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LA Chargers: Building the ideal cornerback room without Casey Hayward

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 27: Chris Harris #25 and Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrate an interception by Hayward during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 27: Chris Harris #25 and Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrate an interception by Hayward during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The LA Chargers draft Asante Samuel in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft

The second step in building the ideal cornerback room for the LA Chargers in 2021 is to utilize the team’s second-round pick on a corner. With or without Davis, the Chargers’ first-round pick should be an offensive lineman, preferably a left tackle, as protecting Justin Herbert is the number one priority.

If the team makes the right signings in free agency and has targets later in the draft to continue filling out the offensive line then they should absolutely pull the trigger on a cornerback in round two and the best-case corner in round two is Asante Samuel Jr.

Samuel is an extremely enticing option for the LA Chargers as he is someone who could play both outside and in the slot in the right packages. As we saw with the Rams, Staley loves to move people around in the secondary and that is likely another reason why the team was willing to cut Hayward to free up money — he is an outside-only corner at this point in his career.

MUST-READ: Last LA Chargers mock draft before free agency

Samuel is better on the outside and should be a starting-caliber corner right away. He is someone who is going to benefit going to a team that plays two deep safeties, which is another thing Staley did with the Rams, making his fit with the Bolts even better.

Samuel is right in the range of the Chargers’ second-round pick as well. He projects to be a late second, early third-round pick at this point in the process. However, in reality, where he goes just depends on who likes him in the second round.

The Bolts cannot afford to let another 32 picks go by and see more corners get taken before their third-round pick. While someone such as Elijah Molden would be fun to put into the slot, getting a versatile, young corner that can succeed on the outside is ideal for Tom Telesco and co.

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