The FA buzz is behind us, the Mock Drafts have ended and the war rooms have moved on to 2015. Now it’s time to get a better look at the groceries the Chargers brought home. I’m going to kick off the series by looking at the draft picks 1-3.
Jason Verrett: The Chargers needed a CB in this draft and against my beliefs they did it in the 1st round… just to spite me. The upside, they got one of the projected top 5 CB in the draft. Verrett has come through a lot, from JUCO to being an all Defense player of the year and leading the big 12 in interceptions. In TCU in ’11, he played in all 13 games (10 starts), logging 58 tackles, 4 pass breakups and 1 interception with 1.5 tackles for a loss. In ’12, he led the Big 12 in interceptions in the fall after posting 63-16-6 with 5 tackles for loss and a blocked field goal in 13 starts. He was named co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year after logging 39-14-2 with 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble in 11 starts. Verrett was listed at #5 only because of his height, had he been 2 inches taller he was easily #2… maybe #1.
Shareece Wright agrees with that,
“…It doesn’t matter at all,” Wright said. “He is a great athlete. He makes a ton of plays at 5-9. He’s going to be just fine…” More here…
GM Tom Telesco on his height,
“He played in a big time conference against a lot of really good receivers and quarterbacks and [his height] was never an issue,” Telesco said. “The way he plays his positioning, his leverage and vertical jump really hasn’t been an issue with bigger receivers.” More here….
As far as plays go, I watched his highlight and after getting beat, Verrett chased down Beckham WR LSU and broke up the pass. Seeing that came as a relief knowing how badly other CB **cough** COX **cough** got burned in just the same manner.
Durability? I heard Telesco make the comparison to Bob Sanders, and yes he’s been hurt. Unlike Sanders, Verrett is playing in more of pass coverage role and not run support like Sanders did at Safety. My point? Less chances of high impact to cause injury at corner. The bright side, he played through almost all of his injuries.
What I see is a young corner coming into a situation that will help him succeed. He landed with a team on the rise. Verrett will be surrounded by veteran players that we have great character, and will help his learning process to adjust in the NFL, so hopefully he can just concentrate on making plays. The Chargers selected a CB with a combination of speed, toughness, and instincts. I look forward to seeing this young man up close in camp.