The safety position was likely the Los Angeles Chargers’ biggest position of doubt this offseason, but after addressing the position through the draft and free agency, who will start for the Chargers’next season? Here are the options.
Although Jahleel Addae has had injury problems for a while now, he was recently re-signed by the Chargers this offseason. When healthy, Addae has proven to be productive, with a uniquely hard-hitting style of play. If healthy, it seems very likely that Addae will serve as the Chargers’ starting strong safety, but his health seems to always be in question. Hopefully, he will be able to stay healthy next season.
Dwight Lowery, a traveled veteran, played decently for the Chargers last season, but many felt that his play was not up to par. His biggest weakness is likely his age and speed, as he often got burned by faster receivers last year. While Lowery may not serve as a starter this season, he will likely still get reps and will serve as a mentor for the younger safeties and defensive backs.
Dexter McCoil’s reps were pretty limited last season, but when he was in, he was able to use his 6’4″ frame to his advantage against taller receivers. It seems rather likely that McCoil will only continue to be used in jump-ball situations, but perhaps he will gain an extended role next season if he develops further during training camp.
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Adrian Phillips, a player who impressed many during the Bolts’ last offseason, was very hyped leading into last year’s campaign, but his potential really never came to fruition. He had very limited reps, with the amount of downs he played steadily decreasing throughout the season. Perhaps if he can have another strong offseason then he will get another shot at a starting safety job.
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Carolina Panthers free safety Tre Boston (33) reacts after a play in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Recently acquired by the Bolts through free agency, Tre Boston serves as a potential starter at the free safety position come Week 1. As a veteran in the league, Boston was solid for the Carolina Panthers and was a widely sought after free agent. If Boston does not compete to be a starter from day 1, he will at least serve as an important depth player and mentor for the younger safeties the Chargers acquired through the draft.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Rayshawn Jenkins is purely a developmental pick in my opinion. While Jenkins has great size, it may take some time to make the transition to the NFL, where, hopefully, Gus Bradley will be able to shape him into a Kam Chancellor-esque safety.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Desmond King was the Chargers’ pick in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and many believe that he was quite the steal. A former Jim Thorpe Award winner (the award for best defensive back in college football), King experienced a lot of success in college. While he primarily played corner during his collegiate career, it is widely believed that he will make the transition to safety in the NFL. While it may be a struggle to change positions, I believe King could compete for a starting position immediately based on pure talent alone, unless the Chargers intend to have him play the nickel corner instead.
So those are the options. Now it’s time for you guys to chime in with your votes. Who do you think will be the Chargers’ starting safeties next season? Let us know in the comment section below.