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Chargers GM Smith a busy man in draft's first two days

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Posted April 23, 2010 @ 11:28 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

It has been two days of wheeling and dealing for Chargers GM A.J. Smith, who executed his second trade in as many nights Friday as he attempts to fill holes on the Chargers' roster.

After moving up 16 spots to get RB Ryan Mathews in Round One, Smith moved up 12 positions in the third round Friday to get Washington ILB Donald Butler, giving the 49ers a 2010 sixth-rounder and '11 fourth-rounder and swapping third-round picks in return.

In Butler, the Bolts get a solid player who performed well for the Huskies last season, racking up 94 tackles and 15½ tackles for loss. San Diego likely will insert him into their ILB rotation with Stephen Cooper, Kevin Burnett and Brandon Siler, giving the club a strong group of 'backers inside.

The bigger story is Smith, though, who seems intent on giving up picks both this year and next in order to secure the guys he wants. For a team without a whole lot of glaring needs, it's not a bad strategy, as he's choosing to be proactive instead of simply waiting to see who falls to him.

Although he's running out of picks, Smith would be wise to address the nose tackle position sometime on Saturday, as he still hasn't found a long-term replacement for NT Jamal Williams. If he can do that, it will be a fairly successful draft, regardless of his lack of selections.


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