LA Chargers News

Los Angeles Chargers: Team awards at midway point of season

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 07: Free safety Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up before the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on October 7, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 07: Free safety Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up before the game against the Oakland Raiders at StubHub Center on October 7, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 26: Derwin James of FSU poses after being picked #17 overall by the Los Angeles Chargers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 26: Derwin James of FSU poses after being picked #17 overall by the Los Angeles Chargers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Best Rookie- Derwin James

This is an obvious choice and as the team’s first-round pick, you’d hope he was the guy listed here.

Derwin James has been terrific in the first half of his first season. Chargers fans were completely surprised when he was still on the board at No. 17 in the first round as many mock drafts had him going in the top 10. Tom Telesco, a general manager who has never put much stock in the safety position, couldn’t pass on the former Florida State Seminole.

James has 44 tackles in seven games but he has shown himself to be a guy who can make plays all over the field, as evidenced by his 3.5 sacks, one interception and six passes defensed.

James has added the kind of dynamic player the Bolts were looking for in the secondary. He can cover the back end, as evidenced by his interception against Drew Brees in the preseason, but he can also come up and make plays in the running game or by rushing the passer.

A complete safety, James isn’t just the best defensive rookie for the Chargers, he’ll likely figure into the conversation for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award across the entire league.

For Chargers fans who remember Rodney Harrison roaming around in the secondary many years ago, James is a very similar player. He’s one who will wreak havoc on opponents for quite some time.

A lot of teams passed on him in the draft and it’s likely that many of them will end up regretting that, if they don’t already.

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