Los Angeles Chargers undrafted rookie spotlight: CB B.J. Clay
By Travis Wakeman
The Los Angeles Chargers, already deep at the cornerback spot, brought in four cornerbacks as undrafted rookies following the draft.
Tony Brown, Brandon Facyson and Marcus Edmond have all been featured have all been featured in this series and one or two of those players could make the team. However, B.J. Clay faces much longer odds.
Born in Gwinnett County, Georgia, Clay played his college ball at Georgia State. Playing in the Sun Belt Conference, Clay didn’t face the stiffest competition in the college ranks. He had three interceptions during his playing career, all of which came during his junior season in 2016.
Clay doesn’t lack confidence. During an interview with Draft Diamonds prior to the draft, he compared his game to that of Minnesota Vikings’ cornerback Xavier Rhodes. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Clay has a body type that is similar to Rhodes, but he has a long way to go to prove he can make the same type of plays.
He flew way under the radar in college, as most players do at Georgia State. But GSU is a program that is building and is coming off its first victory in a bowl game, a 27-17 win over Western Kentucky in last year’s Cure Bowl.
Clay was a part of that building process.
Leading up to the draft, he made the most of his opportunity after not receiving an invite to the scouting combine, posting a 4.35 40-yard dash at the Georgia State pro day.
He will bring a quick, athletic style to the Chargers’ defensive backfield, but where does he fit on a deep depth chart?
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As discussed, the secondary is probably too deep in Los Angeles, even if Clay had an incredibly impressive run in camp and preseason games. Right now, there are no less than eight cornerbacks ahead of Clay on the depth chart. That includes Brown and Facyson.
Clay is playing for a spot on the team’s practice squad so ideally, he needs to outperform a guy like Edmond in order to secure a spot there.
The Chargers will likely want to get a long look at others down the depth chart too, such as Craig Mager and Michael Davis. That will hamper Clay’s chances to get reps in camp as well as snaps during the preseason.
Once the preseason concludes, Clay is likely a player we won’t know a whole lot more about than we do now and it’s likely he will be one of the team’s mass cuts prior to the start of the season.