Desmond King, a fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, proved to be one of the best value selections of any rookie who entered the league in 2017.
King should have never fallen to pick No. 151. That was talked about when the choice was made. But he proved his worth in his first year with the Chargers.
King had one interception, but he returned that 90 yards for a touchdown. He also had four quarterback sacks. Only Rodney Harrison, with six sacks in 2000, has ever had more sacks by a defensive back in one season in team history.
King saw 68.3 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, but it will be much tougher to get him on the field this season. That’s because Jason Verrett will be back in the lineup and first-round pick Derwin James will be on the field at one of the safety spots.
With Verrett, Casey Hayward and Trevor Williams at cornerback and Jahleel Addae and James at safety, there seems to be no room for King. But he’s simply too good to keep on the bench.
Gus Bradley is going to have to get creative, but he has the mind and the pieces to do it.
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King can come in as an extra defensive back or a blitzer in certain sub packages. He’s proven to be effective in either role. The Chargers have some great options and every team in the league would describe it as a good problem to have.
In fact, these options are so good that the Chargers just let free-agent safety Tre Boston walk right out there door despite him having the best season of his career in 2017.
The return of Verrett combined with the addition of James will give the Chargers a chance to have the league’s best secondary. But King can’t be an afterthought. He was gradually becoming more and more involved last season and the Chargers would be wise not to stunt that growth.
There will be many snaps to go around and the Chargers will have the talent pool capable of matching up against multiple offensive looks while also having the opportunity to always keep fresh bodies on the field.
To reiterate, it’s a good problem to have. And if they all fit the scheme as Bradley envisions things, it will be a great problem to have.