Cornerbacks (6): Michael Davis, Asante Samuel Jr., Chris Harris Jr., Brandon Facyson, Ryan Smith, Tevaughn Campbell
Michael Davis’ three-year extension keeps him in powder blue for three more seasons as the CB1. There were a lot of questions heading into 2020 about whether Davis would develop further, but it’s safe to say they were answered. He committed a career low number of penalties with three and had his best season as a tackler. Davis missed just 8.7% of his tackles while having the most in his career with 55.
Maybe Davis isn’t a high-end CB1 in the league, but he’s more than serviceable. Chris Harris Jr. will be back for his second year as the slot corner after a foot injury kept him out for a significant portion of the 2020 campaign. Brandon Facyson is currently taking 1st team reps as an outside corner with Harris is in the slot, so he’s making the team as well.
Facyson over Asante Samuel Jr. for the time being seems like a perplexing move, but NFL coaching staffs tend to make their rookies earn a promotion. Samuel could still end up being CB2 by the time the games end up counting.
Former Tampa Bay special teams ace Ryan Smith signed with the Chargers on a one year deal. Unless bodies start to drop due to injury, I wouldn’t expect him to play many defensive snaps. His role on special teams will be incredibly important. Not to mention the depth of the cornerback room past the top four isn’t terrific, so more vets that can play are needed.
I debated between carrying five or six cornerbacks for a while. Brandon Staley seemed to have more of a focus on using his defensive backs than linebackers with the Rams. The Chargers traditionally do carry five corners, but carried six last year due partially to Derwin James’ season-ending injury. Considering Staley’s defensive style and the injuries last year, I think they opt to keep Tevaughn Campbell.