SAN DIEGO (AP) - General manager A.J. Smith has some work to do in the NFL draft after his San Diego Chargers shockingly flamed out and missed the playoffs for the first time in five years.
The pressure is on for Smith to hit a home run, or at the very least, a booming triple. He'll have five chances in the first 89 picks alone to find an impact player or two.
Overall, the Chargers have eight picks, starting with No. 18 in the first round.
The general consensus from outsiders is that the Chargers need to take a defensive end or outside linebacker. Smith won't say which positions are atop his list, only that this draft will be wide open. Because of the labor unrest, the Chargers don't know which free agents will be returning.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)