LA Chargers News

Los Angeles Chargers: Three steals and two bad deals

CARSON, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: Uchenna Nwosu #42 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates his stop of Lamar Jackson #8 on third down with Isaac Rochell #98 during the first quarter at StubHub Center on December 22, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: Uchenna Nwosu #42 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates his stop of Lamar Jackson #8 on third down with Isaac Rochell #98 during the first quarter at StubHub Center on December 22, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 13: Rayshawn Jenkins #23 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass intended for Johnny Holton #80 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park October 13, 2019, in Carson, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – OCTOBER 13: Rayshawn Jenkins #23 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass intended for Johnny Holton #80 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park October 13, 2019, in Carson, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Chargers overachiever No.2: Rayshawn Jenkins

There has been no bigger improvement on the Chargers roster this year than Jenkins. Although Jenkins predictably looked lost in the first couple of games of the season as he was learning the free safety position, he unpredictably made significant enough improvements to become one of the Chargers’ best-performing defenders in recent weeks.

Last year, Jenkins played as a backup strong safety behind Derwin James, and in the rare times he did see the field, he looked like an uncontrollable missile heading to hit anything he could find, often including players in powder blue.

In the offseason, the Chargers asked the hard-hitting safety to make the swap to free safety, a position in which coverage is the primary role. From the 2017 to 2018 seasons, the Chargers asked the same of Jahleel Addae, and he predictably failed, as he was asked to do something he could not.

The same looked to be true of Jenkins – until he figured it out around Week 3. Now, Jenkins seems like a natural at free safety, as he keeps making impressive plays to break up and intercept passes.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1183572489416261632

But this piece is not about improvement. It is about being an overachiever based on contract value over the course of the 2019 season. And even with his relatively poor early performance, Jenkins has been that overachiever.

On a contract of $765,000 per year, Jenkins has performed well enough to earn an above-average grade for a starter of 74.5 from PFF.

Considering that grade is highly buffered by his most recent play, Chargers fans should be excited about the future of Jenkins and perhaps dreaming of the day he will get a chance to play next to James.

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