The main problem with the San Diego defense last season was the secondary. With a rotating cast of cornerbacks throughout the season, the Chargers must address this need in the upcoming draft. Luckily, the Chargers have struck gold when it comes to the depth at cornerback in this upcoming draft. I will be looking at potential prospects that could very well land in San Diego when the Chargers go on the clock at pick No. 25.
Kyle Fuller (6’0/190lbs/Virginia Tech):
Pros: Fuller is not a line of scrimmage, press-play type corner. He tends to play a yard or two off ball because he loves to jump inside slants and crossing routes. Fuller has a great ability to defend downfield passes by pressuring receivers and pushing them towards the sidelines and zoning them off. His hand placement on receivers and awareness while keeping an eye on the quarterback is phenomenal. He can play man-on-man coverage with bigger receivers.
Cons: Head fakes, head fakes, head fakes. Fuller, with his off-ball lineup, loves to jump slants to get the quick interception for a potential pick-six. His love for this causes him to get faked on either stutter cuts or head-fakes by receivers who run crisp routes. He is primarily a press-corner and doesn’t show the ability to sense receiver switches in zone coverage as well as he does in man. Fuller, at times, seems to forget how to tackle and doesn’t have the greatest closeout speed, but that could be fixed.
Bradley Roby (5’11/194lbs/Ohio State):
Pros: He has all the physical tools. He’s fast, he’s strong, great closeout speed, and extremely quick feet. Roby, when beat on flys, has the speed to catch up to receivers and does well in man-deep coverage.
Cons: I do not care about the physical tools of a cornerback as much as his in-game film. Roby had a very, very ugly season in 2013 and was not like his 2012 self. He was suspended week one through some legal troubles and was ejected against Iowa. Roby doesn’t have fluid enough hips to transfer from inside/outside coverage, nor can he handle stunts. I think he’s a late-second round grade through his tape, but because of other grades, I’ve decided to put him here. Roby’s problem is with disrupting routes and locating receivers. He doesn’t understand how to jam at the line and he doesn’t read hips on receivers. He refuses to place a hand on hip/body when stalking long balls so when he mistimes an interception, the receiver ends up going for big gains. (You can see this in the Northwestern game and the Wisconsin game)
Jason Verrett (5’9/189/TCU):
Pros: I absolutely love Jason Verrett. He is a shut-down corner that doesn’t allow an inch of separation with his receivers. His man coverage ability is astounding and is a physical press-corner that can, at times, erase receivers from the play. Verrett is extremely quick and his hips are fluid enough that he does not get caught on fakes or stutter slants at the line.
Cons: There are only two cons that I have about Verrett, his size and his tackling ability. He’s an undersized corner that when placed against bigger receivers (i.e. A.J. Green/Calvin Johnson) may get out-jumped in high-ball situations. But against a team like LSU, who had Jarvis Landry, Verrett seemed to have no problem breaking up jump-balls and shutting down his receivers.