Chargers fans had a chance to vote on a simple poll: Is Derwin James the best player on the Chargers right now? The results are split!
The Chargers have some of the league’s best players at their position throughout their roster, from quarterbacks and defensive ends to wide receivers and special teams contributors. One player, in just his first season in the NFL, is already one of the best, if not the best, at his position: safety Derwin James. There’s no doubt as an All-Pro at two positions that James is one of the most talented players on the team, but is he the best?
Over a thousand Chargers fans voted, and well…it’s nearly an even split:
Straight up, would you vote Derwin James as the best player on the #Chargers right now?
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) May 31, 2019
As of the posting of this article, 52 percent of the votes say yes, and 48 percent say no. Those who said yes vote with more than just hype fueling their heart, but statistics as well.
All-Pro Derwin James positional snap count (@PFF) in 2018+ postseason:
• Box Safety – 469• D Line – 249• Free Safety – 220• Nickel CB – 205• Outside CB – 26
— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) April 17, 2019
In his time spent as everything-but-a-defensive-tackle, James notched 105 combined tackles (75 solo), three interceptions, 3.5 sacks, 13 passes defended, and two run stuffs. On pass-rush snaps, James registered a pressure on a third of the plays using him as a blitzer. For his efforts: First-Team All-Pro safety, Second-Team All-Pro defensive back, starting Pro-Bowl safety, and second place for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
What, that’s it?
Those who voted no offered their reason for believing so, though most would have put James within their top three or five Chargers as is. Four players were mentioned most frequently as better right now: Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Keenan Allen, and Philip Rivers.
If James either repeats or builds off his incredible first season, there’s a chance fans will vote more in his favor in a year. He is undeniably one of the best young stars the team has seen since…well, 2016 with Bosa (this is a good team!), and may cement himself as the best player on the team for years to come.