Chargers Draft

Chargers draft safety Derwin James at No. 17 overall

By Matt Pagels
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Derwin James
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 02: Derwin James /

And with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select…

Pick Analysis. Derwin James. 1. 13. Scouting Report. Safety. Florida State


The Chargers just stole Derwin James. He ranked third in my top 10 prospects article, which I wrote thinking he wouldn’t be available (see, anything can happen!). James was also one of the four players I thought the Chargers should take a few weeks back.

The Chargers needed help at safety with Tre Boston leaving for free agency. James was a member of the Seminoles for three seasons (2015-17). He missed all but two games in 2016 due to a meniscus tear, but he was the highest-graded safety in the nation in both 2015 and 2017, per Pro Football Focus standards.

In those two seasons, James played in all 24 regular-season games and totaled 175 tackles, including 15 for loss, 15 pass deflections, six quarterback hurries, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one defensive touchdown, per College Football Statistics. In 2017, he contributed on special teams, returning six kicks for 170 yards (an average of 28.3 yards per return), as well as blocked a field goal. James was named first-team All-ACC and first-team All-American (Football Writers Association of America) for last year’s performance.

James ranked ninth in’s Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects for 2018. He is a leader who can play multiple roles on defense. He can line up at free safety, match up with tight ends and be used as a blitzer.

I’m still stunned. Already a great start to the draft, and I can’t wait until tomorrow!