Did The Signing Of Bob Sanders alter the approach AJ smith takes to the draft? When adding a high profile safety I would think so! After being released from the Colts (another win for us last year), hard hitting safety Bob Sanders signed a contract with the Chargers. The 5’8 206 lb safety inked a one year deal. The Chargers hope this will provide an instant impact! The Chargers safeties struggled often last year, not to mention we had to deal with a suspension (Steve Gregory). Eric Weddle stepped up when he could, but has not been the dominant player we have hoped for him to be. It also did not help that we received very little pass rush from our linebackers. At times, they were injured throughout the whole season. We only had one consistent pass rusher in Shaun Phillips. How much can the 30 year old Bob Sanders contribute remains to be seen, let’s take a look at what Sanders has done and what this can mean for us in the draft.
Looking back at the last several years, Bob Sanders has only played in 9 games. This due to injury, he hasn’t been very productive. His hard hitting style is reckless and careless at times. Bob Sanders is a double-edged sword. Last year speaks for itself, he tore his biceps in the first game of the season. The man likes to get the job done but at what cost.
At this stage in his career and knowing his history, Bob Sanders can be a high risk but high reward type player. We all hope that it is a high reward season. Like when he was the defensive player of the year. In the seven years he has played, Sanders has had 2 really great years. In those two years he had a combined 29 games racking up over 90 tackles both years, 70 of which were solo tackles.
With the lack of NFL ready talent (No Eric Berry, Taylor Mays, Sean Taylor R.I.P) in this draft, AJ Smith snags Sanders from the free agent pool. Hoping that he can contribute like when he went to a Super Bowl and was a defensive player of the year. Also Being a veteran leader for the rest of our safeties helping to mold our future generations.
If you look at any of the analyst they will tell you this is not the year of the safety. But there is a lot of raw talent that has potential. With a couple extra picks we could afford to take a safety in the later rounds. This safety or safeties could be molded and developed into what we want, on the other hand we might need to take one as a insurance policy. Here are a couple i think would work out:
Height 6’1″, 210 lbs, Vertical- 35, broad jump- 9’8, 40 time- 4.61
McDaniels is a physically gifted safety who fills in the hole as a run stopper. If you need a safety to walk down into the box for support or blitz he can. Physically and mentally tough, very explosive in the middle of the field. Only big knock against him is his man coverage skills. But has great instincts and the ability to learn fast with the right veterans and coaching, he can be molded to fit any scheme
Height 6″2′, 205 lbs, 40 time, 4.53
Williams is a very confident safety. Has the speed to be able to stay in coverage. It is said that he puts his time in in the film room. He has the speed to be a center fielder to read and react. Make the diving interception when he makes a play, considering he has great hands and is acrobatic. Only problem is he needs to be tougher in run support and more aggressive. But overall is a great tackler and takes all the right angles. May drop in the draft due to breaking his leg in the bowl game.