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Chargers look to create league’s top safety tandem

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Derwin James #33 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Chargers drafted Nasir Adderley to pair with All-Pro Derwin James, creating a fearsome tandem for many years to come. 

After last season, many Chargers fans were left scratching their heads wondering who would be replacing Jahleel Addae alongside All-Pro safety Derwin James. Then, as he does time after time, general manager Tom Telesco got his guy, and it doesn’t seem he could have gotten him for a better price.

With the 60th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Chargers selected Delaware safety Nasir Adderley. Thought of as one of the most talented at the position in this years draft, Adderley was almost certain to be off the board in the first round, or early second round at the latest. That is why it came as quite a shock to many when the Chargers were able to steal him at the end of the second round.

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Adderley brings a combination of speed, explosiveness, and a natural ball-hawk nature to a Chargers secondary which was simply left reeling with Addae playing out of position. In his last season at Delaware, Pro Football Focus gave Adderley a 90.3 overall grade, while allowing just a 1.3 passer rating against passes thrown his way. Combine that with his six pass defenses and four interceptions, and the ball skills are far more than obvious. Pro Football Focus also gave Adderley grades of 89.9 and 77.1 for coverage and run defense, respectively.

Overall, he was Pro Football Focus’ top safety prospect coming into the draft. However, many believed Adderley could have trouble with play recognition and change in competition at the next level. Nevertheless, with the coaching of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, guidance from James, and plenty of reps, those problems will be eliminated in no time.

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This sets up the Chargers to have elite playmakers at both the free and strong safety positions; racking up tackles, sacks, pass defenses, and highlight plays all year round. James and Adderley will be flying all over the field this season for a Chargers team with Super Bowl hopes. The thought of those two lining up alongside each other in powder blue for years to come is one that has fans as excited for Chargers football as they have been in quite some time.

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