The LA Chargers currently have a logjam in the secondary, even after they decided to let Adrian Phillips and Jaylen Watkins sign elsewhere. Chris Harris Jr is an excellent player and was a great addition, but it likely means Desmond King is moving positions and filling the role formerly held by Phillips.
That kind of role does hold a lot of value, but Phillips was really only playing about 25-30 snaps a game in that safety/linebacker hybrid spot. While King certainly has the ability to fill the role, that’s quite a decrease in playing time for the former All-Pro. It makes sense to hold onto King and hope he returns to his former self but does also make some sense to trade him.
Then of course you have Derwin James holding down the fort at strong safety and Rayshawn Jenkins starting at free safety, with Nasir Adderly seemingly fighting for scraps. So why would drafting a guy like Ashtyn Davis make sense? Because we saw last season what happened when James and Phillips went down.
The defense regressed in a big way in terms of positional versatility and explosive plays. Obviously the loss of James, who is an elite player in his own right hurts, but the gap between James and his replacements was almost crippling.
So with the uncertainty surrounding King, Harris Jr getting up there in age, Adderly’s health struggles it absolutely makes sense to add another versatile defender into the mix. Davis is an incredible athlete with a strong track background who can play almost every position in the secondary, besides outside corner.
He won’t put up huge tackle numbers but he combines his athleticism with a high football IQ and great instincts, this allows him to really understand angles and the timing of routes at a very high level. He’s not the most physically imposing player but he is no slouch in the running game, either.
The combination of intelligence, intensity and toughness make him an enticing option for the LA Chargers defense.