High Voltage Performer: Derwin James, Safety
The rookie safety from Florida State University was a tone-setter against the Bills on Sunday. Wherever the ball was when Buffalo’s offense took the field, James was in the vicinity the majority of the time. It was admirable watching him take his speed and physicality up a few notches when executing a tackle.
And tackling was not an issue for the Chargers’ 2018 first-round pick.
The 22-year old safety led the team with eight total tackles and seven solo tackles on Sunday. Two of them led to negative yardage for the Bills’ offense. James’ standout play came on his lone sack of Buffalo quarterback Allen. The rookie defensive back blasted through the middle of the Bills’ offensive line off a blitz to topple their first-year signal caller.
His greatest impact came in the tackling department, but James also chipped in with a pass defended. The Chargers have yet to see him significantly affect the secondary when attempting to contain an opposing passing attack, but that will come eventually.
Either way, the Chargers’ coaching staff must be salivating over the thought of James leading L.A.’s defensive unit for the foreseeable future. The former Florida State Seminole was an energizer bunny on the gridiron in Week 2, as his motor and aggression were on full display in the 31-20 victory.
Once defensive end Joey Bosa returns to the lineup, the Bolts’ defense will boast one of the NFL’s most intimidating pass-rushing duos. Add in a young, talent-rich safety in James, and the Chargers’ defensive unit will be highlighted by a trio of game-wreckers.