DISCLAIMERS: 1) I don't pretend that Buddy Nix was directly responsible for every pick here, 2) this list is purely a representation of the drafts during his time at San Diego, 3) I'm also not guaranteeing Nix will follow the same pattern that these drafts did, 4) conclusions from this "analysis" are in no way universal, as every draft is different, team needs are different, etc.
The only purpose of this thread is to show people how Nix may draft in the future based on how the Chargers' drafts went with him as a significant figure in the war room.
That being said, here's the first round picks by the Chargers from 2001-2008 (Nix's tenure there):
2001: RB LaDainian Tomlinson (#5 overall)
2002: CB Quentin Jammer (#5 overall)
2003: CB Sammy Davis (#30 overall)
2004: QB Eli Manning (#1 overall)
2005: OLB Shawne Merriman (#12 overall), DE Luis Castillo (#28 overall)
2006: CB Antonio Cromartie (#19 overall)
2007: WR Craig Davis (#30 overall)
2008: CB Antoine Cason (#27 overall)
I should also note that they drafted QB Drew Brees #32 overall in 2001 (first pick of the 2nd round).
As you can see, all the people who don't want Patrick Peterson may very well end up being disappointed. The Chargers chose CB's in the first round four times out of nine possible picks. They also focused almost solely on skill positions in the first round, with the 2005 draft being the only exception.
A further positional breakdown of all the Chargers' picks between 2001 and 2008:
QB: 4 chosen, average overall draft slot is 82nd overall
RB: 4 chosen, average overall draft slot of 114th overall
WR: 5 chosen, average of 91st overall
TE: 3 chosen, average of 134th overall
OT: 10 chosen, average of 169th overall
OG/C: 5 chosen, average of 150th overall
DE: 3 chosen, average of 65th overall
DT: 2 chosen, average of 214th overall
LB: 9 chosen, average of 121st overall
DB: 11 chosen, average of 83rd overall
Also, DB Paul Oliver was chosen in the supplemental draft (4th round), and was not included in this analysis. One punter, one kicker, and two FB's were chosen as well, but were not included.
Before discussing any overall conclusions, I think it would be helpful to compare the Chargers' first draft with Nix to our first draft with him as GM. Here are the picks from the Chargers' 2001 draft:
Round 1, #5. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB
Round 2, #32. Drew Brees, QB
Round 3, #67. Tay Cody, CB
Round 4, #112. Carlos Polk, LB
Round 5, #132. Elliot Silvers, OT
Round 5, #139. Zeke Moreno, LB
Round 7, #201. Brandon Gorin, OT
Round 7, #244. Robert Carswell, DB
So in both cases (our 2010 draft and Chargers' 2001 draft), a RB was taken in the top 10. Also, in the later rounds two LB's were chosen and two OT's were chosen. Overall, fairly similar drafts, with a couple differences.
Another thing to note is that the Chargers did not draft a single DL from 2001-2003.
What can we make of this? Since this post is fairly haphazard so far, here's some numbers to put a little order back into the post:
1) Three positions that the Chargers focused on while Nix was there were DB's, LB's, and OT's, in that order regarding priority. One thing that I am unsure of is if the Chargers ever transitioned from a 4-3 to 3-4 during those 8 years, which may have cause the high number of LB's to be drafted.
2) Very few DL were chosen, but when they were, DE's got very high priority.
3) When they (the Chargers with Nix) got a chance to draft a QB, they did so. They managed to get two quality, franchise guys - Rivers (from trading Manning) and Brees. Three of the four QB's chosen by the Chargers in that time span were selected in the first three rounds.
4) DB's had a high priority, especially CB's.
5) While a lot of OT's were chosen, only two were selected higher than the 5th round (Courtney Van Buren and Marcus McNeill).
6) It seems the majority of San Diego's picks in the top 2-3 rounds worked out pretty well - Vincent Jackson, Marcus McNeill, Nick Hardwick, Eric Weddle, Antoine Cason, Igor Olshansky, Luis Castillo, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Drayton Florence, Ben Leber, etc.
7) 2008 was the only draft where the Chargers didn't select at least one LB.
What does this mean for 2011's draft?
1) Based on this, I'd expect Peterson or Dareus to be the first round pick (in that order). DE's and CB's both seem to have high priority.
2) I'd expect a DE to be drafted within the first three rounds. Olshansky and Castillo were both drafted high within a year of each other. I think the DL is something of a priority for the Bills, and I suspect it was for the Chargers then too.
3) I seriously doubt any RB's will be drafted ()
4) I'd expect 2+ OL to be selected.
5) Even if Peterson is not the first round pick, I have little doubt we'll get 1-2 DB's somewhere in this draft.
6) At least one LB will be taken, probably in the middle rounds (3-5)
7) I believe they'll take a QB in the first 3 rounds.
As I mentioned in the disclaimer, none of these are hard and fast rules. These are primarily my expectations for the 2011 draft based on 1) the Chargers' drafts with Nix on board, and 2) our 2010 draft with Nix at the helm.
What do you guys think about this? Does this change your expectations in any way for the 2011 draft?