the talented backup to league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers used the 30th pick overall to select LSU wide receiver Craig Davis.
Chargers general manager A.J. Smith didn't take questions from the media. But Titans coach Jeff Fisher confirmed to reporters in Tennessee that the teams had conversations involving the 19th pick, which Tennessee used on Texas safety Michael Griffin.
``There's still some scenarios regarding that,'' Fisher said of a potential trade for Turner, a restricted free agent.
In a brief statement after he picked Davis, Smith said there was ``a lot of activity and I think it's going to continue.''
No team signed Turner to an offer sheet by the deadline, perhaps scared off by the steep price of losing a first- and third-round draft pick had the Chargers not countered. Turner signed a $2.35 million, one-year tender on Friday, but still can be dealt.
With Turner's value to the Chargers at its highest, Smith was hoping to pry first- and third-round picks out of suitors, either this year or next.
On Wednesday, Smith said teams had offered ``less than I would like'' for Turner, who averaged 6.3 yards per carry last year in spelling Tomlinson. If Turner remains with the Chargers, he can leave as an unrestricted free agent after next season.
Griffin was one of the players the Chargers are believed to have targeted, along with safety Reggie Nelson, who went to Jacksonville with the 21st, and wide receiver Robert Meacham of Tennessee with the 27th pick.
The Chargers did get a safety, and it cost them plenty. San Diego swapped spots in the second round with Chicago to move up and take Utah's Eric Weddle. In order to make that move, the Chargers sent Chicago their third- and fifth-round picks this year and a third-rounder next year.
As for Davis, ``We're adding a weapon to the offense, and also a punt returner, so we got two for the price of one,'' Smith said.
Davis started 25 of 44 games at LSU, catching 141 passes for 2,107 and seven touchdowns.
He was one of four LSU players taken in the first round.
Quarterback JaMarcus Russell went with the first pick to Oakland, defensive back LaRon Landry went to Washington at No. 6 and fellow wideout Dwayne Bowe was taken by AFC West rival Kansas City with the 23rd pick.
San Diego's young, undistinguished receiving corps doesn't have a go-to guy. Keenan McCardell was cut after his production dropped. Neither he nor the other opening day starter, Eric Parker, had a touchdown catch last season.
That said, the Chargers haven't had a wide receiver lead them in catches since Curtis Conway in 2001. Since then, either Tomlinson or All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates has had the most catches.
``The thing we feel about Craig is he is a complete receiver,'' coach Norv Turner said. ``When Craig gets in here and understands what we're doing and makes the adjustment that all college players have to make, he can be a guy that can play outside, he can play in the slot, he can be a reverse runner.
``The thing that jumped out at me is he's got great hands,'' Turner said. ``He has great run-after-the-catch ability. That's something we felt we could add to our football team. This is another young guy who's certainly going to contribute and have an effect.''
The Chargers were an NFL-best 14-2 last season before losing to New England in their playoff opener. Coach Marty Schottenheimer was fired a month later because of what team president Dean Spanos called a ``dysfunctional relationship'' with Smith.