Los Angeles Chargers Undrafted rookie spotlight: Brad Watson
By Travis Wakeman
Despite the Los Angeles Chargers already having a tremendous duo at the cornerback position in Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward, an opportunity could exist at that position as far as depth behind those two goes.
That leads us into my fifth installment of the undrafted rookie spotlight where this time, I will be taking a closer look at defensive back Brad Watson.
Name: Brad Watson
Weight: 200 pounds
School: Wake Forest
Watson played in 38 games during his four years as a member of the Demon Deacons. He really stepped up beginning in his junior season, intercepting two passes while knocking down 16 others. In his senior season, he also snared two picks and knocked down six more passes as quarterbacks began to direct their attention to the side of the field he wasn’t on.
Watson has also shown the ability to play press coverage as well as zone coverage. He also has the ability to line up anywhere in the secondary, including the safety spots. So where could he fit in Los Angeles?
At the moment, the Chargers have enough options at the safety position. Jahleel Addae and Dwight Lowery will likely start the season, but the team also has Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King, who both came in through the draft. Behind them, Dexter McCoil and Adrian Phillips both have a shot to make the team.
Watson’s opportunity will be at cornerback, where he’ll need to beat out a guy like Craig Mager to get on the roster. As bad as Mager has been in his first two seasons, that’s not that far out of the realm of possibilities.
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Last season, the Chargers had an undrafted cornerback make the practice squad in Trevor Williams. Later in the year, he was promoted to the active roster to add depth to the secondary. It’s possible that Watson could do the same, maybe even by sending Williams packing in the process.
Playing in the ACC, Watson has experience against quarterbacks who are now in the NFL, such as Jameis Winston and Deshaun Watson. Below is a look at a game between Wake Forest and Florida State from last season.
The opportunity is there. Hayward and Verrett are probably the only players who are guaranteed a roster spot at the cornerback position and Watson’s versatility could help him adjust to the style that Gus Bradley likes to play.