In this series, I’m going to be choosing my five favorite Chargers on the current roster. Coming in at No. 4 is…
If you read my last post, you’ll know how much I love this roster. You’ll also know who my fifth favorite current Charger is (Spoiler: He’s a rookie).
My next favorite Charger is an experienced veteran. He’s a guy who just joined the team two years ago. Actually, he was stolen by general manager Tom Telesco. And his name is: CASEY HAYWARD.
I mean, how can the BEST cornerback in football not be on my list? In his short time in a Charger uniform, Hayward, a 2012 second-round pick by the Green Bay Packers, worked his way up to elite status. Ironically, he was brought in to be the No. 2 corner opposite Jason Verrett. But because of injuries to the latter, the former is now the Chargers’ No. 1 corner.
In 2016, Hayward led the league in interceptions with seven. In 2017, Hayward was Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked cornerback, allowing a league-best 42.7 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed. He also had three of the highest-graded games for a corner. And over the past two seasons, Hayward leads the NFL with 11 interceptions and 42 pass deflections. He also earned All-Pro honors in both seasons.
Accolades aside, he’s so much fun to watch. He’s not the fastest player on the field, but his technique, footwork and football intelligence is impeccable.
It’s funny, though, because even after two stellar seasons, it seems as if Hayward still doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Chargers fans know what Hayward is capable of, but some fans of other teams rarely include him when they bring up the “big name” corners. He was even voted 59th on the recent edition of NFL Top 100, which is crazy for a player of his talent level. But he keeps pushing, and I love a player who is confident in himself and is out there proving the world wrong.
Plus, he has a sense of humor in his confidence..
Jalen Ramsey arguing with Casey Hayward about which one of them is the best corner in the league pic.twitter.com/QTnlPcWDw8
— NFL Access (@NFL_Access) January 27, 2018
Hayward made this team so much better. The 28-year-old agreed to a three-year extension in the offseason to remain a Charger. That’s excellent news, especially for a team that is young and on the rise.
Green Bay made the mistake of letting Hayward go, and Telesco made sure that he won’t be playing for any other team other than the Chargers.