Chargers fifth-round selection: Troy Pride Jr., cornerback, Notre Dame
Casey Hayward is here for the long haul, stating multiple times he wants to retire a Charger. I am all for it, but opposite of him is the bigger problem. Trevor Williams left after being waived off of injured reserve, and he joined Jason Verrett as a top 10 corner that just couldn’t stay healthy. Michael Davis is his replacement, and honestly, it just has been getting worse.
Davis started off decently after returning from injury, but teams are starting to realize they can pick on him. The Chargers need help, and they need youth. Brandon Facyson isn’t the answer, as he saw time early in the year. While he played respectably overall and improved every week, it wasn’t starting caliber by any means.
Troy Pride Jr. is a guy that fits the Chargers beautifully, and he can fix a lot of the issues they have on the opposite side of Hayward. Pride may not be the flashy man to man corner you draft early, but he has the off coverage skills that oh so perfectly fit the Chargers. Put Pride in a Cover 3 scheme and you have some big-time potential.
Now, Pride can play man coverage, don’t get me wrong, but the potential he has outside in a deep third is too intriguing. He also travels around the field well for Notre Dame, whether it is sticking to the WR1 in man coverage, or setting the edge against a tight end when playing in a zone. He is versatile, and it’s fun to keep track of him on the field.
The negatives for Pride are more run related. Pride is willing to fill the lane, or contain the edge, and will always go for the tackle. The problem is he struggles to get off of blocks, even from wide receivers, and often struggles to get around the big guys on screens.
It is something that can improve for sure, but it is something to keep note of, especially when he comes into the NFL as a rookie. Another con for him is something similar to Davis, which is he struggles at times to get his head around on the deep ball in man coverage, which leads to some pass interferences and easy back-shoulder catches.
He has gotten better about it as the season has gone along, but it is something to keep in mind. This was very evident when he played against Georgia’s Jake Fromm.
I like Troy Pride Jr a lot more as a Cover 3 corner, but sometimes that man coverage does shine.
Generally struggles to get his head around on throws such as this, but when he's able to get his head around his ball skills are second to none.
Has a bit of Hayward to his game. pic.twitter.com/7HTKGLpJcj
— Jason Balliet II (@Syntari13) November 14, 2019
In the play above, you can really see that Pride has potential. He has the traits you like in a corner, especially a zone corner, and I truly think he would be a fantastic fit with Gus Bradley. I could see Pride being a Charger, it just fits.