Oh the cornerbacks… This is a really touchy subject with the Chargers. Right now it doesn’t look too good, and it was starting to get REALLY ugly in the regular season last year. Like really ugly.
Here’s where we stand now with our current corners. We have Shareece Wright (he’s pretty good, not the best, but acceptable), then there’s Derek Cox (Get your picks up son, and your covering skills too, jeez), Johnny Patrick (He was ok, but we broke him later in the year), Steve Williams (We don’t know how good he is due to his season ending injury last preseason, lets hope he is our defensive Keenan Allen), Richard Marshall (meh), and Crezdon Butler (he won’t be back). Our highest paid free agent acquisition turned out to be the worst… cough cough… Derek Cox and it caused Pagano to bench him for the remainder of the season. He could be back next season, I think he will do better though after this off-season.
Heading into free agency, we have some really good options ahead of us, most of them won’t come cheap, but we need some bang for the buck. Here’s my favorite options in free agency, I’m still looking for players under the age of 29, and can actually ball up better than Cox.
Eric Wright (San Francisco)
Wright is 28 years of age standing at 5′ 10. He is a bit on the smallish side, but he can run. He is most likely going to be released by the 49ers since he wasn’t too productive for them, but he was a stud with Cleveland. He is really good in man coverage and zone playbooks. He does a great job of jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and running with them down the field. His biggest problem however is his footwork, he just trips himself up sometimes. If he can polish up those feet, or get newer cleats (haha I joke, I joke) then he can man the other side of the field. He can easily replace Johnny Patrick or Crezdon Butler. Plus, how cool would it be to have 2 Wright’s (Shareece and Eric) on the field at the same time. Call them, “The Wright Brothers”.
Vontae Davis (Indianapolis Colts)
Davis is the perfect combination of speed, athleticism and fluidity when it comes to football. He is a pure athlete, just like his older brother Vernon Davis of the 49ers. He has excellent straight line speed, that would give our defense that quickness Telesco is looking for and he is a solid tackler. There is a chance the Colts will re-sign him this off-season, since he is currently their biggest priority at the moment. But if the Colts let him slide, Telesco needs to get in touch with him quickly, because they have a good connection from Telesco’s days in Indy. He won’t come cheap, but he can easily be our #1 CB and we won’t need to draft a rookie corner in the early rounds of the draft.
Alterraun Verner (Tennessee Titans)
Verner is another really good corner at the ripe age of 25. He is also very quick and very physical, he has no problem getting into the receivers face. He does a great job at blitzing, playing zone and is even better at man coverage. His biggest issues is his tackling, he is not the greatest but if he can polish his technique, he can be our #1 CB as well. Lets just hope Tennessee is feeling cheap and lets him go into free agency.
Walter Thurmond III (Seattle Seahawks)
Anybody from Seattle’s Super Bowl defense should be decent enough for the Chargers. Thurmond is another quick versitile corner that has great size and instincts. He has great ball skills and does a great job of sticking to his receivers. He can man the slot for us if Cox decides to be a better player for us in 2014, and he could probably give Shareece Wright a little challenge for the CB 2 spot. His biggest issues are injury concerns, his knee is the main concern and he has been suspended in the past as well.
There you have it, those are my corners headed into free agency, some other notable mentions the Chargers should show interest in would include Sam Shields or Corey Graham. But other than that, keep an eye out for the guys listed above.
Alright next article we will cover our SS position. And don’t forget, BOLT UP!