Recently, analysts working for NFL Network have been ranking the best position groups in the NFL. Typically, these analysts are also former players, guys who you would figure are a bit of an authority on the topic.
When it came to ranking the league’s best secondaries, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor was given the responsibility.
Coming off the year that Casey Hayward had, in which he led the league in interceptions, coupled with the additions the team made through the NFL draft, one might think that the Chargers might make this list as one of the five best secondaries in the league. But Taylor apparently doesn’t feel the Bolts are on that level yet.
Instead, Taylor lists the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, as the team’s with the best defensive backfields. He even notes that the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings just missed his cut.
Wait, what? So the Chargers don’t even have one of the top-seven secondaries? Well, according to Taylor, no. Should this be bulletin board material? Well, teams have been motivated by much less.
All of Taylor’s choices make sense, though the Falcons are a little questionable. However, he may be downplaying the addition of Gus Bradley as the team’s new defensive coordinator. After all, the team that he has No.2 on his list, Seattle, began to thrive in the secondary with Bradley leading the defense.
With Hayward and a healthy Jason Verrettt at the two cornerback slots, the team will have the potential to have one of the league’s top cornerback duos. Safety is the question, and rightfully so.
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Jahleel Addae was signed to a big contract extension this offseason but the team could have a hole on the other side. Will it be Dwight Lowery? Tre Boston? Maybe even fourth-round pick Rayshawn Jenkins?
The uncertainty of that slot likely has a lot to do with the Chargers not being considered for this particular list, but with the addition of Bradley to show the secondary how to work together as a unit, it could easily be one of the five best this season.
Two of the team’s on this list are in the AFC West. Do the Chargers really have the No. 3 or No. 4 best secondary in their own division? Proving that to be false could be the difference between a playoff spot and another early vacation.
Thoughts? We’d love to hear what you guys think about this topic in the comment section below.